Meet Jackie Anderson, Katy Mama & Owner/Creator Behind Mini Adventures Co.
Get ready to just totally drool over today’s feature. I could scroll her instagram and website all day with my jaw on the floor, in awe of this mama’s true gift.
Jackie Anderson, is the creator behind the dollhouses and her company Mini Adventures Co. Ever since renovating a dollhouse for her daughter Lucy as a Christmas present, she became obsessed with creating miniatures. Jackie thinks everything is just cuter when it’s in miniature form and we could not agree more! The coolest part? Everything looks so real!
Jackie loves creating variety, which is why you have so many mini adventures to choose from on her website: full dollhouses, travel dollhouses that pack up, and mini furniture and decor if you want to create your own mini adventure. Her mini kitchens? I want to recreate one for my actual home!
Jackie is a firm believer in doing things yourself, and wants to inspire kids and adults to make their own mini adventures. There is no greater satisfaction than seeing your mini project come together and her dream with this company is to provide mamas with the tools and tutorials you need to work on your own mini spaces! And off course, she will always sell completed packages if you’re not the DIY type. (that’s me! ha!)
I was so excited to interview Jackie about all things mom life, her hopes and dreams for her business, and even scored a special Katy mamas discount for all of you!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Katy?
My teenage self would be mortified, but I’ve lived in Katy virtually my whole life. My family moved to Katy from Houston when I was 2 years old, and other than going away to UT Austin for 4 years, I’ve lived here ever since. I swore I was going to move away to somewhere cooler, but I absolutely love it here. It’s a great place to raise a family, and it is insane how much I’ve seen it grow in the 33 years I’ve lived here.
You’re a mama to three sweet littles! What are their names and how old are they?
Yes! They’re the reason for the dark circles under my eyes and the smile on my face. Lucy is my oldest at 6.5 years, and she is the star of the show. Ricky is our energetic middle child at 5 years old, and Baylor (the total boss of the family) is our youngest at 1.5 years. They drive me absolutely insane, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Katy?
Katy is such a family-oriented community with everything you could possibly want. I love the suburban feel, but we’re just down the street from big city amenities. When I was growing up here, 99 wasn’t even a road, and Cinco Ranch hadn’t even begun. Things have definitely changed, but you can still find small town holes-in-the-wall alongside new, trendy places. As a former Katy ISD teacher, I have to brag on the schools, too.
Least favorite mom job? (i.e. packing lunches, dishes, bath time, etc.)
Good grief! I can only choose one!? My least favorite mom (and wife) job is picking up after so many people all day, every day. If I were crazy enough to record how much time I spend each day picking up after people other than myself, it would probably give me an eye twitch.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
If you talk to me for a few minutes, it probably wouldn’t be that surprising, but I’m a total nerd who loves solving problems. I used to do a lot of woodworking and making my own furniture, and I find it really soothing to do all the calculations that come with that. It’s one of my favorite things about working with dollhouses: a lot of math is involved and every project has lots of problems that need solving.
Favorite local things to do in Katy/Richmond/Fulshear? (With kiddos or just for mom!)
When it’s not a million degrees out, we love going to parks and hitting the nature trails in our neighborhood. We love eating at La Centerra because the kids can run around while I actually enjoy a fresh meal. We also like going to high school football games because there’s just nothing quite like Friday night lights in Katy, Texas.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
My kids learned the word “perseverance” from a very young age. We teach them about trying until they get it so that helps a lot when it comes to my kids being independent when I need them to be.
Tell us about your business, Mini Adventures Co! And what was the inspiration behind it?
Mini Adventures Co. is all about creating mini adventures for big imaginations. My business has evolved over the years. This past year, I made some changes to reflect what I wanted my business to be: trendy and modern dollhouse furniture and decor made for imaginative play. I even offer more affordable DIY kits that children can put together with a little bit of help from mom, and I publish tutorials on my blog so kids realize there is so much they can make themselves without spending money. Lucy was my initial inspiration, but oddly enough, she doesn’t even really like playing with dollhouses. That’s okay because now I sell things for other kids to enjoy now.
What are some of your favorites products or projects you’ve worked on?
It seems like every custom dollhouse is my favorite. I keep a board on Pinterest that shows all my custom projects. I worked with Hygge & West, a gorgeous wallpaper company, to recreate a room from their home decor book; that was especially challenging, but the end result was magical. I’m currently working on a Hearth & Hand Treehouse that looks like it belongs in the middle of a fairy garden, and I cannot wait to share it.
I’ve truly never seen such unique pieces! When did you first know you had an eye and talent to do such detailed work?
A few years ago, I bought a Melissa & Doug dollhouse to make over for Lucy’s Christmas present. The very second I started I knew how much I loved it and that it wouldn’t be my last dollhouse. I spent hours a day for three solid weeks fixing up that dollhouse. I even cut off ends of popsicle sticks and glued them down to make hardwood floors (0/5 stars; do not recommend).
Were you always this creative and how have you grown your skills over time?
A few years ago, I would have laughed if someone had told me I was creative. I never saw myself that way until I matured enough to realize there are so many ways to be creative. To be honest, most of my inspiration comes from Pinterest. I feel like the real creativity, for me, at least, comes in the problem solving of creating a new design and getting it just right. I learn something new on every project. To make dollhouses, you have to be able to do a bit of everything. My skill with woodworking was a great start, but I’ve also had to learn how to do ceramics, sewing, and graphic design, among other things.
Do your kids get input into your products or test them out before you put them up for sale?
Absolutely! I watch the kids play with their dollhouses and listen to what they’re doing to see what’s missing. I’ve noticed that they love interactive items so I try to keep that in mind when developing a new design. I show Lucy and her friends a couple options for a new design, and they usually get to make the final choice. Ricky and Baylor are excellent quality control inspectors. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how well some of my pieces hold up to a 1.5-year-old.
Future plans for your biz or big dream dreams?
Oh my goodness! Where do I even start? With 3 littles, it’s so hard to find time to work on my side business, but I look forward to being able to expand as the kids get older. I’d really like to offer a Mommy and Me workshop where a child and his/her mom can make something like a travel dollhouse that packs up so play time travels with you. I also think it would be so much fun to host dollhouse parties where groups of kids can put together and decorate mini furniture.
How important is it for you to have a passion outside of being a mother?
I cannot stress enough the importance of having a passion outside of motherhood. Of course, my kids are my first and best job, but I still need to have something just for me. Creating miniatures allows me to be creative and to use my brain. It gives me the energy I need to take care of my children.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?
This is a very long list that includes so many amazing people. My mom taught me to be nurturing and selfless. My mother-in-law taught me the importance of being silly and fun. My dad taught me the value of working hard and enjoying the moment. My husband has made all of my dreams comes true, and being a stay-at-home mom with the time and means to pursue a passion would not be possible without his hard work and support.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Enjoy sleeping in and stop feeling guilty about it! Go on more vacations!
We are all about community, as are you! What does having a mom tribe mean to you?
Being a stay-at-home mom can be incredibly lonely and monotonous. I honestly hadn’t found much of a mom tribe until Lucy started kindergarten this past year. These women started off as neighbors but have become so essential to my life. They are my sounding board and and listen to me without judging. Now, I don’t know what I would do without these amazing women who surround me.
Jackie open her shop on the first of every month for a preorder that ships 3 to 4 weeks later. Use coupon code KatyMomsNetwork for 15% off your order during the July 1st preorder. She can also refund shipping costs for customers who are local and would like to pick up their orders!
Social Channels: IG @mini.adventures.co