We love Aaron, his family and their dedication to zero-waste living. Recently, Aaron and his wife Christine made the big decision to live more simply and sustainably. Two years ago, they downsized from an apartment to an RV. Having 250 square feet of living space has changed the way both of them look at "stuff" and improved the way they live, eat and communicate.
Learn more about Aaron's extraordinary life and why he chooses PiperWai to be part of it.
How did you hear about PiperWai?
My wife had a coworker suggest it when she was talking about switching to an all-natural deodorant. I had also seen it on Shark Tank but at the time, I hadn’t considered it being something I would ever do.
What was your first impression when you tried it?
I decided that I would go through the process of trying it out to support my wife and figured if it didn’t work, we would both be stinky together. Seeing the glass jar with the paste, I was wondering what I was getting myself into. Smearing a paste with my hands into my pits was not something I ever thought I would be doing.
We had read that for the best results, that shaved armpits were suggested. So now I have this gray paste, shaved pits and wondering if I am going to smell. I found that for the first week I smelled a little at the end of the day but not horrible, it was a mix of figuring how much to put on and when to reapply if I was working out or active. It worked!
What about PiperWai makes you want to spread the word to others about the product?
I have sensitive skin. I hadn’t realized to what degree until I made some changes, including using PiperWai. I found that after a few weeks of using it, I didn’t smell at the end of the day, and often wouldn’t need to reapply until the midway through the next day if I wanted. I have never found any deodorant/antiperspirant that could do that. Beyond it working, my armpits were no longer sore. I always just assumed that came along with wearing deodorant. I ran out of my first jar and didn’t plan for ordering more and our local place was out, so I was forced to use my old deodorant that was left over. I immediately found that I had a lovely red rash in my underarms and it confirmed that I had made the right decision with switching and haven’t looked back.
You and you wife live an impressively minimalist life. Tell us about the changes you’ve made in the past two years.
My wife, Christine, and I were living in an apartment for about four years and we were getting tired of ever-increasing rent. We looked into buying a house, but our local market is ridiculously high so I started looking into other options. Tiny houses were all the rage at the time, but for what you get and what you pay, it was not worth the price or limiting where we could live. I ended up finding a couple of YouTubers that were full-time RVers who traveled all the time. It was enough to see what they were doing and if it was plausible. Then I pitched the idea to my wife. She didn’t really jump for it right away as I expected, but she eventually saw its benefits.
About two years ago, we started selling our stuff and looking for an RV. It was hard to let go of things at first, but then we started to realize that we hadn’t used it or didn’t need it. We ended up donating a lot of clothes, selling our furniture on the cheap to friends or neighbors, and reduced our personal belongings to fit within a 250 square-foot living space. Oh, I forgot to mention, we had a 90-pound chocolate lab named Hudson as well.
How has minimalism changed your life for the better?
We look at “stuff” differently. We stop to think if we really need it. Things we buy need to last and need to usually serve more than one purpose. We eat better, as we don’t have much room in the fridge, so most of our stuff tends to be fresh. We are always together, for better or for worse, and this has aided in our communication. We have slowed down, we spend more time outside enjoying our beautiful Eastern Washington sunsets, we know more of our neighbors than anywhere else we have ever lived, and it provides us the security of know if we ever need to relocate, we just have to hitch it up the the truck and go.
You recently introduced your lab Leia into your family. What’s the best part about having her around?
I had mentioned Hudson before, he was 11 and basically our child. We lost him the beginning of 2017 and that was harder than we could ever have imagined. We took some time to heal and eventually we just felt like we were ready and ended up finding Leia that summer. She is a hoot, a night-and-day difference from Hudson, and smarter than any dog we have ever had. She is always happy to see us and loves to sit with us when she is not running circles at the dog park or going for a walk. She has been a challenge, as it had been over 11 years since we've had a puppy, but it has also been rewarding. We plan to get her involved in some sort of activity (barn hunt, agility and some hunting) as she gets older. She is definitely up for the challenge, but for now she is our little princess and spoiled rotten.
Tell us about a project you’re proud of, whether it’s in your career, volunteering or personal hobbies.
I love to cook. I have a Traeger and it has allowed me to pursue a passion of mine. I prepared some pork carnitas for Easter last year for a family dinner. My wife’s great uncle had never had tacos, let alone carnitas. He raved about them and made sure he got his fill. I have since been asked to cook them for a couple of events. I don’t do it to make money, just enough to cover the costs. I love to feed people and get a rise out of them enjoying it.
Do you have any hidden talents or fun facts about yourself you can share?
I have a wealth of knowledge on things that don’t really benefit me much other than at trivia. Comics, music, TV, movies, history, cars, pretty much most anything pop culture. My wife calls me the “Tidbits Man” after a local paper that has random facts and history in it.
What’s your favorite animal?
The dog. Hudson, our chocolate lab, forever changed my heart on this. He touched us in so many ways we never could have imagined. They are so loyal, loving and always forgive us of our shortcomings. We all could learn from them.
How about the most embarrassing concert you’ve been to? (No judgement.)
None, honestly. I have seen a lot of concerts, but none I would ever be embarrassed by. I have seen James Taylor, Aerosmith, Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World, Newfound Glory, Less Than Jake, Juliana Theory, Yellow Card, Flogging Molly, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Switchfoot (actually had dinner with them before the show, they were still touring in a van at this point), Rend Collective, The Supertones, Relient K, Third Day, The Ataris, Danny Gokey, and many more. I guess if anything, maybe I am embarrassed that a good portion of these show my age…?
Anything else you would like the internet to know about you?
I love my wife. She is my best friend, my co-pilot and I thank God for bringing her into my life. If the internet needs to know anything, that is the most important thing I think I can share.