The owners and employees of Campfire Homes bring with them years of design and construction experience as well as a lifetime of love of the outdoors. Though each member of the team has areas of specialization and focus, there is a lot of overlap and collaboration involved. Everyone, whether an owner, an employee, or a subcontractor has a voice in our company.
The story of how Campfire Homes came to be is one of connections and perhaps coincidence. Mark Rostan, Michael Brown, and Drew Estes had been members of a real estate development company that went well until the economic collapse of 2008. Realizing that real estate was not the place to be at that time, they parted ways, but kept in touch. Several years later, Mark got to know Phyllis Tsang through a shared passion for trail running. One day in early 2014, Phyllis started talking about wanting a tiny house and how she had designed one and even gone so far as to get a quote on building it. Mark filed this information away but then didn't think about it for a while. Later that year, Drew and Mark reunited to start flipping foreclosures, but to also think about a way to get back into building a new company. About a month later, while Mark was walking his dogs, the conversation he had had with Phyllis came to mind and he quickly messaged Drew to look into tiny houses. Drew did and was intrigued about this unique niche and was immediately on board. Phyllis was brought into the fold and the three spent the next year researching, planning, designing, contacting suppliers, and basically making certain they could come to market with a high quality product. In December 2015, the first model was completed and appeared in area Christmas parades. A few years later, Michael joined the Campfire team and the story continues to be written.
Michael and his wife, Michelle, live in Blowing Rock with their three boys: Chase, Bennett, & Elijah. He served for four years in the Marines and went on to earned his degree from Appalachian State University. After flipping homes with several other members of Campfire for five years, he spent the next ten years in project and property management; gaining experience in student housing, home owner association management, long term rental management, and as a financial controller. He enjoys time with his family, sports, cooking, service to his church, and co-leads a leadership development group in his community. Michael's focus with Campfire Homes is finances and project management.
Born in Caldwell County, Drew lives with his three children: Hunter (currently a student at UNC-W,) Peyton, and Maddox, in Granite Falls. He's been a licensed contractor and real estate broker for over 20 years. As a contractor, he's handled projects from small remodels or repair jobs to half-million dollar homes. Though all of the partners love the outdoors, Drew is the resident hunter/fisher. He also enjoys hiking, ATVs and target shooting. He's very active in his church as a Deacon, serving on various committees, and acting as youth director. He's a member of the Granite Falls Revitalization Committee. Drew's focus with Campfire Homes is manufacturing and operations.
Mark received his degree in Business Management from N.C. State University and an MBA from Wake Forest University. He and his wife, Leslie, are lifelong residents of Valdese, a small town in the North Carolina Foothills. Mark and Leslie are members of Waldensian Presbyterian Church of Valdese. In addition to serving on several committees, he is a member of his Church's Session, and a board member of Community Foundation of Burke County and the Blue Ridge Healthcare Foundation. His primary roles are Sales/Marketing and Promotions, but still finds the actual construction process the most exciting and interesting. He is also working with local governments toward developing tiny house communities in our area.
Phyllis was the spark behind what would become Campfire Homes as she was the first of the partners to recognize the appeal of a simple, inexpensive lifestyle. Though we all want to have our own tiny house some day, at this time Phyllis is the one most likely, and in the best position to make the move. Phyllis serves as the company's head of design and works with customers wanting to customize their plans before construction. You will also find her sharing useful information on our Facebook page and putting her creative touch on our marketing materials.
Phyllis moved on from Campfire and is working as an architect in California. She retains her love of tiny houses and we still keep in contact and have tiny discussions from time to time. We're keeping her here on the website because she's an important part of our history.