Miniaturist Spotlight on Simply Living Mini Designs’ Rosa
I’m pretty sure when I first started to fall in love with minis was when I found Simply Living Mini Designs’ Tik Tok account. Rosa inspired me so much. I asked her a few questions in her comments, and she was eager to answer. I love that about our community. Everyone is so open and so thoughtful to share.
So, when Rachel and I were coming up with content ideas for The Mini District, I knew I had to reach out to Rosa and feature her here. Chances are you already follow her, but if you don’t, here’s a little insight into her and her process that I think you will love. I know I do.
When did you first become interested in minis, and did you always work with room boxes, or were you working with a dollhouse?
One of the questions I get asked the most is, “Rosa, how did you get started in this hobby?” To be honest, I don’t have a clear answer myself. I remember that it was September 2018; I had a sprained ankle and could not go out much that week due to my ankle and bad weather. One morning, a thought came to me about building a mini house. I don’t know why or how; maybe I dreamt it, and my subconscious brought it up during my waking hours. I have always loved decorating and designing, so it made sense to me. All I can say is that I got on Amazon, started looking, and found a 1:24th scale miniature house DIY kit! Once I started it, I could not put it down. I finished it in less than a week, changing things around, trying to make it my own. I was hooked and wanted more! I began researching and found the wonderful world of 1:12 dollhouse miniatures.
Okay, so spill the beans; how did the wall idea come to fruition? Have you always planned on adding to it, or did the addiction of building a one-room box spark the idea?
When I started in the world of miniatures, I dove right into a big dollhouse with multiple levels and rooms. It was very overwhelming, to say the least, but so much fun to do. After building several dollhouses, I didn’t know what to do with them. I didn’t want to sell them because, to me, they were priceless. I also didn’t want to be the crazy lady with fifteen dollhouses all over my own house. One day, as I sat in my craft room looking at a huge empty wall, the image of a wall full of miniature room boxes took over. At that moment, I knew that my next project was “The Miniature Art Wall Display.” I had already started on the hangable Ikea Dollhouse, and I knew that was the centerpiece of the wall. I started imagining the endless design possibilities available to me by doing these small boxes instead of another Dollhouse.
From one of your Tik Tok videos, I remember that your other half is involved in your mini building. What does he do, and how do you work together as a team?
My husband Chris is my biggest supporter!!! He is amazing at building and constructing things in real life, not to mention everything else he does! So, of course, when I had the roombox idea, I asked him to help me cut up the wood to make the boxes and give me his most critical eye when I create my mini art pieces. I don’t know if that was a good or bad idea, but his honesty and support have just made me get better, and want to level up in this world of minis! I love him and can’t imagine doing any of this without his support.
Looking through your Instagram, one thing I notice is you seem to work quickly. Or is this just a social media illusion? I feel like I take forever to work on one area of my dollhouse, and before I know it, I see a new project from you.
Ha! I think if I did not have a 9-5 job, I could accomplish so much more!!! I am not super fast, but I also don’t take forever on any particular project because I get impatient and bored and start thinking of other mini projects I want to do. My trick is to have several projects going on at once, so I can skip around and not get bored and leave stuff half done.
You recently built a gorgeous kitchen. I loved the brickwork, by the way. I think you mentioned this was the Ikea dollhouse; what made you decide to work with it vs. a kitchen room box?
My first I kea dollhouse was that centerpiece for the wall, but I loved making it. It was probably one of my favorite builds because the rooms were a little smaller, and the house was so easy to put together and take apart. After looking at the layout of the wall, I felt like the wall needed another one. I don’t know why; it just did, and it fits perfectly right next to the living room roombox that had the door opening to it. I may even do a third one on the other end, but we will see.
Besides gorgeous projects, I believe what makes you stand out is that you incorporate video a lot into your social media. How important do you think video plays in the mini-community? I know for me I enjoy the tours, seeing people turn on the lights.
Before I got into TikTok, I barely made any videos on IG. I focused more on pictures and showed my projects via pics and stories. I was doing fairly well on my IG account, growing at a normal rate and slowly getting better with my mini skills. In April 2020, I entered the world of TikTok, and to say it blew up is an understatement! People fell in love with my miniatures and hyperspeed videos, and I went viral within weeks of posting my first Tik Tok! There wasn’t a huge community of miniaturists at that time on TT, but that changed due to Corona. I started incorporating similar styles of posts on Instagram, focusing on fast-speed tutorials and before and after videos. Eventually, Real vs. Mini videos, which were a hit on both Tik Tok and Instagram. Eventually, that all translated into my IG account growing extremely fast, getting more significant accounts and companies to notice me, and being featured in huge accounts, like @apartmenttherapy.
Which room box have you completed that is your favorite one to date? Can we see pictures?
I think the pineapple bedroom roombox is one of my favs. My favorite mini pieces to make are beds. I love to create and design new styles, not just mimic real-life things I see. Of course, I get inspiration from real-life design, but I genuinely like to create my own unique pieces and style.
While scrolling through your IG, I liked the consistent aesthetic of your room box builds… care to share what your favorite materials are to build each room box? The edges look so smooth!
I use all kinds of materials, but I focus on making them as realistic as possible. I focus on realism, so scale and materials that mimic real-life things are best. I use a lot of chipboard and basswood now that I have my Cricut, which definitely helped me level up the quality in my builds.
When it comes to working in minis and roomboxes, would you share three tips that other miniatures might find helpful?
- You must love to do it, not for money, but for the pure love of design or art.
- You must record everything you do! Take pics, document, shoot videos! Sharing your art inspires and helps others learn, but it will encourage you to continue your journey and get better!
- TOOLS are the most important thing in this hobby. Power tools, saws, the right scissors and knives, the more fancy tools like Cricut and 3d printers this is what will help you get better and create wonderful things! Having the right tools is a game-changer.
Rosa, thanks so much for sharing with the community. I know I probably speak for everyone when I say we appreciate you sharing and inspiring us all!
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