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The Making of an Architect

Most recently, I completed the last exam necessary to become a licensed architect. I was first exposed to the field of architecture through my dad's construction company. Seeing my dad's employees read blueprints, then build what was drawn was fascinating to me. I also realized whenever the architect came on site, he had everyone's attention. My question was who was this guy and why was he such a boss? 

I completed my Bachelors of Architecture from Southern University and A&M College in 2008 then moved to Jackson to work for a local architecture firm. Shortly after, I enrolled in Jackson State University's Urban and Regional Planning Master's Program and obtained my degree in 2011. After working in both the fields of architecture and urban planning and completing all of my Intern Development Program (IDP) hours (which took 2.5 years), I registered to take the exams. 

To prepare for the exam, I collected a series of books, created flashcards and watched webinars. I studied 6 to 8 weeks for each exam (which cost $215 each). There is a total of 7 exams which must be completed in 5 years. It took me 4 years and 10 months due to failing exams more than once.

After receiving an email stating I past my last exam, I got a package in the mail saying I had one more exam to take and my immediate reaction was "really?" This exam is on Mississippi architecture processes and is a take-home exam so not so bad. Overall, the process of taking these exams taught me about perseverance in the midst of failures. And, it also gave me the confidence to know that I can actually excel in this field.  

Since We've Been Gone...

Well, technically we haven't been gone but its been a while since you've heard from us. In November, TinyJXN got its first client! The process consisted of a design consultation in which she informed us of the features she wanted in her tiny home then we submitted our application for a zoning action to be on the City of Jackson's Planning Board March Agenda. When approved, our client will proceed with obtaining financing and then we'll break ground. 

In January, we presented a proposal to a local non-profit interested in a tiny home community for the homeless. They have investors interested in this concept and will provide funding based on our proposal. 

On April 23rd, we are scheduled to present our tiny home development ideas to the University Park Neighborhood Association Meeting. Wish us luck! 

Keep in touch with us via social media @tinyjxn on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for articles and cool photos of tiny homes. We'll see you there! 

So, What's Next?

October proved to be a very challenging month for us. We applied and were selected to participate in the Mississippi New Venture Competition (which included the submission of an executive summary and presentation before the competition) as well as an application to Echoing Green for a social entrepreneurship fellowship.

After work and on weekends, we spent hours at Coalesce Co-working Space ensuring we properly articulated our purpose, mission and other necessary strategies.

November 1st was competition day. Competitors were split into three categories: Student Division, Pre-Revenue Division 1 (Niche) and Pre-Revenue Division 2 (Technology). Although we did not win, we want to congratulate all of the winners in all of the categories. As well as friends of TinyJXN: Satchel and Nobility Tech.

What's Next? Akili is prepping for his final architecture exam and Ashlee is putting the finishing touches on her dissertation. Wish us luck on the Echoing Green Fellowship; however, we will continue the search for capital to fund our first mini development. 

Special thanks to our support system, Jaynae Young, and Branden Theodore. Shout out to the new friends we met yesterday, we look forward to working with you!

Mississippi New Venture Challenge 2016

It looks like TinyJXN is going back to it's roots: Pitching! We've just learned that our application has been accepted and on November 1st, we will be competing against other innovative and tech entrepreneurs for monetary prizes (which we really need) and trophies (which are also awesome). 

For more information, visit Innovate Mississippi. Wish us luck!