Ms. Peggies Place – In the Spotlight

 

Ms. Peggie's Place, San Diego, CA

Ms. Peggie’s Place, San Diego, CA

A group of dedicated miniaturists at Ms. Peggies Place.

A group of dedicated miniaturists at Ms. Peggies Place.

How can a 700 square foot dollhouse and miniature shop have anything and everything your miniaturist heart desires? It’s true. Ms. Peggies Place in San Diego, CA is filled to the brim with delightful dollhouses, miniatures and accessories.  Michael Sue Nanos, the Proprietress of this gem, brings a lifelong love of miniatures and a career of working for Lee Ward’s, the craft industry giant that merged with Michael’s in 1994.  While working for Lee Ward’s, Michael Sue became acquainted with then frequent customer and miniature artisan, Peg Devine, the original owner of Ms. Peggies Place. Ms Devine must have seen the love of miniatures in Michael Sue. Not only did she ask Michael Sue to create custom items for the store, but in 2003 when Ms. Devine retired, she sold the store to Michael Sue.

Michael Sue Nanos, Owner of Ms. Peggie's Place

Michael Sue Nanos, Owner of Ms. Peggie’s Place

 This compact shop is well organized and amply stocked with rows and rows of miniature displays showcasing just about every type of miniature imaginable. Miniature food to miniature garage tools. Electrical supplies, trims, floor coverings, wallpaper, doors, windows, and of course, dollhouses! Michael Sue says she only carries Real Good Toys dollhouses.  She says the selection is good and there is no better quality on the market. And she adds that our customer service is amazing! Michael Sue also stocks handmade, one-of-a-kind miniature treasures, and if she doesn’t have it, she will find it for you. She carries everything needed to make a miniature house a home. Michael Sue says, “I want this to be a feel good shop.” To that end, all displays in the shop are open and touchable. She has created an inviting and friendly atmosphere in her shop.

Displays full of miniature treasures

Displays full of miniature treasures

 The people that walk through the door are Michael Sue’s favorite part of owning a miniature shop. She says, “There is a constant exchange of ideas and I’m always learning.” Ms. Peggies Place offers onsite classes for children on designing and building dollhouses and miniatures. Just call the shop at 858-483-2621 for details. The shop is located at 5063 Cass Street, San Diego, CA 92109-1810. The shop hours are Monday & Tuesday – Closed, Wednesday & Thursday – 5pm to 8pm, Friday – 12 pm to 5 pm, Saturday – 10am to 5 pm, and Sunday – 11am to 5pm. Find them on Facebook at Ms. Peggies Place and online at www.mspeggiesplace.com. You will also find a delightful and informative blog on her website. Take a few minutes and look at all of her dollhouse building projects too. They are exquisite! Planning a visit to Southern California in the near future? Put a visit to Ms. Peggies Place at the top of your list!

 Here is what customers have to say about the only miniature shop in San Diego,

…So happy I finally found a great miniature store in the San Diego area.

…This is the best kept secret in town.

…One on one service, as well as unhurried advice.

Real Good Toys 2014 Facebook Build-Along Project – The Collectibles Cabinet

Presenting Real Good Toys 4th Annual Facebook Build-Along Project…The Collectibles Cabinet shell kit.

The Collectibles Cabinet is perfect for all those special treasures that are close to your heart.  The J-TEAM is calling all mini “FAN”atics…beginner, intermediate and advanced builders of all ages, to please join us for RGT’s 4th Annual Facebook Build-Along.  Come share the experience and share the fun!

On Monday, March 17th, join Jen & Jodi for a worldwide mini project featuring the NEW Real Good Toys Collectibles Cabinet Shell Kit.  Invite your customers, spouse, friends, co-workers, children, grandchildren, miniature club members or   grandparents…anybody you think might be interested in joining us.    Individualize and design your own dream project while sharing creativity and enthusiasm with a whole group of like-minded folks.

This year’s project is a front-opening design, which will be a new experience for many build-alongers, including the J-TEAM.  The 1 inch scale shell kit features standard size window and door openings.  This makes customizing the Collectibles Cabinet easier than ever!

The kit is MADE IN THE USA and produced using only high-quality, cabinet grade, Smooth MDF (medium density fiberboard).  The MDF is 3/8″ thick, the side walls are grooved for easy floor placement and assembly.  All hardware for hinging the front   panel is included and you can choose to hinge the panel left or right…the choice is yours.

Check out all the classic kit features,  see more pictures, recommended supplies and so much more on our website.

Jodi and I look forward to hearing from you and hope you’ll be able to join us for what is sure to be an exciting mini adventure!

Many mini wishes! – Jennifer

Real Good Toys helps Vermont Foodbank

Facebook Build Along Projects for sale in the Real Good Toys Factory Outlet Store

Facebook Build Along Projects for sale in the Real Good Toys Factory Outlet Store

Is it any wonder that dollhouses can play an important part in helping those less fortunate?  For three years Real Good Toys Facebook fans have participated with us in our annual Build Along.  Each year, as the Build Along winds down, Jennifer and I put our Build Along projects up for sale in our Factory Outlet Store.  We decided that the proceeds of the sale of these Build Along projects would be donated to the Vermont Foodbank.  Just recently a very excited customer bought one of these special, one-of-a-kind projects, and she was equally excited to know that she was helping the Vermont Foodbank at the same time. 

Real Good Toys donates to the Vermont Foodbank.

Real Good Toys donates to the Vermont Foodbank.

Today I met with Stephani Kononan of the Vermont Foodbank to present these proceeds to that very worthy organization.  Stephani said our donation would help them provide 525 meals to our neighbors in need.  The Vermont FoodBank helps to feed as many as 86,000 Vermonters who need food assistance.  They provide assistance to 270 food shelves, meal sites, senior centers, shelters and after school programs throughout the state. The Vermont Foodbank is Vermont’s largest hunger relief organization. As we approach the holiday season when many Vermonters may find it difficult to provide meals for their families, Real Good Toys is happy to help through this donation to the Vermont Foodbank.

Monumental Miniatures – In the Spotlight

Monumental Miniatures in Monument, CO

Monumental Miniatures in Monument, CO

 

Situated in the small town of Monument, Colorado, this quaint dollhouse, miniature and toy store is more than meets the eye. Monumental Miniatures is the size of a 2 car garage, with toys on one side and miniatures on the other. Just step inside and you will be captivated…and surprised by the volume of merchandise displayed in the shop.

Exquisite one-of-a-kind miniatures.

Exquisite one-of-a-kind miniatures.

Gayle Wade, the proprietor of Monumental Miniatures, has been involved in miniatures all her life.  When she had the opportunity to purchase the perfect location for a shop in 1996,she turned her lifelong love of miniature collecting into a retirement career. Her business has flourished over the years and has grown as Gayle travels and expands her eclectic collection of miniatures.  She says, “I am always looking for miniatures.  I look for different artists and also haunt the antique stores when I am traveling.” Gayle displays most everything in her shop in open display boxes so customers can actually touch items.  The open display boxes were originally men’s shirt displays from Saks Fifth Avenue.  She does keep her handmade items in a case to be shown upon request. Just take a look at her website, www.monumentalminiatures.com, and you will find some of the most unique miniatures on the market. She carries some very interesting fairytale characters and the cutest little fairies. One of the more unique items is a miniature dilapidated old truck. She also carries a magical collection of circus miniatures. Gayle makes a point to stay in touch with the artisans she sells, which makes it possible for her to place custom orders for her customers.

A beautifully finished RGT Sterling Estate dollhouse

A beautifully finished RGT Sterling Estate dollhouse

Amid all of the one-of-a-kind miniatures you will also find dollhouses. Gayle nicely displays Real Good Toys Dollhouses in her store and on her website.  Gayle says, “Only Real Good Toys in my shop!  I feel I can put my reputation on their product.” She also mentions that Real Good Toys Dollhouses are the only dollhouses she has carried in her 16 years of being in business.  Although you are not able to order directly from the website, she encourages you to call or fax your order. Gayle prefers to have a personal touch with each order.

Even though Monument is a small community, Gayle has customers from all over the country. She also has had international customers from Germany, England and New Zealand. Gayle has even driven and picked up folks visiting in nearby Colorado Springs to bring to her shop. Gaye confides that going that extra mile usually pays off in the end, but either way she is happy to do it. Monumental Miniatures has something for every collector, beginnner or seasoned.  Gayle collected miniatures as a child and knows the importance of inspiring beginners. She carries miniatures and dollhouses in every style and every price range. Each customer is welcomed and treated with enthusiasm and courtesy.

Tons of wonderful miniatures

Browse through tons of wonderful miniatures.

If you are traveling through Central Colorado, be sure to make time to visit Monumental Miniatures. The shop is located at 274 WashingtonStreet in Monument, Colorado, 80132.  Their hours are Monday through Saturday 11am – 5pm. You can reach the shop by calling 719-481-1361, or get in touch through the website, www.monumentalminiatures.com.

” The only problem with spending an afternoon at Monumental Miniatures is that one afternoon may not be enough.”

Monumental Miniatures is a member of DMMA, Dollhouse Miniature Merchants Association.  The goal of this organization is to increase public awareness and interest in the hobby of Dollhouse and Miniature collecting.

Kudos to Gayle for her dedication to the growth of the miniature industry.  Her loyalty to Real Good Toys Dollhouses is greatly appreciated! 

 

I

 

Fall Foliage Workshop – More lighting with LEDs

A0805The 2013 Foliage Sale (Sept 28) was delightful!  We had great weather, good fall color, and lots of friends from near and far: old friends who have become regulars at our get-togethers, and new friends who have just discovered this event.  Read the rest of this entry »

Real Good Toys Dollhouse Factory Outlet Store – In the Spotlight

Granite Statue in Barre

Granite Craftmanship in Barre

Granite Quarry

Granite Quarry in Barre, VT

What does Real Good Toys, the leading dollhouse manufacturer,do when local miniaturists can’t find the dollhouse they’ve been wanting? The answer was right in front of us – open a Dollhouse Factory Outlet Store right here in our own warehouse, of course! Barre is centrally located in Vermont and just a little over 3 hours north to Montreal and the same going south to Boston. The city is touted as the Granite Center of the World, with many fine examples of granite craftsmanship throughout. Barre is also home to Rock of Ages, the Goliath of the granite industry. The Rock of Ages Granite Quarry is an open-pit granite quarry nearly 600 feet deep and 50 acres in surface area. What does this have to do with Real Good Toys? Real Good Toys lives in an old granite shed that was once occupied by Lawson Granite Company. Parts of this building are over 100 years old.  If you drive around the city, you will find quite a few old, rambling warehouses that were once active granite manufacturers that now house other types of businesses. Barre is a great place to live, work and visit.

Welcome to the Sale!

Welcome to the Sale!

In the Spring of 1988, Real Good Toys moved from their much smaller quarters in Montpelier to their own rambling 26,000 square foot warehouse here in Barre. Ruggedly built of massive timbers, there is still a crane in the rafters of our factory that was once used to move gigantic granite blocks from place to place in the building. We wasted little time in spreading out, and we filled every nook and cranny with inventory and raw materials. Real Good Toys now had the tools needed to push forward and continue to grow. We expanded our product line, designing exciting new products that gave our customers a greater selection of dollhouses.

Real Good Toys Dollhouse Factory Outlet

Real Good Toys Dollhouse Factory Outlet

Fast forward to 2009. We learned that the last of the retail businesses selling our products in Vermont had closed their doors, leaving no alternatives for dollhouse shoppers. We continued to receive calls from people traveling through the state asking where they might buy our products. It was very discouraging not to be able to offer sources where folks could buy Real Good Toys dollhouses within Vermont. After much thought, speculation, planning, some renovating, and then more planning, the Real Good Toys Dollhouse Factory Outlet Store was born.

Sue,Assembly Manager

Sue, Real Good Toys Assembly Manager

The store resides within our Assembly Department, allowing Sue, our Assembly Manager, to wear two hats. Frequently she will be assembling or painting a dollhouse just behind the front desk while folks browse and ask questions. When they are ready to check out, she hops behind the cash register to tally their purchases. Sue is happy to run through the basics of beginning your dollhouse project with anyone who needs help. The store is a bright and friendly place, with lots of dollhouse models, furniture, accessories, seasonal miniatures, and depending on the holiday, lots of life size decorations nestled in between the dollhouse and miniatures. Recently, we spruced up a part of the factory to create our Clearance Area, which is adjacent to the store. Here is where you’ll find old prototype and sample dollhouse kits, odd components and trims, and sometimes you’ll come upon a box of miscellaneous parts that even we can’t identify. You’ll find the Clearance Area is packed full of great deals you just can’t pass up.

Wiring Demo

Gary giving a wiring demo at the 2012 sale

Discover Great Deals!

Discover Great Deals!

With Mid-September upon us, everyone at Real Good Toys is gearing up for our 3rd Annual Fall Foliage Clearance Sale on Saturday, September 28th, 9 am to 4 pm. It’s all hands on deck, as we stock up all the shelves and dust off some more merchandise so you can rummage to your hearts’ content. We’ll have those special grab bags, door prizes, drawings and refreshments. Gary, our Production Manager and resident Dollhouse Wizard, will be hosting a free workshop at 11 am entitled “Creative Uses of LED Lighting”. You’ll find us right next to State Farm Insurance at 10 Quarry Street. You can’t miss the store front – it looks just like a dollhouse. Come early and stay all day. Late September promises to be a beautiful time of year with our fall foliage at peak color.  Perfect for sightseeing and snapping photos. We can’t wait to meet you! Everyday store hours are 9 am – 4 pm, Monday through Saturday. If you can’t make the sale, not to worry. There are specials deals everyday! The direct line to the store is 802-477-6464, or call Jodi or Jen at 802-479-2217. While you’re in the area, check out the many activities Central Vermont has to offer. Read more about the sale and the store at www.realgoodtoys.com.

Fall in Vermont

 Come and visit the spot Real Good Toys has created for all the dollhouse and miniature enthusiasts in Vermont, and neighboring states, to get the dollhouse of their dreams!

 

  

 

Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart – In the Spotlight

Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart, Cheektowaga, NY

Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart, Cheektowaga, NY

Nestled in Western New York, just 10 minutes from Downtown Buffalo and 30 minutes from Niagara Falls, you’ll find Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart, the “Biggest Hobby Store in the U.S.A.!” With thousands of square feet of store to explore, Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart has a rich history filled with family traditions. While building traditions in their Cheektowaga, NY store, they celebrate families. They focus on products that you and your family can grow with…not out of.

The 1949 red Cabbose at Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart

The 1949 Red Cabbose at Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart

John Kavulich, Sr., the founder of Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart, began in the hobby business in 1945. After becoming more and more successful, expansion was the natural next step. In 1954, Mr. Kavulich started the wholesale distribution of hobbies and crafts with Niagara Hobby Distributors. From there, came the present day Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart. The store boasts four interactive working train layouts and carries HO, N-Gauge, Lionel, MTH and LGB trains. For the train history buffs, Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart has a fully restored 1949 Red Caboose in their parking lot. Just perfect for pictures! For the younger train lovers, they can have their picture taken in front of a 10 foot “Thomas the Train” engine. Speaking of interactive, families love their 150 foot six lane slot car track. They even have a 32 foot aluminum Pinewood Derby Test Track!

The Dollhouse Department at Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart

The Dollhouse Department at Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart

Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart is a full line hobby and craft store filled with everything you’d ever need for your hobby. They carry RC cars, planes and boats, artists paints and supplies, Breyer horses, slot cars, kites, Estes Rockets, military die cast and of course, dollhouses and miniatures. They have the largest dollhouse and accessory selection in Western New York, with an impressive inventory of Real Good Toys dollhouses. Miniaturists have many choices when it comes to dollhouse furnishings, paints, adhesives, electrical components and trims. The store has a dazzling display of over 10 dollhouse models, with some of them being fully furnished and electrified. Their staff is knowledgeable and dedicated to helping you find exactly what you need. If they don’t carry it, they will special order it for you.

Miniatures at Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart

Miniatures at Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart

The Real Good Toys Bostonian fully furnished and electrified.

The Real Good Toys Bostonian fully furnished and electrified.

Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart truly has something for everyone and every age. They host free Children’s Craft Workshops for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Easter. Santa, his elves and reindeer visit every weekend during the Holiday Season. The store offers free gifts for every child and free photographs with Santa. No worries if you forgot your camera. They will take the picture and it can be retrieved from their website Photo Gallery.

If all of this doesn’t convince you that you just have to visit, take a look at their Virtual Tour of the store on their website, www.niagarahobby.com. It’s just like walking through the door yourself. If you find yourself traveling through Western New York, be sure you take some time to visit this amazing store.

The store is located at 3366 Union Road (At Walden Avenue, Exit 52E off of I-90), Buffalo, NY 14225. Store hours are Monday-Saturday 10 am to 8 pm and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. You can reach them by phone at 716-681-1666. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

“Begin something today that you, your family and friends can enjoy for a lifetime at the store that combines quality, value, service, brands from around the globe, lots of fun and so much more. Bringing moms and dads, brothers and sisters, and family and friends together for generations.”

 

 

The Doll House and Toy Store – In the Spotlight

Doll House & Toy Store -5

Doll House & Toy Store - 4

The Queen Anne dollhouse. Beautiful colors!

Sari and Sam Powazek have been in the dollhouse, miniature and toy business since 1977.  In this era of quick start internet-only businesses, this brick & mortar store has withstood the test of time.  As a matter of fact, they proudly proclaim that The Doll House & Toy Store in North Scottsdale, AZ is the oldest family owned miniature, doll and toy store in North America! In September of 1977, The Powazeks’ started the shop with just 600 square feet.  Today they are a popular, thriving full line miniature and specialty toy store with 3650 square feet of fun! Real Good Toys is proud to include The Doll House & Toy Store in their family of preferred customers.

The Doll House & Toy Store is packed with educational and developmental toys from Melissa & Doug, International Playthings, and Calico Critters, to name just a few. They carry many lines of dolls, such as Middleton and Madame Alexander and the store has the only Middleton Nursery in Arizona. In the Dollhouse & Miniature community, they are recognized as one of the leading stores in the country.  Their offerings will dazzle each and every miniaturist.  The store stocks all types of dollhouse furniture and accessories - literally every miniature item you would need!  They display carefully selected,commercial and handcrafted artisan miniatures with a wide array of styles and designs. And of course, they carry dollhouses! Sari says, ” Many of our dollhouses have gone to sports people and entertainers, such as Britney Spears and Tanya Tucker. Our long history has given us a unique look at the history of minis. We are seeing people coming back after a break, new people getting involved and the younger generation redoing dollhouses that their grandfather did for them.”  The Doll House & Toy Store is also a member of DMMA, Dollhouse Miniatures Merchants Association.  This group is comprised of like minded, full line Dollhouse & Minature brick & mortar merchants whose goal is to increase awareness and interest in Dollhouses and Miniatures as a hobby.  Read the rest of this entry »

Real Good Toys 3rd Annual Fall Foliage Warehouse Sale September 28, 2013

SAVE THE DATE!!!   SAVE THE DATE!!!   SAVE THE DATE!!!

Real Good Toys is having a huge warehouse sale on Saturday, September 28th, 2013 from 9AM – 4PMArrive early and stay all day.  FREE demonstrations at 11AM, presented by Gary Root (RGT’s resident Dollhouse Guru!), will cover electrifying a dollhouse as well as many creative uses for our ExtraBrite© LED Lights.  Have you ever wanted to light up your dollhouse without having to install all those tiny lamps?  Gary’s indirect lighting demo will spark your imagination and you will feel confident that YOU CAN light up your miniature dollhouse with ease!

You’ll also discover great deals on dollhouse kit closeouts, seconds, overstocks, components, accessories and so much more.  There will be door prizes, drawings, refreshments and amazing grab bag surprises!  It will be a perfect time to pickup the NEW Real Good Toys T-Shirt – celebrating 40 years of dollhouse magic!

Plan your trip now and experience Vermont’s extraordinary fall colors along the way to our warehouse.   Check out www.vermont.com for all your planning needs (dining, accommodations, other sites to visit in VT, etc.)

Directions to Real Good Toys Warehouse: 
Follow Interstate 89 (North or South) to Exit 6.
Follow Route 63 East about 4 miles to the stoplight at Route 14.  Turn left.
Go approx. 1 mile to Quarry Street, Turn Right (State Farm Insurance is located on the corner) and our showroom can be seen immediately on your left.

Everybody here at RGT looks forward to seeing you.  Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions – info@realgoodtoys.com or 1-866-524-0222!

Mini wishes – Jen

Join Real Good Toys at the Sturbridge Miniatures Festival

The Sturbridge Miniatures Festival, sponsored by Molly Cromwell, is THE biggest miniature show in New England!!  Molly has asked us to join them for the last several years but it’s never worked with our schedule…until now.  Jodi and I are so excited to attend our very first retail miniature show and display some beautiful Real Good Toys dollhouses.

This year’s show is going to be held at the beautiful Host Hotel on Cedar Lake in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and is located at 366 Main Street & Route 20.

Saturday, June 1st, 2013, we will be setting up our booth in anticipation of a great crowd.  There is an option of a Pre-Registered Preview which allows you access to early sales between 5PM – 8PM.  For $18 you receive your weekend admission, early sales, cash bar, post preview and pizza party!  Food and minis -what could be better than that??

On Sunday, June 2nd, the show hours are 10AM – 4PM.  Both days feature some very cool workshops and you can sign up now.

With 80 vendors displaying all things mini, there is sure to be something for everyone!  Not only will we be displaying some of our dollhouses and miniatures showcases, we’ll also be offering some of our very best selling dollhouse accessories, electrical supplies and probably a show special or two.  We’ll be promoting the Miniature Collector Bistro Kit Challenge contest and kits will be available at the show (no shipping costs!).

We hope you’ll save the dates and make your way to Sturbridge Miniatures Festival.  Help us kickoff June miniature style!

Mini wishes – Jen