Kristie Wolfe worked $13/hour factory jobs in Idaho for years while living in a "shed on wheels."
She used her savings to buy land in Hawaii off Craigslist for $8,000 and built a jungle treehouse.
Since then, Wolfe has built four unique Airbnbs across the country — see photos of them all here.
Kristie Wolfe is the creator behind some of the world's most outlandish Airbnbs, from an underground hobbit hole in Washington to a hotel made from a six-ton concrete potato.
Her four listings cost between $200 and $400 a night and are fully booked multiple months to a year in advance. In an interview with Insider, Wolfe described her journey from making $13 an hour as a factory worker to becoming one of the most popular hosts on the Airbnb app.
Despite the 14-hour shifts and low wages, Wolfe speaks fondly of her time working at the potato factory in Boise, Idaho. In fact, she said the position was ranked second on her "dream jobs" list, behind librarian.
"There was a lot of problem-solving involved," she said. "I just love efficiency and figuring out new ways to make something work, and I got to do all of those things at that job."
Wolfe's passion for efficiency also dominated in her life outside of work, where she lived in a tiny home she described as a "shack on wheels."
Costing a total of $3,000, she built the mobile structure on a tree farm with her mother as an "experiment in minimalism," she told Insider. After realizing the lifestyle came naturally to her, Wolfe took it a step further and went entirely off the grid.
Without a mortgage or utilities to pay, Wolfe said she was able to cut the costs in her life to "nearly nothing" while saving money for her next big project: a solar-powered tree house in Hawaii.
See photos of Wolfe's four unique Airbnb stays here:
1. The Tropical Treehouse in Fern Forest, Hawaii.
Wolfe told Insider she spent practically "all her income" on her first-ever Airbnb property, a 230-square-foot tree house in Hawaii's Fern Forest.
She built the one-bedroom home on a half-acre plot of land she purchased on Craigslist for $8,000 sight-unseen. Once the treehouse had a roof, Wolfe said she slept on its floor for the remainder of the construction.
2. The Hobbit Inn in Chelan, Washington.
Wolfe's next project, an underground hobbit hole in Washington, was the state's "most wish-listed" Airbnb in the state.
The listing's immense popularity is a prime example of the "unique stays" trend on Airbnb, where the home itself becomes a destination. The number of guests who searched for unique stays on Airbnb more than doubled between the first 10 months of 2020 and the same period in 2018, data shows.
3. Crystal Peak Lookout in Fernwood, Idaho.
Wolfe's third purchase was her most expensive property to-date, a $67,000 rural fire lookout surrounded by 13 acres of the Idaho forest.
The renovated tower — once infested with rats — now includes a sauna, wood burning stove, and a restored 1964 Thikol Snowcat.
4. The Big Idaho Potato Hotel in Boise, Idaho.
Wolfe is perhaps most well known for her "potato hotel" in Boise, Idaho, the city where her tiny home journey all began.
The Idaho Potato Commission gifted the six-ton concrete potato to Wolfe, who finished renovating the structure in 2019.
On top of an old silo converted into a spa, the $200 a night rental includes the companionship of Wolfe's pet cow.
Read the original article on Business Insider