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Located on a shady street in the historic district of Monument, Colorado, this charming shop offers an extensive line of high quality miniatures and dollhouses.  Monument offers a small town feeling in a growing community.  Most of the shops are in individual houses that have been converted for business use and are usually run by the owner.

Owner Gayle Wade has been a miniature collector all of her life.  After retiring from a 40 year career as a flight attendant, she knew she wanted to expand her beloved hobby as a miniature collector into a retirement business.  Her search for the perfect location ended when she befriended a woman who was selling her property to move to a smaller home.  She and Gayle became friends and soon Gayle was able to buy the property.  A few improvements and her dream became a reality.  Monumental Miniatures opened its doors on December 1,1996 at 274 Washington Street in Monument, Colorado.

The miniatures are displayed in glass shelving boxes, each the perfect size to create a room setting.  Every glass room is furnished, complete with accessories and people.  Shoppers can see one complete fantasy after another, in every style and every price range.  Once a child collector herself, Gayle is sensitive to the tastes and price ranges of the young collector.  An entire section is dedicated to colorful, funky and durable furnishings designed to excite and inspire the beginner.

Often asked if she makes miniatures herself, Gayle replies, “No, I’m not an artist myself, I am a ‘finder of artists’.”  The results of her searches are evident in the merchandise she carries.  Her shelves are filled with the unique, one-of-a-kind items that give a miniature setting credibility, interest and flair.  She stays in contact with the artists whose work she carries in order to make custom orders possible for the perfectionist collector.

Of course the shop also carries a wide variety of doll house kits as well as finished doll houses.  The large selection of wall paper and floor coverings will suit almost any taste or price range, and all the tiny details are available.  Lamps, fruit, dogs, pianos, people, sewing machines, (to name a few) and almost any item you can imagine are stocked in a range of choices.  Anything you need, whether or not it’s on the shelves, Gayle can find!

Faithful clientele come from as far as Cheyenne, Wyoming, Albquerque, New Mexico, New York, N.Y. and many other states.  Some even come to visit from England and New Zealand as well as other countries.  Gayle has earned a great reputation for finding the perfect hard-to-find miniatures for collectors as well as the first-time miniaturist.  The store offers a lot of one-of-a-kind miniatures from wonderful artists around the world.

Adding a toy store in 1998 broadened the shop’s appeal and gave me a new generation of customers.  A natural outgrowth of catering to children who love doll houses was adding on a room filled with toys.  Stuffed to overflowing with unique and adorable playthings, the toy room adds a whole new dimension to the ambiance of the store.  Neighborhood children love to spend time looking and dreaming and when it is time to buy, they know that they are welcome to take their time choosing just the right thing for themselves or for their friends.  Every gift, however small, is gift wrapped with the care of a major purchase.  Every customer, however young, is treated with enthusiasm and courtesy.  This welcoming attitude makes the store as popular with parents as with children.

The only problem with spending an afternoon at Monumental Miniatures and Toys is that one afternoon may not be enough.  The building appears deceptively small from the outside, but it takes quite awhile to tour the world that opens up inside the doors.  Packed with treasures, the shop is well worth the trip.

Written by:  Lucy McGuire


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