how it all began

We are Jill and Kayla Haupt. Together we own Under a Tin Roof, a small family business built around our love of all things handmade, simple living, and our bond as mother and daughter.

Our business began in 1997 when Jill was painting custom murals and children's furniture. In the spring of 2015, Kayla welcomed her only son, Tad, as a single mother. We were living in the suburbs of Houston, Texas at the time and feeling confined, bruised, and overwhelmed with the fast-paced lifestyle that was happening down south. As a family, we decided it was time to head back home to our roots, the Midwest. While our family had grown up living in the Chicagoland area, Jill had some relatives living in the Heartland, a small town in Iowa called Kalona. We packed up a few of our things and one-month-old Tad, sold a majority of our belongings, and moved into a 675 square foot fixer upper with a half acre back lawn. 

For the first few months we weren't sure which direction to go. Kayla was set to start a year of college at the University of Iowa in the fall, and Jill was feeling directionless with her business. After a few months of working odd jobs that neither of us liked, Jill asked Kayla if she could help redesign her website. In November of 2015, the division Under A Tin Roof was created. We decided to go into business together! Coupled with Jill's creative designs and Kayla's love of writing, our blog and products were set down a path we had no idea we would be on!

We design and create useful handmade goods such as sustainable apparel, household items, hand poured beeswax candles, and embroidery kits. Jill is a gifted illustrator, graphic designer, and craftswoman. She dreams up our designs and illustrates our printed graphics. Kayla is a master gardener, writes our blog, and handles our social media. We now even sell online courses and bulk herbs grown on our farm! Each of our products is inspired by our love of botanicals, femininity, and the picturesque country lifestyle that we live amongst every single day. 

We Became Farmers

After spending the next couple of years creating new products and designs, we finally found a style that clicked for us. We toted our goods across the country to different art fairs and shows, including Country Living Fair and Beekman 1802. It was such a fun time for our business, and we loved getting know our customers face-to-face.

In 2015, Kayla also started our blog, which showcases a number of topics on homesteading. From gardening and keeping chickens to herbal remedies and seasonal recipes you can find just about everything you need to get started creating a slower, simpler lifestyle for yourself no matter where you live. In the spring of 2017, we built a small greenhouse out of reclaimed windows and cut out a 1,300 square foot garden in our backyard. We bought six laying hens and built a coop for them near the vegetables. It was pure bliss! Our blog took off, and it was finally feeling like we found a niche.

Then fate intervened. A farm, about 15 minutes down the road from our residential property went up for sale. It was a dream! With 3.5 acres and the most beautiful farmhouse, we knew in our minds that it had the potential to move our lifestyle and business to the next level. We said goodbye to our beautiful garden and greenhouse and became farmers. The following spring of 2018, we traded our designer boots from the city for muck boots and our cute garden gloves for the work ones. It was time to get dirty!

With a lot of grit and hard work, our garden became a fully fledged field of working row crops. We planted thousands of seeds and grew vegetables not only for ourselves but for our neighbors. In the summer of 2018, we started our first Community Supported Agriculture Program. We welcomed 20 more chickens to our flock, plus eight ducks and three roosters. The garage that came with the property was converted, with the talent of Jill’s husband Kurt, into our very own brick and mortar store.

Under A Tin Roof Farm and Country Store was born! We now welcome visitors from all over the country to our farm to celebrate what our business has become. Our third growing season and first season as a fully-operating store and farm is about to begin in 2019. We have big plans!

We want to welcome you not only to our website but to our farm and lifestyle. You’ll find lots of wonderful information on our blog, or you can come out and visit the farm yourself. Shop in our store or come take a workshop from us. There are events happening all year round that you and the family can enjoy. Stop on in and say hello!

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