van life enthusiast explains crucial renovations that help her run a business in a tiny space

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Sophie Storm Roberts runs her business entirely from a van.Sophie StormRoberts

  • An athlete, founder and motivational speaker runs her business of adventure athletes from her van.

  • Sophie Storm Roberts has installed solar panels, rotating chairs and a skylight to help her work.

  • While it has helped her be more creative, she says the small space can sometimes be difficult.

Athlete, mental coach and motivational speaker, Sophie Storm Roberts runs her adventure athlete business entirely from a converted van. Roberts’ business, Challenge Sophie, involves brands that sponsor her to complete athletic challenges or create social media content.

Sophie Storm Roberts with van

Sophie StormRoberts

Roberts’ business involves a lot of travel. She told Insider that she regularly travels across the country to lead workshops or take on athletic challenges. Roberts said living and working from the van made that part of the job easier and spurred his creativity.

Sophie Storm Roberts in her van

Sophie StormRoberts

However, running a business from a van comes with some challenges. Roberts said when converting her van, it was important that she find ways to nurture her creativity while staying connected to the outside world.

Sophie Storm Roberts in Van

Sophie StormRoberts

Turning his van into a mobile living and working space meant some serious renovation work. “I wanted to use the van to run my business,” she said. “But that meant I had to adapt the space.”

Sophie Storm Roberts' van before renovation

Sophie StormRoberts

Roberts said managing the limited space in the van was key to his productivity. She added that she didn’t want to feel like she was on her own or working from her bed.

Sophie Storm Roberts in her van

Sophie StormRoberts

Roberts installed adaptable seating to utilize the space. “The two seats next to the driver’s seat swivel,” Roberts said. “So there are actually seats for five people in my van.”

Sophie Storm Roberts works out of a van

Sophie StormRoberts

Roberts said she also installed a skylight to make sure the van didn’t feel dark. “Natural light keeps me connected to nature,” she said. “We wanted to feel like we introduced the natural world.”

Sophie Storm Roberts sunroof van

Sophie StormRoberts

Solar panels installed on the roof of the van also keep it connected to the outside world. “The solar panels mean I can plug in my laptop and have it get out of the sun, which is a pretty cool feeling,” she said.

Sophie Storm Roberts on top of her

Sophie StormRoberts

The roof is another way Roberts uses the space in his pickup truck. The van includes a ladder leading to the roof and a custom panel to sit on. She said she often sat there with her morning coffee or a book when she had a break.

Sophie Storm Roberts on the roof of her va

Sophie StormRoberts

But life in a van is not always easy. Roberts said the process had been an adjustment. “I think it can definitely feel lonely or isolated at times,” she said.

Sophie StormRoberts

Sophie StormRoberts

Roberts said the small space also means she needs to be very organized and tidy. “A lot of time is spent organizing and worrying about daily tasks,” she said. “Things that, when you live in a house, you wouldn’t even think twice about.”

Sophie Storm Roberts in her van

Sophie StormRoberts

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