For the past decade, Jesse Russell has produced unscripted programming in New York and Los Angeles. He honed his skills on large network shows such as Hell’s Kitchen, Nashville Star and Design Star and on independent projects that took him from Iran to Tahiti. Last year he felt it was time to return to his hometown of Bend, Oregon where he started Tongue and Groove Tiny Homes with his childhood friend Kit Blackwelder. “The Tiny House movement represents a lifestyle paradigm shift. Eliminating most of your possessions and living in a 200 square foot house won’t appeal to everyone. However, a growing number of people have concluded that a big house and a focus on the material won’t make you happier; in fact, it just complicates things. A tiny house is a way to free yourself and open to more opportunities. It allows you to focus on the quality and quantity of your experiences; to have more time to contribute to your community; to create space to live a more meaningful life. It isn’t a cure-all, but it can have a positive impact on the way we live.” Jesse and Kit are currently building Tiny Houses and a Tiny Tavern.
Kit Blackwelder was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in Bend, Oregon.
He started working in the construction field out of high school in the early 1990s helping build homes. By 2011 he was managing the construction of timeshare resorts in the Hawaiian Islands. Relocating back to Bend in 2013, Kit started the inspection and consulting company Blackwelder & Son. Kit splits his time between his family, Blackwelder & Son, and Tongue and Groove Tiny Houses.