HINGHAM (CBS) - Kate Yetman picked up an old dollhouse on the side of the road thinking it would be a fun pandemic project.
"I never thought in my wildest dreams this would be where it is right now. Like I said, I just started doing it cause I was bored and had nothing else to do," Yetman told WBZ-TV.
Like so many other Americans, COVID-19 cost the Hingham woman her job.
"I lost both of my jobs. I was an esthetician and a makeup artist. One day I came across some dollhouses on the side of the road with paper towel 'free' signs on them, so I scooped them up," Yetman explained.
Shortly after, a childhood friend asked Yetman to makeover her daughter's doll house for Christmas. She got to work on a Marshfield-themed "Green Harbor Beach Bungalow."
"I flipped a regular old dollhouse into a beach bungalow and after that it kind of spiraled out of control, in a good way. Hundreds of people messaged me after the beach bungalow went on Facebook," Yetman said.
She keeps a storage shelf full of dollhouse décor and a bin full of fabric for mini curtains, rugs or custom bed linens. Her dollhouse artwork is cut and pasted from magazine clippings.
"My favorite part is definitely the decorating, interior design, picking out furniture. I love doing outdoor spaces. I think that just adds an extra 'woo' factor so that's wicked fun. Painting the inside is brutal. You know how if you're doing a real room the taping is the worst part? Try doing that in a dollhouse," she said.
Yetman said parents typically tell her what their children's interests are or a theme for the dollhouse. She works with all different kinds of budgets.
"Every dollhouse has a story and I've heard so many amazing stories the past few months. Some of them have been passed on generation to generation. I've had women reach out to me that they have their childhood dollhouse that's been in an attic for the past 30 years and they want to gift it to their daughter or their granddaughter. As I'm working on the houses I have so many memories that are flashing back in my head of me playing with my childhood house. I spent hours and hours playing with that," she told WBZ.
Yetman never thought her pandemic hobby would become so successful, but she's grateful for a new chapter.
"It just blew up and I had to make my own website. I'm having a blast, this is work now. It's just so fun, I feel like a kid."
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