|Jill uses her vintage Singer Featherweight machine for one her sewing projects. Photos by Melissa Donald. Photos were taken on the grounds of the Farmington Historic Plantation.|
If her husband and two teenage sons can’t find her, they know to check her she-shed, Jill Evans’ renovated 1972 Airstream camper — usually parked in the backyard of her Highlands property — that is her personal oasis. “It is my space. The feeling I get when I walk in is instant comfort. My husband might get frustrated — and it’s not like they even want to come in — but they know it’s my place,” Jill says.
|Jill has carefully picked out furnishings that give her camper a comfortable and cozy ambiance.|
Jill’s Airstream, Georgia, a name she chose for a daughter had she had one, is the embodiment of her passion for the past. For eight years she co-owned and operated the antique mall Crazy Daisy before selling to her partner. She now enjoys the antique pastime of quilting and works part-time at a quilting shop in Middletown. Jill relishes the nostalgia in old things: the smells, the simplicity. “The smells in the camper help me identify with my youth; there are no pretenses in there. I go there to read and quilt, to escape.”
The Airstream is filled with earth elements, wood and geometric accents, woodland animals, and natural light. Inspired by Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines’ design, it doubles as a prop for weddings and photos, and has been featured in Country Living’s Girl Camper Fair. Jill laughs that she has 100 followers on her personal Instagram, but over 1,000 for her Airstream profile.
“I love to stylize, to individualize a space, and I love a project. Every piece in my Airstream, I know where I found it. It has become my hobby. Oh, I had to get a little boat and station wagon to go with it — I’m way in!”
Jill says her oldest son is to blame for her she-shed addiction. He is an avid bass fisherman and his hobby schlepped the family out to countless fishing tournaments in rural areas without any nearby hotels. In order to follow him on the weekends, Jill, a glamper, not a tent-camper, suggested they invest in a vintage camper. The family first purchased a “canned ham” Shasta that Jill and her husband renovated themselves. Over time though, the Shasta became too small for a family of four, and the boys found it a little too “girly” with Jill’s enthusiasm for design. So, when Georgia fell into Jill’s lap at the right price, she was sold.
|View of the twin bed area and kitchen|
Airstreams can go for up to $100,000, but Jill was able to find this 209-square-foot fixer-upper for $15,000. It was in good condition and could accommodate her family with two beds, a kitchen, and even a bathroom complete with a shower and tub — and it only needed aesthetic updates. With help from her husband and father, Jill DIY’d the updates (paint, new countertop, upholstery, and appliances) for $2,000. Jill says her husband “has never told me no” and has always supported her vintage camper obsession. He even purchased a generator for her for Christmas.
Georgia is used for more than her looks, though. Jill’s family will be taking it to Zion National Park this summer, and she has a women’s trip planned in Texas this April. It’s already debuted at campgrounds and neighborhood backyard wine nights.
“It is an addiction, but it’s not an empty one.” Her older son is away at college now, and her younger will be out of the house in a couple of years. “We raised kids for 10 years and now we are getting back to what appeals to us as adults. When we get the boys through college, we’re going to take off. But I think I want a pop-up next…”