Sisters’ miniature world goes global

Andrea and Tina Horner during their Florida holiday.
Andrea and Tina Horner during their Florida holiday.

From an early age two Heysham sisters have lived in the world of miniature but never thought their quirky hobby would turn into an online success.

Tina Horner and sister Andrea Horner began selling small doll house miniatures on auction site Ebay and within three months business took off attracting attention across the globe.

Tina Horner. Twisted Miniatures.

Tina Horner. Twisted Miniatures.

Twisted Miniatures has been running for eight years and it specialises in Christmas and Halloween designs.

Their products sell heavily in America, including San Francisco, which is something the sisters were shocked by.

Tina, 34, said: “We get a lot of visitors online who are from America, people go crazy for the twisted styles over there.

“Not a chance did I think we would be doing this but it has just really took off, it’s quite surprising.

Tina Horner. Twisted Miniatures.

Tina Horner. Twisted Miniatures.

“We are proud of ourselves because we have done it just from home.”

The sisters grew up watching their mum collect and gather miniatures for her own creations.

Tina, who lives on Eardley Road, said: “My dad bought her a house and then she went out and bought things and filled it up.

“I used to just love looking in it and then one day I thought I would like a dolls house and then all my family clubbed together and bought me a flat pack. “With building it all up and decorating it all that’s when you get the bug.”

The majority of creations are handmade and the girls use recycled items such as wooden coffee stirrers for various parts of the doll houses.

Polymer clay is also used to handcraft some of the smaller items such as Christmas trees, Santa signs and biscuit trays.

Tina has worked at Asda, Lancaster for 12 years and often gets up for work with dry glue or paint on her hands from the night before.

“My colleagues were a bit shocked at first because when you say I do doll house miniatures they are like oh, but then you say ‘oh no its the twisted side’, so they will go and look on the website and say ‘Why are you here? Why aren’t you doing it full time?”

The sisters would love to craft their creations as a full time business but admit business needs to grow before they can think about expanding.

“We still need to have a full time job to help keep it going at the moment. My sister she is a carer so when she has sleep overs she will be doing this, she takes it to work and odes it in her spare time, we both just do out of love really.”

It wasn’t until their trip to Florida this year that really emphasised their ambitions for the future.

Tina said: “We would like a shop but it’s finding the right place and making sure it can last, we sell so much online.

“We just went to Florida where they had a doll house workshop and they asked us to join and everyone got together, it was good for the community.”

All though some may find the hobby strange the sisters wouldn’t change it for the world and explain how surprising it is to meet range of customers during the fairs.

Tina said: “A lot of people thought it was strange but when we first started doing fairs we where the only people that did this sort of theme.

“There is one woman that came to see us at Pudsey and she has done a torture style room, she is a police woman!

“It’s a fascinating little world to get into, it can open your imagination.

“The only thing we find strange is the fact that people have our work in their houses, we are just grateful people like our work.”