Well-Crafted: A Family Heirloom Homestead in Rural Oregon

A pair of artists and entrepreneurs lives a handcrafted life on a family heirloom homestead in rural Oregon.

| May/June 2014

  • Antique Collectibles and Crafts
    A display of collected antiques, handmade pom-pom crafts and dried herbs sit on top of a rescued wine barrel inside the entry door.
    Photo by Barry Rustin
  • Crystal, the Miniature Donkey Grazes Outside
    Cara and Jason’s donkey, Crystal, enjoys munching on some grass at dusk.
    Photo by Barry Rustin
  • View of the Hibbs' Backyard Firepit
    A backyard firepit makes appreciating the expansive views easy nearly year-round in Oregon’s mild climate.
    Photo by Barry Rustin
  • Patio with Raised Garden Beds
    A patio made of concrete pavers is the perfect place for raised beds and for the chickens to roam. Jason and Cara grow green beans, onions, tomatoes, rhubarb, carrots, strawberries, potatoes, basil, squash, zucchini, marion berries, blueberries, eggplants and more in their gardens.
    Photo by Barry Rustin
  • Homemade Dining Room Table
    Jason built the dining room table out of scraps of wood from the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
    Photo by Barry Rustin
  • Jason and Cara Hibbs Infront of their Home
    Jason and Cara Hibbs live in a rural Oregon house Cara’s dad built.
    Photo by Barry Rustin
  • Eat-in Dining Nook
    The efficient kitchen includes a light-filled, eat-in dining nook, lots of cabinet space and a hanging pot rack.
    Photo by Barry Rustin
  • Screen Printed Pillow Accents Living Room Design
    In the living room, a planter and large window seat connect the home to its surroundings, while antique furnishings and décor lend personality to the home.
    Photo by Barry Rustin
  • Simple Master Bedroom Design
    In the master bedroom, handlaid ceiling planks, a remarkable ceiling line and a half-moon window create interest, while a soft curtain on a four-poster bed brings softness and romance.
    Photo by Barry Rustin
  • Cara Hibbs in Her Screenprinting Studio
    Cara works on her screen printing machine in the couple’s backyard studio.
    Photo by Barry Rustin
  • Mason Jar Screen Print Design on Organic Cotton Bag
    Organic cotton lunch sack from Oh Little Rabbit.
    Photo by Craig Paulsen
  • Screen Printed Organic Cotton Lunch Sacks
    The couple prints a variety of illustrations onto organic cotton lunch sacks.
    Photo by Craig Paulsen
  • Organic Dyes and Squeegees Used in Screen Printing
    Cara and Jason screen print their original illustrations on a wide range of cloth housewares.
    Photo by Craig Paulsen
  • Cara and Jason Relaxing in their Well-Lit Living Room
    High ceilings, huge windows overlooking a beautiful view and built-in shelving makes the living room bright and inviting.
    Photo by Barry Rustin

  • Antique Collectibles and Crafts
  • Crystal, the Miniature Donkey Grazes Outside
  • View of the Hibbs' Backyard Firepit
  • Patio with Raised Garden Beds
  • Homemade Dining Room Table
  • Jason and Cara Hibbs Infront of their Home
  • Eat-in Dining Nook
  • Screen Printed Pillow Accents Living Room Design
  • Simple Master Bedroom Design
  • Cara Hibbs in Her Screenprinting Studio
  • Mason Jar Screen Print Design on Organic Cotton Bag
  • Screen Printed Organic Cotton Lunch Sacks
  • Organic Dyes and Squeegees Used in Screen Printing
  • Cara and Jason Relaxing in their Well-Lit Living Room

From their rural family heirloom home outside Albany, Oregon, artists, entrepreneurs and homesteaders Jason and Cara Hibbs run the successful organic housewares and gift company Oh, Little Rabbit. Living in Cara’s childhood home, complete with several acres of land, a chicken flock, a minidonkey, a horse, two alpaca/llama mixes, bountiful gardens, fruit trees and more, Cara and Jason take inspiration from their homestead and the natural beauty around them for the original designs—which include canning jars, flying pigs,  lanterns, turtles, pinecones, squirrels, trees, herbs, carrots and Sasquatch, among many others—they create for their handprinted housewares.

Baby Bunny

About three years ago, Jason and Cara were living in Albany managing a storage facility. “It was the most boring job you could have,” Jason says. “We sat in an office all day, but no one came in regularly so it was really slow.” Cara had recently quit fine art school for illustration (because she couldn’t afford it), but she wanted to experiment with different art techniques, so she and Jason started making block prints. After printing on anything they could get their hands on—bags, journals, whatever—they decided to make a set of tea towels, “I think because we needed some towels,” Jason says.

They made a few extra, and a friend had told Cara about the online craft marketplace Etsy, so the couple thought, “Why not,” set up an online store and posted some towels. “We posted it on a Friday after work and went to dinner,” Jason says. “When we came back we had sold one. We felt a mix of excitement and a little fear, like ‘What do we do now?’ We’d never done anything like this before, so we were running around thinking about how we were going to ship it. We kept going and everything we posted would sell as quick as we got it posted.”

The two were printing using carved rubber blocks. They liked the effect but not the amount of time it took to create each print—about an hour and a half for each towel they sold for $12. They knew they needed to come up with a more time-efficient way to make their product, so they started experimenting with screen printing, starting with an inexpensive hobbyist kit they bought at a craft store. At the time, the two were living in the 400-square-foot apartment above the storage facility where they worked. As their business continued to expand, “We cleaned out the coat closet and we made this screen printing cart that we could roll in and out of it,” Jason says. “So the business literally started out of a coat closet in our old apartment.”



Jason had been in a competitive nursing program, and missing entry into one phase of the program meant he had three months off from classes. During that time, the business continued to pick up steam. The two realized it was time for both of them to consider jumping in full-time if they really wanted to make a go of it.

“I had been thinking this would be my job and Jason was just helping me,” Cara says. “But during that period I realized it was growing faster than I could keep up with and that I couldn’t do it by myself. So we took that leap and dedicated all of our time to the business.”



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