By July 16, 2012 Read More →

Unusual home working jobs – designer of doll’s house miniatures

Unusual home working jobs - Nikki Mascall, designer of doll's house miniaturesToday Nikki Mascall explains how she came to start her ‘little’ business!

‘I live in Frome in Somerset with my partner Simon, who also works partially from home. I have two children, now adults and doing their own thing.

‘I began making doll’s house miniatures 20 years ago, when the children were still very young. I had trained and worked in design and illustration but found the pressures of ‘deadlines’ too much to cope with while raising a young family.

‘I stumbled on doll’s house miniatures by chance when stitching a full size cross stitch pattern from a magazine. I got bored by it as it wasn’t very challenging and I knew I could come up with a better design myself. I bought some finer fabric and some graph paper and produced a very small design which I subsequently framed. Once complete, I thought how stunning it would look in a doll’s house, having no idea that this was already an established and growing international pastime!

‘My next step was a trip to the library, as this was long before the internet. I chanced upon a fantastic book written by Caroline Hamilton and it happened that Caroline also ran the most prestigious doll’s house fair in the UK. I sent her a sample of my work and she offered me a table at her London fair along with a ‘New Makers’ Award, so the table didn’t cost me a penny!

‘So it all grew from there. My designs got finer and more diverse, designing anything from cushions to carpets, all in 1:12th scale (that’s one inch to a foot), producing museum quality miniatures for collectors. I also realized that there was a market for kits and now have a vast range available. With the coming of the internet I have a good customer base outside the UK.

‘I wonder now how I ever managed without modern technology. I use a cross stitch package to design my miniatures, whereas before I spent years designing on graph paper. I have a decent printer and camera and produce all my own artwork, packaging, marketing and photography.

‘I enjoy working from home and have a whole room set aside in which to do so. I’ve never been an early riser so my day starts and ends later. I also find it difficult to know when to stop! I love the contrast of the miniature fairs that I attend 5 or 6 times a year.

‘If I am honest, I am not, and probably never will be making a fortune from my ‘little’ business. I am just ticking along but I am very lucky to be doing something I love!’

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1 Comment on "Unusual home working jobs – designer of doll’s house miniatures"

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  1. Julie says:

    What a fun job! I can imagine it would be hard to want to quit working for the day. Doing something you love is so important!

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