We had the good fortune of connecting with Vaughn Dabney and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vaughn, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
One of the foundations for starting my van conversion company as well as living in my tiny home truck is for “representation”. I am the founder of the first black owned van conversion but I also live inside of a delivery truck that I converted. I am adding my story to the narrative. I am an example for my community of black and brown people to explore an alternative method of living. People have asked me why I even mention being a “black man” doing the van life thing, instead of just being a “man” doing this. Simply put, I ask the question, “How does one attain new heights without first observing a precedent set by one of their peers?” It’s an extremely hard thing to do, especially when a system has been put in place to maintain complacency among a population. I’m here to disrupt everything we know; to create another option of freedom. Nomadic living affords two very powerful things: control over time and finances. The ability to harness both of these assets is a powerful thing and if I can convince just one person from my community to try it, I’ve succeeded.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Unoma Haus designs and builds high quality, off-grid van conversions for customers who want experiences and the freedom to travel. We are rolling out three business verticals: rentals, sales, and a subscription model. We are starting out with custom conversion sales to establish our baseline, but we are growing quickly.

Three years ago I built my own home inside a delivery truck and I’ve been living in it ever since. When I discuss what I did, I always make sure to include that I’m a black man doing this because representation matters. Especially in a situation that is novel to the community I represent. In order for it to be normalized someone has to set the example. My goal is to inspire the black and brown community to explore alternative methods of living. As of today, it’s been three years of living in my truck and I just recently launched a company building van conversions for customers.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Sage Bistro in Culver City. Monte’s Burger Joint
Perch in DTLA
Wurstküche in the Arts District
Hermosa Beach
Roller Skating at Northridge Skateland
Farmer’s Market in Culver City
A visit to CAAM
A visit to LACMA
A visit to The Broad Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My community of friends and family has been incredible since I started this journey in 2018. I left LA and told my circle that I was doing this and they said, “We’ll be here if you need us”. I could not have done this alone.

Website: https://unomahaus.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mrdabneyhttps://instagram.com/unomahaus.com

Linkedin: https://linkedin.com/in/vaughndabney

Youtube: https://youtube.com/thetinyhometruck

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