Conscious living in a tiny house by Tralaluna
  • Invest

Conscious living in a tiny house by Tralaluna

Martin and Mathilde Matthijsse are going to expand their company Tralaluna with the rental of self-developed tiny houses in special locations in Drenthe. They will be quirky and unique cottages on wheels, made from sustainable materials and built locally with creatives, builders and other entrepreneurs "with common farm sense.

Tralaluna started as a hobby project in the barn of Martin and Mathilde's farmhouse in Mantinge. Martin fixes up vintage camper vans and caravans in his spare time, Mathilde lets her creativity loose on them and gives them a vintage look. Their 'Casita on Wheels' are located at carefully selected camping sites, the camper vans are rented out including a surprising road trip through Drenthe and surrounding provinces. The Tralaluna concept of 'living in the slow lane' is appreciated by guests. Mathilde is involved with Tralaluna more than full time.

Conscious experience

Tapping into the tiny house ideology, the duo has now come up with something new: tiny houses on wheels, quirky original creations with their own look and made from sustainable materials. For the development, Martin and Mathilde want to collaborate with people who are complementary, such as builders, creatives and recreational entrepreneurs. The formula will be expanded in Tralalunian fashion by renting out the cottages via a special website on small-scale nature campsites, farmyards or land owned by individuals in Drenthe. "People thinking about a tiny house can then really experience what it is like to consciously enjoy and downsize," Martin believes.


Until now, Tralaluna has always grown organically. But with the new plans, it will really become a business.

Financial resources are needed to build the cottages, for the rental concept and marketing. And time. 'I took a year of unpaid leave to go full steam ahead,' Martin says. 'A matter of having guts. And quite exciting.' Looking for financial services, Martin and Mathilde stumbled upon Leader Subsidy for Southwest Drenthe and, through the bank, MKB Fonds Drenthe came into the picture. Dave de Groot, investment manager of the fund saw the potential of the plans. He advised to hire an expert to further sharpen the business plan and pointed to the possibility of raising additional funding through crowdfunding.

Pretty spicy

'Just for looking for funding, writing a grant application and starting a crowdfunding campaign, you would take a sabbatical.' Mathilde looks back on a few months of rock-hard work. 'It was quite tough. But now the signs seem to be green. It certainly wasn't a done deal with Dave and Emmy at the table. They are easy to approach but critical and put a lot of pressure on the process and the plans. And that felt good, by the way. It gives you confidence as an entrepreneur. Yes, the MKB Fonds Drenthe helped us a lot.