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"Functional art"

The functional part of artwork is what intrigues me the most: How can you make something unique and eye-catching but that also has an everyday purpose? With my woven pieces and my soaps, both can be achieved. My name is Natalie Jepson-Kundiger, and I’m this month’s featured artist at Root Coffeehouse! To celebrate, I’m offering my handmade soap gift sets for just $10 each through March 31!

This is my story:

My father, Barry, was a successful stoneware potter for 40 years who made gorgeous pieces of art that could be used in everyday life.

My mom was a weaver. I took two years of weaving in high school and bought an antique weaving loom from my art teacher.

In 2004, Tim and I got married, we made Pittsburg our home, I began teaching dance, and I started Willow Tree Weaving.

We traveled throughout the Midwest attending juried art shows, but when our family grew, we focused on local events.

My family always purchased handmade soap from an artist in the Ozarks; when they announced their retirement, I learned to make it myself.

Handmade soap is truly the best way to go and sustainability is a huge part of our lives.

My family lives on a farm outside Pittsburg and we make, grow, or locally source our food.

In my lotion bars and lip balms, I use ingredients from our own bees. I also have a special line of soaps using locally sourced ingredients from Matt with The Meat Shed. Soaps are wrapped in eco-friendly biodegradable shrink wrap.

Since 2016, I have attended the Pittsburg Farmers Market with my handmade creations along with seasonal jellies, jams, raw honey, free-range eggs, and other goodies.

I have been with Root Coffeehouse since it began and have loved the connections associated with this family-owned business!

— Natalie Jepson-Kundiger

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