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Natural State Treehouses offers custom designs for play, work.

Josh Hart's father was a carpenter who taught building skills to schoolchildren for three decades--and to his son, who has decided to take the leap into self-employment with Natural State Treehouses.

The Tontitown business, formally incorporated as Hart Sustainable Investments LLC, is currently a one-man show, but Hart says customer response makes him think he'll need to hire some help before the end of the year.

"People have asked me about the economy and starting a business, and what I'm hearing is that people are tired of losing money in the stock market and want to invest in something durable that will add to the value of their home" Hart said.

He's also looking for people who would like to invest in his business.

Natural State Treehouses builds custom-designed tree houses, wooden play structures, retreat buildings for artists and writers, yoga and meditation spaces and outdoor sleeping platforms. The prices vary, of course, but play sets start at $1,900 and custom tree houses start at $3,000, Natural State Treehouses can rehab and recycle existing play structures as well.

"What really sets this business apart is our focus on sustainability," Hart said. "We're sourcing our cedar and cypress wood from family-owned mills in the region, emphasizing low-impact installations and looking for any way that we can to make this an environmentally friendly business.

"And we never use treated wood or toxic preservatives. This is very important to our customers."

Hart was formerly head of sales and marketing for the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, but he was building structures on the side even then.

"Everything is my own design and typically it is a custom design with input from the customer," he said.

NATURAL STATE TREEHOUSES

Owner: Joshua C. Hart

Address: 854 Callihan Loop, Tontitown 72762

Phone: (479) 387-0701

Hours: By appointment

Website: NaturalStateTreehouses.com

Email: NaturalStateTreehouses.com

By Gwen Moritz

GMoritz@ABPG.com
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Title Annotation:New Business
Author:Moritz, Gwen
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Sep 12, 2011
Words:315
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