Camille was 7 months pregnant when I started a building project in our garage. We had just moved into a small 2 bedroom house and wanted to create a guest space for family and friends we’d met from our travels. Little did we know this little project would become a big part of our life in a few short months.
After about two months of working on the the new garage apartment, it was nearly complete. I was working as fast as I could to get the project done before the arrival of our new baby girl (Ivory). We wanted Cam’s parents to stay in the space to help us in the first few days of our new baby.
Then the day finally came—Camille was in labor! She really wanted me to finish before we had this baby so I worked as fast as I could nailing on the last of the trim pieces. When I finally finished, we drove to the hospital just 30 minutes later! The funny thing was she was having labor symptoms at night but they stopped. Cam says it was like her body knew we needed that extra time to finish, then once she knew it was basically complete, the labor started back up again full-force!
A few hours later, Camille gave birth to our beautiful healthy baby girl Ivory and soon after we were heading home. Our in-laws had settled into the new space, but there was a problem. They had become sick and didn’t want to get anyone else sick so they left early! So our first official guests had to cancel so they wouldn’t get us sick too. Now we had this beautiful space, but no plans from friends or family coming to stay anytime soon.
My sisters’ had recently started doing Airbnb out of different spaces—a garage apartment and a bedroom in a house, and were having good success. They encouraged us to give it a try. It was basically ready to go for Airbnb besides the photos. So on January 1st, we launched “the Shalom Suite“. We had heard success stories and thought, “even if we make $500/month, we’d be happy and it’d be fun!” Our first month, we made $700 and we were pumped!
We loved hosting and meeting with people from all over the world. Since our launch, we’ve had Indians, Italians, Germans, Australians, Jordanians, and others. We’ve had over 180 guests stay with us in our humble little garage apartment. We’ve also hosted many friends and family.
Backstory on the name “The Shalom Suite”
I had just read some books that talked about this amazing hebrew word Shalom. I was fascinated to learn that it speaks of completeness, fullness, or wholeness in body and life. We wanted to create a peace of shalom and blessings. I even wrote verses on the studs just declaring things over the space. We pray for our guests often and have had the opportunity to pray with them some of them in person. It’s great to hear that many guests have commented on a peace they feel in the space.
If you’ve ever spoken to us about Airbnb, you know we get very excited, because we want everyone to do it! Sign up here 🙂 The experience has shown us that we really love to host people and make them feel welcome. We also love that it’s opened up the opportunity for us to travel and to bless ministries while not relying fully on the generosity of supporters. Starting this venture was not a random thing, but very much led by God in our eyes and we want to continue to use the space for His glory!
So that is the story of how we accidentally became Airbnb Hosts (and now superhosts yeehaw)! Come stay with us soon 😉