For more than thirty years, customers from several states have made the trip to Owensboro, Ky. to visit Mini Mansions Dollhouse Shoppe located on Hwy 54. “A Customer’s Delight,” has long been the motto for this business which proudly offers friendly service and extensive inventory. Travelers who pay a visit are pleased with the selection of miniatures and dollhouses. When Ruth Blakeman created a special piece as a gift more than three decades ago, she discovered a passion that would lead her to own the business.
After completing a front opening dollhouse for her seven-year-old daughter for Christmas, Blakeman fell in love with her creation.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the process and I kept the finished house a surprise for her,” Blakeman said.
Long hours went into the painting, wiring, wallpapering and flooring of this Tiffany model house. After Christmas that year, the business went up for sale, and Mini Mansions Dollhouse Shoppe was officially purchased from Jessie Gorrell and Penny Howard in 1986. With the purchase, Blakeman embarked on a new venture, leaving the classroom after teaching special education for six years.
The draw to own the business came from the satisfaction of her work. According to Blakeman, her daughter’s delight and the many hours spent playing over the years made it well worth the effort. Today, Blakeman’s granddaughter plays with the same house she created so many years ago.
Just as important as the artistry involved in each of the handcrafted items is the awe and excitement of seeing children and adults discover a whole new world inside the walls.
Perhaps what makes this business most unique is that it appeals to a wide range of ages and interests. The reasons for creating miniatures can be varied. Whether seen as therapeutic during an illness, a reprieve from a stressful situation or loss of a loved one, collecting miniatures can provide joy to many. It’s also a great way to span the generations as all ages can enjoy this activity together.
The reach of this unique business stretches far beyond a storefront. Play therapy has been used locally by creating houses for Girls Inc., Spouse Abuse Center, Spanish Center and several other organizations. In addition, the creations have made their way around town at several community events.
“Our local miniature club has displayed houses and room boxes at past miniature shows and displays at the Senior Center, Area Museum, Art Museum, Town Square Mall and Christmas craft fairs,” Blakeman said.
As a full-line shop, Mini Mansions offer kits, assembled houses, finished houses and selections needed to finish and furnish. Custom orders and refurbishing houses for the next generation are done as time permits as well.
“Finding the right house, furniture and accessories for customers has been enjoyable the past 33 years,” Blakeman said. “I welcome newcomers to the hobby as well as longtime enthusiasts.”
For information or ordering, contact [email protected] Hours are by appointment only by calling or texting 270-485-2470.