Lindsey Maxwell ’14 launched van-conversion company Featherbuilt in 2020 and hasn’t looked back since. She hopes to inspire others to take the leap into entrepreneurship and experience new adventures.
The rise of COVID-19 in early 2020 brought many things – masks, social distancing and hours upon hours of binge-watching television, but one that had the potential to stick around longer than others was quarantine projects.
Many people started them, very few finished and even fewer have continued to keep up the good work. Lindsey Maxwell ’14 falls into that final category after turning her quarantine project into a fully-fledged business.
Maxwell and her partner launched Featherbuilt in their driveway in Denver, Colorado, in 2020. The two-person team specializes in enhancing the travel experience for adventurers across America, refurbishing vans into custom living spaces and providing customers with products to do it themselves. In a time when road travel was exploding, Maxwell jumped at the chance to grow in an industry she already felt at home in.
Following her 2014 graduation, Maxwell moved to Charlotte to teach preschool, a role very different from what she is doing now. A year and a half later, Maxwell left her life in the U.S. behind and moved to Italy to be an au pair, an opportunity that she could not pass up. It was during this stage of her life that she really fell in love with traveling, and the passion that would soon fuel Featherbuilt started to grow.
“While I was living and working in Italy, my job was about 75% travel and I completely fell in love with incorporating travel into a regular part of my life,” said Maxwell. “In 2018 as I was finishing up my time in Italy, I stumbled across a blog from a woman who had converted a van into a tiny home and was traveling around the country and living out of it. I knew this was something I needed to do.”
Upon her return to the U.S., Maxwell purchased a Sprinter van and started her conversion career with the help of her dad. Little did she know that that van would change her life forever as she met her partner and co-owner of Featherbuilt after a couple of months on the road in her new home on wheels. In the early stages of starting his own van conversion business, it was a match made in heaven just in time for COVID-19 to hit and quarantine projects to take over. For Maxwell and her partner, their quarantine project was on a larger scale than most as she bought a second van and they joined forces to make it a home.
“There was absolutely no hesitation starting this business because there was pretty much …….