Hobby shop Through the Keyhole is closing after 40 years of business

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As of late, there aren’t many dry eyes inside Through the Keyhole as the longtime miniatures hobby shop prepares to close its doors at the southeast corner of Preston and Forest after 40 years of business in Dallas.

“It’s sad,” says owner Gayle Harrison Pompa. “There’s just not enough people doing miniatures anymore.”

The shop will host one last party for loyal patrons March 15. There will be a hot dog cook-out and a garage sale of items from the store. Pompa says she may be giving things away for free, too, just avoid the hassles of storage. Sales are going on now at the shop, including a “make me an offer” table.

Through the Keyhole specializes in miniature dollhouse items — including figurines, furniture, mini-decor, down to the tiniest details. We featured the shop in our January 2011 issue “Things we love about Preston Hollow.”

Pompa says popularity in the hobby has declined; the serious miniaturists are mostly older folks. Sure, parents come in to buy gifts for their little girls, but those are only short-term, she says.

And the other business killer? The internet.

Pompa has operated Through the Keyhole with her mother, Dorothy, — who is now 97 — since 1974, starting in the Olla Podrida Mall, which is another gem that should never have closed, Pompa says. (If you want to reminisce more about that, check out the Facebook page, “I miss Olla Podrida Mall.”) The shop has been at Preston/Forest for 18 years.

“We feel like we had a good run,” Pompa says.

If you’ve never visited Through the Keyhole, stop by before it’s too late for a look at the small world within. Although most of us aren’t miniature hobbyists, it’s hard not to appreciate the craft.

The shop keeps odd hours, so call before you go.


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