Grace Shaw
5137 Hoffmanville Road
Manchester, MD 21102-2234


Jim and Grace Shaw
I think you can figure out who's who?


Let me introduce myself: I'm Grace Shaw and my husband, Jim, helps me run Virtual Dollhouse. We live & work in Manchester, Maryland, up on the NE corner of Carroll County. We're really are on the corner of everything. Half a mile to the east is Baltimore County. Half a mile to the north is PA. We can see PA from our living room window! The property behind us is in Hampstead, MD.

Virtual Dollhouse opened in May of 1999. When we started, we just sold internet space to small businesses and artists who wanted a web presence. In 2001, we started The Store, online only. Then in 2009, we opened the physical B&M (brick & mortar) store in our basement. It quickly over took the entire basement. Well, except for the sofa.

How did it all come about? Back in 1999, I was no longer working outside of the house. I ran Jim's office for his home improvement business and took care of the property. Money was scarce and I wanted to do something that would bring in a little more money. It would have to be something that I could do at home, though.

At the time I was in the habit of taking a nap in the late afternoon, before I would go out and work on the property. Each day, when I laid down, before I went to sleep, I would pray. I asked God to help me find something I could do. Something that I would love doing. Some of the things I liked doing were reading, writing, the computer, artwork & miniatures. I wanted something that I could do into my retirement. I already realized that I wouldn't be able to do the physical labor that I did at that time on the property. I also worried about Jim. The kind of work he did puts an enormous strain on the body! I knew he was starting to hurt from so much hard labor. So, I would say my prayer and ask God to direct me in my search for a new job.

One afternoon when I woke up, I had a wonderful idea. I've always felt that God put that idea in my head. I would start a website - using the computer that I enjoyed. I would sell web-space to miniature stores and artists. I loved art and I loved miniatures! When I told Jim about my idea, he said, "Go for it!" Now, keep in mind, that I knew nothing about creating websites.

I started my search to learn HTML and how to build a website. We didn't have any money for start-up so I had to learn to do everything myself. I was lucky to find an online college course on how to design websites. That and a book from the library on HTML was all I needed to get started. God even gave me the name of my website! Virtual Dollhouse. So, now, let's take a tour of Virtual Dollhouse The Store.

Tour Virtual Dollhouse The Store
(or what happens when I have too much time on my hands!)
Photos taken 7/2012

Floor plan of Virtual Dollhouse
Floor plan

The house is a split level so you can walk straight in from back. The door is on the left top corner of the floor plan.

View of Virtual Dollhouse the Store

As you come into the store, on the right is the One Inch Scale cabinet. On the left is the 144 & smaller shelf.  Next door on the right are floor tiles, wall paper & finishing sheets.

Straight back across from the door, is the Half Scale cabinet.

View of Virtual Dollhouse the Store

If you look at the floor plan, you will see that there is a wall down the middle of the the Store.

View of Virtual Dollhouse the Store

On your left, when you turn the corner is the new expanded lumber yard.

View of Virtual Dollhouse the Store

Directly across from the lumber yard is the quarter scale table with kits & things.

The sofa Jim won't let me get rid of is also on the left and takes up so much space where I could have more minis. Sigh....

View of Virtual Dollhouse the Store

Sandwiched between the TV and the fireplace is a six foot shelf full of metal minis. Mostly one inch scale but some half scale in there. When I did inventory I had over 18,000 metal pieces! There are more boxes in different locations, by the door, next to the QS cabinet, and next to the fridge.

On the other side of the fireplace is another quarter scale cabinet. It contains kits and other handcrafted quarter scale  merchandise. The boxes have metals and Grandt-line in them.

View of Virtual Dollhouse the Store

View of Virtual Dollhouse the Store

The shipping corner is where the packages going out wait to be taking to the post box or post office. Also a couple more QS boxes.

Following the counter on the outside wall of the house is the computer area.

View of Virtual Dollhouse the Store

View of Virtual Dollhouse the Store

The second computer is used for back up only. It's too slow for much else. There's a microwave in the corner above the fridge.

View of Virtual Dollhouse the Store

Across from the active computer is my desk... Command Central where all the brilliant decisions are made. Ya! Right! LOL

View of Virtual Dollhouse the Store

On the back wall are the supplies. The boxes off on the left there are more metals and the small scale Grandt-line.

Over in the last corner is where Little Owl Books is squeezed in.

View of Virtual Dollhouse the Store

Remember when I said reading was another of my favorite things? Well, I have to sell the books I've read to pay for my reading obsession. I often have three books going at the same time. So now you've seen the whole store. Hope you'll come visit often!

Dark (passed 2022)

Almost forgot The Help!  All 9 of them!

Uno (1) (one of the triplets)

Pretty Mama
Pretty Mama (mother to many of the little ones!)

Ebony ( Ebby's brother to Pepper)

Trouble & Pepper
Trouble & Pepper (Pepper & Ebony are from a different mama)

Tres (3) (Mommies Baby)

Flash (Passed2022)

Sexy Soxie (pretty as her moms!)


Little Bit
Crossed the Rainbow Bridge 12/22/2013

Sammy Passed in 2019

Her Royal Highness Princess Squirt
Squirt crossed the Rainbow Bridge Dec. 2016

Spot & Dos
Spot & Dos (passed in 2019) (yes Spot is a tuxedo but he has a big black spot on one of his stockings -Spot now known as Ashe went out a window found a new home and boy of his own.)

Crossed the Rainbow Bridge Spring 2015

Directions to the store

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