GNOMECRAFT Studio is a Montreal-based homegrown business creating unique miniatures and dioramas. Catering to an array of clientele such as art collectors, gamers who would like to add visuals to their gaming sessions and elderly people who wish to revive a special memory of a specific room they once lived in. Dustin Carpenter started making miniatures as a hobby and later transformed it into a budding business, we spoke with him to learn more.
What is your business called and what does it do?
My business is called GNOMECRAFT Studio. At GNOMECRAFT Studio I make custom dioramas and miniature accessories, for functional use and building.
What made you want to do this work?
Started as a hobby until I started to get lots of interest, so I made a list of products and started making and selling them.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
I want to showcase miniatures and dioramas as a very nice decorative pieces for your home or garden outside. There aren’t many places where you can find good quality decorative products, in miniature, for a gift or something cool like a talking piece for your guests, so I decided to make these products myself.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
My clientele is a very wide range from tabletop gamers, who want to spice up the visuals of their gaming sessions, to art collectors who want an original piece custom-made to their specifications, to an elderly person wanting to recreate a favourite room that they no longer have, by using references they provide, to get the most realistic scene in the specific scale.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
The business makes money through Custom commissions, selling my main miniature products, such as Brick wall fridge magnets, gnome homes (fairy homes that go outside) and gnome door drink coasters. It works by clients contacting me through my Instagram or email, placing an order with their specifications and then hand-make them to order. Soon I will have my own platform and website for ease of sales.
Where in the city can we find your profession?
In local markets and online at the moment. I will be going to makers’ markets to sell all my products around town here in Montreal.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
How do you price out your art pieces to something similar in an art store? I factur in the cost of materials, time spent working and my experience. Typically most of my products will be more expensive than what you would see at Micheals, for example, but what separates me from them is A) everything is handmade in my very unique style and B) Anything and everything can be customized so you will always be buying an original piece (Art collectors like that)
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part about what I do is the building. I just love the building process and running into the inevitable troubleshooting moments, when something is quite working, that’s when I can get really creative. The worst part I would say is the shipping portion for my clients outside the city and country. It’s always a gamble, even if you made sure it’s packed solid, that something may break in shipping. It’s always the nail-biting moment until I get confirmation from the client that it has arrived.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
I’m a miniaturist, not a hoarder
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?
I absolutely adore the restaurant Chez Simon Cantine Urbaine. Hands down the best smash burgers in Montreal.