30 years of dollhouse wizardry celebrated

Gary Root, RGT Production Manager

When you think of momentous 30 year anniversaries that have occurred so far in 2011, you might rememer (or not) that MTV turned 30. The 30th anniversary of the 1st space shuttle launch was also celebrated this year. The most important  2011 milestone in the world of dollhouses is that Gary Root, dollhouse wizard, has been with Real Good Toys for 30 years!! Recently, the employees of Real Good Toys had a luncheon to celebrate this event. It was a very pleasant afternoon full of funny anecdotes, interspersed with a bit of nostalgia, honoring Gary’s 30 years at Real Good Toys. Gary has such a following of miniaturists through Facebook and his website, and his contributions to the success of Real Good Toys dollhouses is so important, that I thought I would let everyone know a little something about this special guy.

In 1981, Gary came to Real Good Toys by applying for an advertised job for Production Manager. The day Gary applied for the position a Powermatic table saw broke down during an important run of work. Story goes that no one knew what to do. No one knew how to fix it. Gary saw the dilemma and, althought not yet a Real Good Toys employee, rolled up his sleeves and took the motor apart. Minutes later it was back together and working like a charm. Needless to say, Gary got the job. Here we are 30 years later, and Gary is still willing to roll up his sleeves and do whatever it takes. He is the epitome of the word multi-tasking. Gary has worked at a myriad of different jobs anywhere from a gardener to a shrimp fisherman to a lumberjack, with lots of others in between. He was a licensed master electrician at the age of 18 and studied engineering at Cornell University. His experience has proven invaluable to Real Good Toys.

Gary and his wife Lynn

Gary and his wife Lynn moved to Vermont in 1975, when Gary took over the management of a family woodworking business, Weston Toy Works. While heading that company for the next six years, Gary designed and created intricate and beautifully crafted puzzles. Today Gary and Lynn live in Calais, Vermont. They have four children, Lucas, Anne, Carly and Eric. Lucas is married and lives in Fort Lee, NJ. Anne is also married and lives in Modesto, CA.  Anne recently gave birth to Gary and Lynn’s first grandchild. Carly is managing a garden center in Nantucket, MA and Eric is a student at Brandeis University in Boston, MA . Gary and Lynn enjoy community activities and share in various volunteer positions. Gary is on the planning commission of his town and this summer he is involved in learning software that will enable the integrated mapping of his town online. Did I mention he does that in his spare time?

The first step in dollhouse building, identifying the parts.

As a fellow employee of Gary’s, I think one of his finest achievements is his website, www.dhbuilder.com. When I asked Gary how the website came about he told me he became aware of the need for a website that would give people the construction tips and techniques to enable them to complete (or start) their dollhouse projects. So Gary took the bull by the horns and took computer classes at our local Community College to learn how to write programming that would enable him to create this website. His final project for the course was to create a website and www.dhbuilder.com was born. He tells me the present website has morphed greatly from his final course project, but nonetheless, the website is replete with tutorials, how to videos, and endless dollhouse building information and is an invaluable tool for seasoned and novice miniaturists alike. Gary works very hard to add to and update the site regulary.

Our newest addition to the Real Good Toys family of dollhouses, The Beachside Bungalow

A typical day for Gary at Real Good Toys might start with coaxing a cranky oil furnace to life. He might then move on to his computer to do some instruction writing or revisions or to order materials for upcoming projects. Or he might write an informational blog post for our Dollhouse Chronicles on our website about how to wire a dollhouse. Then he may get a customer service call routed to his desk. He will patiently help even the most distraught customer. The second he hangs up the phone he may be off to the Assembly Department to oversee and help with a special dollhouse building project. Fixing leaky roofs, building shelving to store materials, designing and assembling dollhouse prototypes, fixing broken machinery, creating instructional videos…well,you get the picture. Jim Abrams, President of Real Good Toys says, “Gary is capable and curious about everything and I’ve never know him to shy away from a challenge.” Jim goes on to say, ” Gary understands what makes our customers tick. He has helped make our business happen and that means he’s brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people who appreciate dollhouses and miniatures of all kinds.”

Kudos and accolades, Gary, for all of your hard work. From the safety of our employees to the heirloom quality of each dollhouse you are a part of, it’s hard to imagine RGT without you. ♥  Our best wishes from everyone at RGT.

6 Responses to “30 years of dollhouse wizardry celebrated”

  1. carrie Says:

    What a happy article to read. Congratulations Gary. I love knowing about the people who are responsible for some of the most well made dollhouses in the world. I am proud of your company and its conscientious employees – it shows in the quality of your product and it must be wonderful knowing that your job gives so many people, both young and old, joy and that your work is appreciated from one generation to the next.

  2. Linda Says:

    Congratulations Gary, thirty years at anything these days is quite an accomplishment! I so enjoy everything about RGT.

  3. Ellen Crow Says:

    How nice to be able to read all about you over your 30 years at Real Good Toys. I always feel like I know you so I really enjoyed reading about you and knowing even more about you. How helpful and wonderful you always are whenever I need you. You moved to Vermont in 1975 and I moved to Leesburg, Va in 1972. At that time, Leesburg was a small town like where you are and just about everyone was a person such as you. So when I first had my first experience with you, I knew immediately you were like the people I knew here – and that is a great compliment! Of course, Leesburg “was found” and has grown, which brings change, so a lot of our small town things have changed.
    Just wanted you to know how I enjoyed reading about you. You are a #1 person in so many ways!

  4. Ed Tucker Says:

    Hello Gary:

    Congratulations on your 30 year anniversary with Real Good Toys. You are obviously a great asset to the company and a delight to know and deal with. You are very kind with your time in helping many of us in the doll house building hobby. It was great finally getting to meet you this past weekend and really appreciate all of the time you gave to me. It was very enlightening and I certainly picked up some very good pointers. Take care and look forward to another visit to Barre.


    Ed Tucker

  5. Rosalie D Says:

    Congratulations on 30 years, will be interesting to see what happens in the next 30 years. I love your product, I never tire of dollhouses, miniatures etc it’s company’s such as Real Good Toys that allows people like myself to enjoy their hobby build their dream miniature home. Thank you so much Real Good Toys
    Rosalie D.

  6. Sandy Says:

    Many years ago – likely 30 or so, We visited your store and purchased a wonderful wooden child’s swing – made with hard rock maple for the seat and dowels and red beads created the sides threaded onto heavy gauge rope. Does this sound familiar to you? We have one and would like to purchase a second one to give to our 2nd grandchild. The first grandchild has the well-seasoned one – which looks terrific! You had all kinds of wooden toys which were wonderful.

    Please give a shout so I can know if I need to look for a 2nd hand swing or find another one. Thanks!!
    Sandy Reber