Dollhouse Factory in New Jersey closing

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I just read on another board that the Dollhouse Factory in Lebanon NJ is closing and their stock is all 75% off. Here's their info in case anyone in the area wants to scope it out: http://thedollhousefactory.com/

It doesn't say when they'll close, so anyone who wants to go should call ahead!

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So sad.. Michigan is where we might be moving next year... I'm sad I won't have a local store. :( 

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That is a shame. I had been to the store many times over the years. It has to be so difficult to keep a brick and mortar store going.

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Neither of the links to the stores seems to be working for me. They both open a page for the store but doesn't lead to anywhere to see any of the items for sale.

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My favorite store in San Antonio announced they will close Dec 30.   I'm broken hearted.  It appears from their post on Facebook, the people who own the building refused to renew the lease, after 27 years???? 

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It is such a shame. I was considering opening just a brick and mortar, but talking with people in the industry at trade shows convinced me not to go that route, at least not right away. I lived for visiting the miniatures store in my local mall as a kid...I remember hoarding my allowance so I could get more miniatures to fill the dollhouse my grandma made me. Unfortunately, I live in a small city and wouldn't be able to swing it with just a brick and mortar. It's why I launched online first. I haven't ruled out setting up an actual shop. Hoping I can get my online store to a certain point so it could help underwrite a brick and mortar. Sadly, the store in my mall closed a long time ago and the closet miniatures store is an hour away in Chautauqua, New York. I recently heard that will be shutting down, too. :-(  Having lots of outlets is good for everyone because it develops interest in the hobby. I definitely attribute my love of miniatures to that store...I still feel sad when I walk past it and see the Jared's Jeweler's that took its place!

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There used to be a huge hobby store here outside Chicago called Oak Ridge Hobbies. They had a giant dollhouse sections and I was so excited when I found it. Then  a couple years ago they downsized to a store that is MAYBE 1/4 of their old one and they barely have any dollhouse stuff now. In fact, I was just looking for some GOR lights the other day and was disappointed to see that they dont even carry miniature lightbulbs anymore. Im hoping this isnt a sign of the death knell.

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4 hours ago, SewMini said:

There used to be a huge hobby store here outside Chicago called Oak Ridge Hobbies. They had a giant dollhouse sections and I was so excited when I found it. Then  a couple years ago they downsized to a store that is MAYBE 1/4 of their old one and they barely have any dollhouse stuff now. In fact, I was just looking for some GOR lights the other day and was disappointed to see that they dont even carry miniature lightbulbs anymore. Im hoping this isnt a sign of the death knell.

From what I can gather going to trade shows, it seems the owners of these stores are deciding to retire in many cases and there's no younger person who wants to take over the stores. This is a problem in other industries, too. I used to work in insurance and our average agent was 57 years old with no succession plan...

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18 minutes ago, MiniMaven said:

From what I can gather going to trade shows, it seems the owners of these stores are deciding to retire in many cases and there's no younger person who wants to take over the stores. This is a problem in other industries, too. I used to work in insurance and our average agent was 57 years old with no succession plan...

This is where I'm going to sound uppity but, honestly, I think when it comes to crafts I've seen a big shift to something I call "instant gratification crafting." I saw it with sewing. Sewing is getting quite popular again BUT it's most definitely not tailoring/dressmaking sewing which remains a dying art. Not to say that the things people make now aren't wearable and good looking but the skill needed to make them isn't the skill that was expected in, say, my MIL's time. IT's all "No sew skirt!" "Two seam shirt" "One day jacket." They look nice but at the end of the day the structure isn't there and they also won't last a lifetime like something made by a skilled seamstress. IMO Dollhouse making is like the tailoring equivalent of "toy" making. It's incredibly involved, expensive, and takes a variety of skills built over time to be successful. Those who can do it are viewed as having unattainable skills which isnt the case but seems to be the perception. When people see my sewing they always say "OMG I could never do that." Well at some point, neither could I but I took the time to learn how. It just takes patience.

Now if you opened up a shop and sold the super popular premade kits like Re-ment, Robotime, Rylai, Flever, etc. you'd make a bank. Sadly, I think a lot of people just aren't interested in spending that much time learning the craft much less ensuring it continues on. 

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Miranda, I agree with your assessment, both in minis and sewing. At one Chicago show this year I  met a gentleman artisan from France, whose daughter came with to assist at his booth. We got to talking (his daughter interpreted) and his superb skills will be lost when he retires, the adult children don't have the interest or patience. He carves canes, made cameras and other mechanical items with such detail. And he's just one example. 

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I would LOVE to open a brick-and-mortar shop!  Too bad I don't have a dead rich uncle that bequeathed me his millions so that I could retire and open a little shop just to keep myself amused.  :) 

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On 11/28/2017, 2:35:38, SewMini said:

This is where I'm going to sound uppity but, honestly, I think when it comes to crafts I've seen a big shift to something I call "instant gratification crafting." I saw it with sewing. Sewing is getting quite popular again BUT it's most definitely not tailoring/dressmaking sewing which remains a dying art. Not to say that the things people make now aren't wearable and good looking but the skill needed to make them isn't the skill that was expected in, say, my MIL's time. IT's all "No sew skirt!" "Two seam shirt" "One day jacket." They look nice but at the end of the day the structure isn't there and they also won't last a lifetime like something made by a skilled seamstress. IMO Dollhouse making is like the tailoring equivalent of "toy" making. It's incredibly involved, expensive, and takes a variety of skills built over time to be successful. Those who can do it are viewed as having unattainable skills which isnt the case but seems to be the perception. When people see my sewing they always say "OMG I could never do that." Well at some point, neither could I but I took the time to learn how. It just takes patience.

Now if you opened up a shop and sold the super popular premade kits like Re-ment, Robotime, Rylai, Flever, etc. you'd make a bank. Sadly, I think a lot of people just aren't interested in spending that much time learning the craft much less ensuring it continues on. 

I would agree with you. My friends are always shocked when I explain how you have to put a dollhouse kit together. That was what I loved when I was little--I felt so empowered and accomplished when I finished putting the dollhouse together, even if I got a big assist from an adult! I remember I didn't like how my parents wallpapered my real bedroom, but with my dollhouse, I could make it just the way I wanted--super pink and girly galore with the canopy bed I always dreamed of! 

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Seeing these stories about all the stores closing and the fact that people don't seem to want to get into the Dollhouse Hobby disturbs me! I can recall back in 2005 when the Housing market in the US started to crash and burn and a lot of my regular Dollhouse Shops online started to close. I had one that I regularly purchased from suddenly announce that they were going out of business and I was completely heartbroken.

Is dollhouse building going to go the way of the dinosaur? It saddens me so much that the younger generation doesn't seem to want anything to do with their parents ore grandparents businesses nor  crafting. One day we will look up and our hobby will be a thing of the past and all the artisans will be gone.

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I think more of us will be motivated to learn to craft our own accessories to furnish and people our little houses.  It bothers me to see so many children with fancy phones, tablets, etc. who have neither the desire nor inclination to use their hands.  Little children still enjoy taking paints and crayons to paper and squishing clay between their fingers, but then somewhere along the line those growing fingers discover electronics and there seems to go the creative juices.

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Somewhat off topic but it made me happy when my 9 yr old wanted to play with the legos I had as a kid. My legos are just the square blocks with no pre made shapes.  I feel you had to get more creative with the old blocks rather than just pushing shapes together to make an object. 

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I believe the reason most brick & mortar stores are closing has to do with the "instant gratification" of being able to order on-line. It is SUPER hard to be the proprietor os a store. You have to worry about overhead, having stock, customers coming in, and the online retailers. Often people come in to check the size of the items then go order them online someplace cheaper - or using a discount (say Hobby Lobby). 

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On December 11, 2017 at 1:51:21 PM, havanaholly said:

I think more of us will be motivated to learn to craft our own accessories to furnish and people our little houses.  It bothers me to see so many children with fancy phones, tablets, etc. who have neither the desire nor inclination to use their hands.  Little children still enjoy taking paints and crayons to paper and squishing clay between their fingers, but then somewhere along the line those growing fingers discover electronics and there seems to go the creative juices.

I hear you on the phones . The other day I saw three boys about the same age probabbly 6th or 7th grade all the had their heads down looking into phones at the bus stop . They were probably texting each other. 

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Connie, the hubs & I owned a retail bookstore many years ago and so many people who wandered in were checking what we had and then going to the big box stores that could afford to give them discounts.  When I go into a real mini store I'm worse than a child in a candy shop!  I finally gave up buying anything online because of the size discrepancy and other issues.  If I can't see it in person I will try making it.

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2 hours ago, havanaholly said:

Connie, the hubs & I owned a retail bookstore many years ago and so many people who wandered in were checking what we had and then going to the big box stores that could afford to give them discounts.  When I go into a real mini store I'm worse than a child in a candy shop!  I finally gave up buying anything online because of the size discrepancy and other issues.  If I can't see it in person I will try making it.

I’m in that line with you feel like Goldilocks when buying stuff on line some to big some to little and some just right. Still struggle even when they post the size. 

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