Our Story

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 first 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 in. 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. 


Our Blog

After moving to the Iowa countryside, our family fell in love with the idea of living sustainably. Our blog, written mostly by Kayla, began as a way to dig deeper into simplistic lifestyle ideas like using less plastic, hang drying laundry, and living life as a single mother with tones of nature education and play. In the spring of 2016, Kayla planted an herb garden on our dining room table of about six pots, which quickly turned into 20+ pots of herbs and more succulents than we care to admit! We talked endlessly about starting a garden and how to source our food locally. 

Our dream of having a cottage-style kitchen garden came to life in 2017 equipped with a tiny greenhouse made of reclaimed windows and a flock of backyard chickens. Now we live on a small 3.5 acre farm! We hope to inspire others to live more sustainably, learn where their food comes from, and return to living a more simplified lifestyle. After two years of blogging, we have been featured in publications such as Heirloom Gardener, Artful Blogging, Willow and Sage, and Beekman 1802 Almanac.

On our blog you will find topics such as organic gardening, herbalism, rustic recipes, botanical remedies, raising chickens, eating whole foods, household projects, and events geared towards our business. The main focus of our blog is to share our journey in sustainable living by teaching others how to garden, keep small livestock, find local  and organic foods, and to simplify their homes and lives as well as to promote our business. We hope to leave you refreshed from a busy lifestyle, to share our experiences and our failures... We are learning every single day how to become farmers!

 
 

Under A Tin Roof

Meet Our Family

Want to learn more about our family and how we run Under A Tin Roof? 

Under A Tin Roof

Our Shop

We have always had a love of making goods by hand! Jill started this business back in 1997 painting custom murals, which led to a journey in hand painting children's furniture, creating carved wooden signs, hand painted containers and artwork, and eventually printed sportswear for our local high school. That was where the business came to stand still for a couple of years; we had moved across the country and found little inspiration down south. Kayla was about to enter college, and there was a definite need for rebirth in the brand! 

Once we reached Iowa, we found a burst of inspiration from the natural world around us that had seemed so hidden after living life in the city. Our items have evolved quite a bit in the past few years and continue to grow with us. We started out creating linen clothing for women and children.  We now create items that we love and find useful; you can find any array of slow living essentials in our online store. As two creative women, it's impossible for us to keep our energy singled in one place. You will always find something fresh here at Under A Tin Roof, always botanically inspired and filled with femininity. 

Our embroidery started an entire chain of events! What started out as custom designed art turned into embroidery kits, where you can learn how to create the finished pieces! You can find all of our embroidery kits in our online shop. That soon led to an online course, Beginner's Botanical Embroidery, to teach others how to perform the craft.

We now offer other online courses on how to homestead! We love being able to teach others within this space. Our online shop has also expanded to hand poured beeswax candles and bulk herbs and herbal tea blends grown on our farm. How fun! This upcoming Summer 2018, we plan to open up a small general store on our farm. Check back soon to see when we open!

 

 
 

Our Farm

After growing our first kitchen garden through the 2017 season, raising our small flock of six laying hens, and realizing where our passions lied we found a small gem about 10 miles down the road from our tiny house... A small 3.5 acre farm was for sale with a beautifully restored 1917 four square farmhouse. The farm came with 2 acres worth of space to grow, most of which was filled with mature aronia berry bushes. There was a large garage and a chicken coop. It was a dream, one that we debated back and forth over if we should dive into. Was small farming going to be it for us? 

Eventually the farm sold to another family, and we felt down but figured it was our destined path. We set to expand our own garden, which was about 1300 square feet at the time, to double the size. Our friend, Cara of Wild Farm Soap, had suggested that we start a small CSA paired with her pastured meat with the new expansion. In truth, the size garden we had planted had overloaded us with enough vegetables to feed two to three more families! Just as we were about to rent the tiller, the farm we had looked at before went back on the market.

After walking through the house and falling in love, we put our small homestead up for sale and sold it the next day! Wow! A whirlwind of a month later, and we were moving onto the farm in December 2017. We said goodbye to the Little Homestead with our greenhouse and studios. The laying hens stayed with the new family. 

Now we are just getting into our first year of life on the farm! We expanded our flock to 24 hens, two roosters, and eight ducks. There's 2 acres worth of produce, herbs, and cut flowers. We have a small orchard of apple, pear, and peach trees. There's even a hive of honeybees! We provide produce to our own CSA program. Soon we'll open our general store to the public where you can shop our handmade goods, bulk herbs, and fresh produce and eggs. We hope that you enjoy following along with our first year of high intensity mini farming. Our biggest wish is for you to know that we are not experts - we learn as we go and hope that you can experience that alongside us! Be sure to check out our blog, subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram.


 

Instagram

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