Meet Kate and Willem, known in the world of social media as the faces behind From Tiny Beginnings. As their name suggests they came from tiny beginnings - quite literally. In 2017, they sunk their teeth in to their first DIY project, a Tiny Home on Waiheke Island and begun documenting this on Instagram. As their following grew, so did their passion for creating home and lifestyle content.
Kate and Willem have been driving our S-Cross over the past few months, so we decided to take the opportunity to ask them a few questions about themselves and what they’ve been enjoying about the S-Cross.
Tell us a bit about yourselves, your backgrounds and what you do.
We're Willem and Kate. We've been married for 8 years now and have two children: our son Leo, who is 4 years old, and our daughter Maggie, who is now 2 months old. Willem is from South Africa and moved to New Zealand with his best friend 10 years ago. We met through online dating (though if you asked him, he would claim we met through friends since online dating is embarrassing) haha.
Willem works as an architectural designer for an Auckland design and build company called BOX. However, he's about to venture out on his own as a contractor. He's absolutely obsessed with houses and design. On a road trip with him, he would point out all the buildings, tell you about the materials they're made of, and share what he loves about them. We're huge fans of the Grand Designs TV show, and he's also a big rugby enthusiast, always insisting that this is the year the Springboks will win! He's a bit of a nomad, having lived and traveled overseas quite a bit, whereas I was born in Australia but have always lived here since I was little.
I hold a bachelor's degree in design and have worked as a graphic designer for many years now, mainly in magazines. However, about a year ago, I made a switch and now work for Wilderness Motorhomes in their marketing team as a Senior Content Specialist. I still get to do some designing, but I'm enjoying learning more about marketing as well. I've also worked as a social media manager on and oﬀ over the years and have always loved combining my passion for photography and design to help others.
Our social media page began as a space to document the construction of our tiny house on wheels back in 2017. There was a lot of interest in the build, and it was featured extensively in magazines and videos. It one of the ﬁrst tiny homes in NZ. Our page has grown signiﬁcantly since then. We lived in the tiny house on our section on Waiheke Island, where we also constructed a larger home at the top of the section. We lived on Waiheke for approximately 5 years until a year ago when we decided to move oﬀ the island and down to Feilding to be closer to my sister and her family.
Always on the lookout for our next project, we purchased an old 1910 villa, which we are gradually renovating. It's been a huge learning curve, but we're really enjoying it. Designing and renovating houses align well with our skills as designers, and I think it will be something we continue to do for a long time.
How did you get into digital content creation?
Completely by accident, actually! When we started to gain quite a large following on Instagram (thanks to our tiny house build!), more and more people were asking questions and wanted to see more of the build so we began documenting it in greater detail. Then brands began to take notice and express interest in collaborating with us. Since then it has kept growing and we have turned it into a nice little side hustle.
What is your favourite thing about what you do?
Currently, I’m absolutely loving my role as a mum! I’m on maternity leave and enjoying my time spent at home with Maggie and Leo. Its handy that both Willem and I work remotely and he’s here during the day to help out with little things here and there in between his work commitments.
As for our social media page, the community that we have built is our favourite thing. Over the years, we’ve connected with some really wonderful and like minded people! Its a great creative outlet for us and we genuinely enjoy coming up with ideas of how we can make our content entertaining.
How do you switch oﬀ from work when you work and create content in your own home?
One way we love to switch oﬀ is to head out for a drive. We love exploring our hometown it gives us a chance to unwind and not think about the renovations at home and our to-do lists. We make an eﬀort to allocate one day to working on the house or creating content, and then the next day to doing something fun as a family exploring. It seems to be a good way to balance things!
You have had our S-Cross for a few months now. What is your favourite feature and why?
We love how safe we feel in the S-Cross, especially with two young children. Its got so many great features like the lane assist and fantastic cameras for reversing you can see around the whole car and we love it!
What does the future hold for you guys?
We’d love to do some more travelling once Maggie’s older, go back to South Africa to visit Willems family again, go on safari etc and we really want to take the kids hiking to complete all of the New Zealand great walks. We’ve knocked a few of them oﬀ the list (we got engaged on the Routeburn track!). There are still a lot of places we’d love to explore around NZ too, we would love to eventually rent our house out for 6 months to a year and travel NZ as a family working remotely from a motorhome or something. That would be amazing!
Keen to see more from Kate and Willem? You can check out their Instagram page @From Tiny Beginnings.