Miniaturist of the Month: The Real Good Toys J-Team!

Jennifer Fitzgerald, RGT J-Team

Jennifer Fitzgerald, RGT J-Team

The Classic Bungalow by the J-Team.

The Classic Bungalow by the J-Team.

I had never even built one of our dollhouses until 5 years ago when Jodi and I decided to tackle the 1 inch scale Classic Bungalow dollhouse.  We built this magnificent dollhouse, decorated the interior and exterior and donated to a great cause.  After that, I was hooked!

I’ve always loved working with wood crafts and our dollhouses are no exception. I was so happy with our build that my husband and I purchased a Ponderosa Log Cabin and started customizing right away.  It’s still sitting in my basement waiting for us to return to our “winter project”.  Each year we get a little further on it, but we haven’t even begun to decorate the inside yet.  I’m really looking forward to that phase of our build.  All in due time!

Over the last several years, Jodi and I have built several dollhouses and we also create our Build-Along project each year.  We have had the great privilege of being one with our community of online miniaturists.  I’ve learned a great deal from what others have done and I’m no longer afraid to try something new.  Even when I make a mistake, I’m always happy to learn how I can correct that mistake and move forward with my project.  It almost makes you feel fearless when customizing because you know there is a way out of it (thank you Gary!)  My tip to all of you would be to just go for it…if you can visualize it, dream it or imagine it, it’s probably possible.  Don’t let anything stand in your way of what you truly want to create in miniature.

I feel super lucky to work with Jodi.  Over the past 15 years, we have had lots of great ideas and some come to fruition and some do not.  However, having someone else who is like-minded really makes a difference when you’re bouncing ideas off each other.  We make a great team!  When I’m not dollhouse building or decorating, I have two teenage daughters who keep us on our toes.  I also love to quilt – it’s my first passion.  We’re big on the great outdoors and love to camp, fish and go boating.  I also love to read and yes, I still like the real book (no hi-tech reading gadget for this girl!!).

Jodi Towne, RGT J- Team.

Jodi Towne, RGT J- Team.

I have worked for Real Good Toys for 26 years as the Office Manager.  My job entails, in a nutshell, accounting and customer service.  Being one half of the RGT J-Team has made my job infinitely more creative and interesting.  Having the ability, and freedom, to switch gears in the middle of the day and work on a dollhouse build has been very refreshing for me.  I feel very fortunate to have this diversion in my job.

The Lilliput Kiwi Cottage Dollhouse kit by Real Good Toys

The Kiwi-The lights are on! The J-Team’s lighting project.

Being able to build, finish and furnish a dollhouse has also made me confident in tackling just about any technical question that may come my way throughout the day.  I’ve learned so much about dollhouse building and about myself, and I learn new things from our customers and Facebook fans, just about everyday.  Jennifer and I are able to do a fair amount of brainstorming and collaborating on promotional ideas.  We are always looking for ways to draw more folks into our hobby, which only enhances my job even further.  Some days just fly by when you’re in a mini frame of mind!

I have one daughter, who will be 30 this year. She is a Visual Merchandiser and Wardrobe Stylist in Los Angeles, CA.  When she was small, we did various projects together, and yes, she had a dollhouse.  We had a Simplicity dollhouse model that had fallen off a shelf here at RGT.  It was sort of banged up and needed refurbishing.  After a little TLC, it came home with me.  We had many years of fun making furnishings for her dollhouse from everyday items.  We made rugs, bedspreads and curtains from scraps of fabric.   Those little white plastic pieces from the middle of a delivered pizza made great tables for her dollhouse.

Over the years I have dabbled in several different crafts, mostly sewing and card making projects.  I also love gardening, camping, reading and cooking.  My husband and I enjoy snowshoeing in the winter. At the moment, I only have my Collectibles Cabinet at home.  Room is the issue.  I have several kits in mind that I would like to build, furnish and give as gifts.  I know I shouldn’t say someday…but someday I will build them.  Until then, I take great pride, and get tons of enjoyment, participating in the Real Good Toys Facebook Build-Along projects and being part of the RGT J-Team.

This post is the first in our new Miniaturist of the Month feature. Jen and I thought we would get the ball rolling.  See how easy that was?   We look forward to hearing from our customers, because we want to make you our next Miniaturist of the Month!  Email your information with attached pictures to [email protected] We can’t wait to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to “Miniaturist of the Month: The Real Good Toys J-Team!”

  1. Carol Says:

    What tools are absolutely necessary for a beginner to build a dollhouse using a kit? Have always wanted a dollhouse, always been fascinated with miniature objects but never done woodwork! Would like to try the simplest log cabin. Am retired older lady!

  2. jodi_towne Says:

    Hi Carol,

    Check http://www.dhbuilder.com for a listing of tools and their uses. http://www.dollhouseworkshop.net/tools.html
    If you have any questions or need clarification, just let me know.