Meet our #NobleBabe Kayla Lobermeier of @underatinroof— a blog specializing in homemaking, gardening, & preserving based in rural Southeast Iowa with her sons Theodore 'Tad' (Age 6) & Dean (7 months).
Tell us about how your project 'Under a Tin Roof' came to be! I started the business Under A Tin Roof with my mom in the autumn of 2015. My mom had owned her own business since 1997; I had spent most of my adolescence and young adulthood working the food industry, mainly restaurants. I had been working nights at a local brewery while my oldest son, Tad, was only a few months old, when my mom asked if I would help her create a website for her handmade business. I really enjoyed working on the photography and web design, and I had always wanted to write a blog but never felt like my life was really all that interesting. She pushed me to start writing about single motherhood and experiencing life in the country (we are originally from the Chicagoland area), and it just sort of blossomed from there. We started a garden in the backyard, raised a few chickens, and eventually my parents bought a farm and we started a vegetable CSA. Now my mom primarily grows flowers on the farm, I got married and moved back into town with my little family, and my main job is writing our blog and creating content for our social media, sharing our life and teaching others how to live a slow, seasonal lifestyle through gardening, cooking, preserving, and homemaking. Kind of can't believe it sometimes!
What's it been like to partner with your mother on this endeavor? How has your vision for it changed since first starting out? Oh, that part has always been easy. My mom is my best friend, and we have always been very close. I have a lot of my dad's personality, so I think we work together well in similar ways that they work together well. She is outgoing, consistently positive, inspiring, and full of fresh ideas and creativity. She is the most incredible artist I know and so inventive and just an awesome person to be around. Whenever we meet people, she always befriends them, and she really brings the spirit to our business when it comes to in-person ordeals. I, on the other hand, am a quiet, observant deep-thinker. I bottle all of my feelings up and put them on paper. We compliment each other; she creates the vision and I do the research to make it happen. Then we come together to create the final product. The vision has certainly changed; when we first started we were dedicated to creating handmade goods (clothing, household items, apothecary and herbal items), then we moved onto farming. Before I met my husband, I was all for making market vegetable farming my full-time career, but I don't think it would have worked out. I've been thankful to have the opportunity to make writing my full-time job, even though it's divided our business a bit. That's been my dream since I was about eight-years-old, and I am grateful for parents that let me chase those dreams!
Any advice you could offer to those who'd love to start gardening but have no clue where to start?! There's a lot to cover in that department! Get a book that you like and understand the way it's written, something easy to follow. Grow what you like to eat first before getting carried away with more interesting vegetables and herbs. Start small and continue to expand. You can pack a lot of veggies into a small garden!
Speaking of, what are your three favorite things to tend to in your own garden? I always love tomatoes, especially heirlooms! They are the queens of summer, and we love eating tomato sandwiches with homemade mayo. Other things I like to grow are zinnias and green beans.
How have you found the balance between motherhood and pursuing your own personal and creative projects? It is my biggest struggle and deepest passion! Each day brings new challenges and opportunities for creativity. I have always been inspired to be creative since I was a child, so I knew it was something that I wanted to pursue as an adult. Before I had my first son, I was planning to go to film school and become a screenwriter. My life plans changed a little, but I would not change a thing! To me, having a creative career is a part of me that I would not be able to give up, so I make time for it. To balance that along with caring for children each day, I've found the best way to make it through the day with minimal tears is to include them in the process. It takes twice as long and there's more mess, but at the end of the day, we have spent time together and they're building up on their own creativity or finding ways to entertain themselves and stretch their amazing imaginations. Also, take advantage of nap time - ha!
(Tad wearing the Tank Suit in Oat Milk)
From the looks of it, your family knows how to slow down and appreciate your surroundings. What are your favorite ways to cherish that time & enjoy each other's company? We do enjoy slowing down! Living out in the country, it tends to be easier to slow down just by going outside and exploring the surrounding countryside. You can easily find wildlife living in amongst daily life there, see the stars at night. It's more challenging to appreciate the nature around you the closer you get to civilization! Now that we live in town, we try to spend a lot of time in our garden, look for the simple beauty on walks around the neighborhood, and take trips back out to the farm, the lake, or take a hike through the woods. Raising a child who notices nature is simple - point it out and take an interest in it yourself! It may take a little while for them to show you they can see it, but eventually they do!
(Kayla on the left is wearing an Adult Waffle Top & Bottom in Oat Milk, Tad on the right is wearing the Waffle L/S Set in Blue Moon & Dean in the center is wearing the Waffle One Piece Sleeper in Oat Milk)
Favorite way to wear your Noble pieces? We love our Noble pieces for their comfortable fabrics, flexibility, and durability. The kids can move and play in them without feeling restricted, something that is a must for our family! We have two rough and tumble boys who like to get dirty. We like to wear them while working out on the farm or at the lake where we spend a lot of our summer evenings!
Follow Kayla here at @underatinroof