The following article appeared in one of our local newspapers.

Honey, I Shrunk The Antique Business
Danica Riley- Contributing Writer - North Shore News

Ross Merrifield brings new meaning to small business. That's because Merrifield, a North Vancouver wholesaler and retailer, maintains one of the largest miniature inventories in North America. He has 29,000 miniature replicas of everyday life available at any given time.

Within Ross' Treasure House are miniature homes, gazebos and greenhouses that you can fill with little dogs, people, books, games, and even tiny china tea pots.

His miniatures are sold to doll house hobbyists, architects and film productions across the globe.

His miniature pianos were used during underwater scenes for the movie the Piano starring Holly Hunter and Harvey Keitel.

The Bank of Montreal and Smirnoff have used his model homes for their advertisements.

"The funniest one was when a movie crew came running in here needing miniature coffins. Of course we didn't have such a strange item in stock and had to make them," said Merrifield.

Merrifield became fascinated by miniatures when he opened an antique business in West Vancouver 32 years ago. Eventually he decided to specialize in miniatures.

"We just shrunk everything," he said.

Merrifield's interest in antiques is reflected in his miniature inventory. Many of his tiny pieces of furniture are of particular period genres. That helps his customers get exactly what they want.

Say you grew up in your grandmother's house and the house may be gone but YOU want to build a replica. You take old pictures and go from memory to make a replica," said Merrifield

Merrifield manufactures scale model house kits which require specialty equipment. He said it doesn't take too much skill to put one together, just a little common sense.

A beginner can build a doll house for just under $40 but the more extravagant homes easily approach $2,000.

Merrifield exports his prefabricated miniature homes to Japan, Britain and Australia. Japan has been a promising market over the past few years as it seems miniature homes are all the rage there.

But on the North Shore doll house hobbyists look forward to a visit to Ross Treasure House, Evelyn DeCotiis, a West Vancouver resident has had the doll house her grand father built for her since she was 10 years old. Her oldest daughter Dorothy, now has a fully furnished doll house and together they are getting her 7-year old daughter started on her first doll house.

We've been coming here for years and years We're doll house collectors. I like all the details like the keys and door knobs" said DeCotiis.

Gordon Kauhausen, a resident of Richmond, drove all the way to the Merrifield's shop on the North Shore because he hasn't been able to find decent selection anywhere else. He is building a doll house for his five year old daughter. "I hope I get a smile out of her and keep her occupied so she's not watching TV all the time." Sid Kauhausen.

Merrifield knows the gratification that can come form a child's smiling face after receiving a doll house made just for them. Each of his eight grandchildren got a doll house just as soon as they were old enough. Once would think Merrifield's home would be filled with miniature house but it isn't. He prefers to leave his work at the shop where his customers can enjoy it. "The nice thing is that when I get up in the morning, I'm glad to come to work. I'll never retire," said Merrifield.


Ross' Treasure House Ltd. All rights reserved.
823 West 1st Street - North Vancouver - British Columbia - Canada - V7P 1A4
Tel (604) 980-2715 - Fax (604) 980-2717 - Tuesday thru Saturday - 9:30 to 4:00