Miniature toy building and building blocks have always been a source of endless fun and creativity for people of all ages. The joy of constructing intricate structures, from towering skyscrapers to quaint little cottages, is both captivating and therapeutic. These miniature replicas offer a unique opportunity to explore architectural design and indulge in the satisfaction of crafting something with your own hands. However, one common challenge is that these miniature structures are often made from plastic or other materials that don’t quite capture the authentic feel of the real materials.
Mini Materials, who appeared on the 15th season of ‘Shark Tank‘, recognized the need for high-quality miniature building supplies that truly mimic the authenticity of real materials. This has allowed them to tap into a consumer base that was seeking exceptional quality and attention to detail in their miniature building materials.
The World of Mini Materials
Founded in 2015 by Mat Hofma and Erik Polumbo, Mini Materials embarked on a journey to provide innovative construction products in miniature form. Their venture began with a focus on producing tiny cinder blocks and pallets, setting the stage for their remarkable success. What truly set them apart was their commitment to authenticity. Instead of opting for conventional materials like plastic or paper, they used real construction materials, offering miniature enthusiasts an unparalleled level of realism. This approach allowed Mini Materials’ products to target customers beyond the world of hobbies and creative endeavors. They became valuable tools for teaching, versatile decorative items, and fun group activities for various audiences, making them a multifaceted and engaging addition to the market.
In 2022, Jared Waters assumed leadership of Mini Materials, and under his guidance, the company underwent a remarkable transformation. A graduate in Political Science and Public Policy from Boise State University, he stepped into the role after a decade-long career with Business Valuation Resources, LLC, where he served as an Account Executive first and then as the Training Director. He was also a customer service representative at Netflix till 2011 and it helped hone his customer-centric approach.
Waters recognized the potential for expansion and diversification, and he wasted no time in introducing an array of innovative products all handmade in the US. Mini Materials expanded its offerings to include miniature versions of concrete blocks, red bricks, and lumber, distinguishing itself by employing real materials like wood, cement, and nails in its manufacturing process. Taking authenticity to the next level, they began producing intricately detailed miniature replicas of railway barriers, traffic signs, and even miniature furniture. These additions empower customers to construct entire microcosms and realize their creative visions on a small scale.
Having relocated its headquarters to Portland, Oregon, Mini Materials has embraced cutting-edge technology to bolster its operations and cater to a broader clientele. The company has adopted on-demand manufacturing techniques, employing state-of-the-art methods like 3D printing, laser cutting, and substrate printing to meet the increasing demand for its unique products. Under Waters’ strategic leadership, Mini Materials expanded its product range exponentially, introducing over 30 new offerings to its catalog. This approach not only underscores the brand’s commitment to innovation but also positions it as a frontrunner in the miniature construction materials industry.
Where is Mini Materials Now?
According to their website, Mini Materials is currently “the world’s leader in manufacturing and selling the most realistic miniature building supplies available.” The company’s extensive product line is neatly organized into various departments, encompassing diverse categories like flooring, furniture, and outdoor living. Within these departments, customers can explore a wide array of materials, including lumber, concrete, and masonry, making it possible to replicate real-world construction projects on a miniature scale. Mini Materials caters to different scales, offering a range of sizes to meet various creative and educational needs. Additionally, they provide the flexibility for customers to personalize their selections, adding a unique touch to their miniature construction projects.
Mini Materials is not just a store for creative individuals, it’s a comprehensive resource for those seeking inspiration and guidance for their miniature construction projects. The company offers a wealth of creative ideas through its blogs, along with detailed blueprints to help kickstart your projects. In addition, they provide valuable tutorials on their YouTube channel, guiding customers on how to make the best use of their products. Their customer-centric approach is reinforced by their convenient shipping and return policies, making the shopping experience all the more enjoyable. They even have a mascot, an adorable dog named Kira, who keeps a watch on all the undertakings of the company. Since its appearance on Shark Tank, Mini Materials has further strengthened its presence, and it’s exciting to watch its continued growth.