Annie Jomphe and her husband, Martin Readman, who own Sitka Concept, have spent almost one year renovating old Airstreams.
The pair have a knack for construction, having worked in the industry together for over 20 years renovating homes.
After living on a sailboat and travelling the world with their three children, the family, who originally hail from Quebec and spent some time in Alberta, decided to settle in Penticton.
“When we got off the boat, we couldn’t live in a house,” explained Jomphe. “We bought an Airstream, renovated it ourselves and then we just fell in love with the Airstream and the idea of repurposing an old, vintage trailer that still has the capacity of being on the road.”
The couple are now working on their third unit.
“We try to reuse as much as possible,” Jomphe added.
Airstreams, which have sturdy structures and make them the best for repurposing, aren’t the easiest renovation, though.
“It’s actually harder than doing a house flip,” explained Jomphe. “It’s so small, so everything has to be well thought out. Everything is round, so it makes it way harder to build. It’s mastering the craftsmanship, which my husband has, and putting it on a mobile trailer.”
The couple most recently finished renovating a 1975 model.
“It’s all new, and what (the customer) wants, so it’s unique,” said Jomphe.
Jomphe said clients from Vancouver and Toronto have come forward, hiring the couple to repurpose their Airstreams, which have been shipped across the country to the Okanagan for their makeovers.
“There’s everything – heating, water, solar panels … they’re totally self-sufficient,” she said.
Jomphe said she’s unsure of what she and her husband will tackle next as their next challenging side project, but will continue to focus on woodworking and renovations for homeowners in the Okanagan.
Readman “wants to focus on high-end woodworking,” said Jomphe, adding he also does built-in cabinetry.
“That’s what he really loves to do.”