Interview: Roaming Roots

Give us your full names.  

CJ Morrison & Joseph Kunkel. Together we own Roaming Roots. 

Share the kind of work you do. 

We craft wood wall art hangings, wood furnishings and modern geometric shelves.  

What’s the biggest thing you had to overcome to find success in your work?

Not getting caught up in all the details of every piece. We strive for every piece to be "perfect" with no gaps or blemishes, but now we try and take a step back and look at the piece with new eyes. This really helps us appreciate it for everything that it is, not what it isn't. 

What is the risk in pursuing doing the work you love?

We've found that the greatest risk is in taking no risks at all. You risk your money, time, possessions, personal space, comforts and at times, your sanity. But you have to ask yourself, “How badly do I want this and what am I willing to sacrifice in return to get it?”

For example: last summer, we had a show booked in Denver. To make this a possibility, we had to rent a trailer for almost a week, pay for gas in a van that got about 15 mpg and pay for food. We had already decided to give up the comfort of getting a place to stay and sleep in the van. When the time came to prepare for the show, we only had enough money to get there and back, with maybe $50 left over. This was an incredibly hard decision for us because it would have been too easy to stay and not take the risk. But we knew that for us to gain something we never had before, we had to do the unthinkable. We had to take the gamble. We did really well at the show, we got many of our remaining pieces into a local store and shortly after getting back we had a few big ticket items sell to people who saw us in Denver. This was a very powerful turning point for us and our business. Without taking that risk, we would have gained nothing.

What’s the biggest way your business has changed since you started it?

We have a much better idea now of what will look good and what might not. When we started we made all kinds of random designs with no real direction. The more and more we created, though, the better chance we had at finding that one piece that would do really well.