The best things come in small packagesThis is a small...


October 30, 1994|By Stephanie Shapiro

The best things come in small packages

This is a small story about a miniature room that will benefit a giant cause.

As part of "Make a Little Room," a Nov. 19 fund-raiser for the Corner House Shelters for homeless children, women and families operated by the YWCA of Greater Baltimore, 15 miniature rooms will be auctioned at Gaines McHale Antiques on Leadenhall Street.

For their contribution to the auction, Marcia Carney and Mary Lou Ballard are creating a miniature room with the theme "Welcome to Baltimore, Hon."

The scene, built on a scale of an inch to a foot, is set on a Federal Hill rowhouse deck where a crab feast, resting on local newspapers, awaits a hungry throng. The microscopic crabs are spiced with real Old Bay, and of course, there are wee mallets to crack claws with.

There is also a pint-size cooler, filled with requisite beers and soda. A little (very little) boy in Orioles garb, holding teeny, tiny baseball cards, sits in anticipation on a bench.

Minuscule vines climb the deck's lattice. Diminutive flowers, formed from clay and paper, adorn the deck as well.

And there is a panoramic view of the Baltimore harbor, actually a photograph snapped by Gary Foster.

"We've been thinking about [the room] for most of the summer," Ms. Carney says. And now, the two women, who work at A Little Something, a Harborplace store for miniature enthusiasts, are anxiously awaiting the arrival of miniature wallpaper to complete their itty-bitty universe.

The 15 rooms will be exhibited in store windows of the Gallery at Harbor Place Nov. 4 through 18. A workshop for children on creating miniature rooms will also take place from noon until 2 p.m. at the Gallery. For more information, call (410) 332-4191.

For information about the YWCA benefit, call (410) 685-1460, Ext. 264. Fitness consultant Mark Hoffman produces lots of sweat, sweat music -- the kind that helps people through the rigors of exercise. His mail-order company Dynamix sells fast-paced workout tapes throughout the United States, primarily to aerobics instructors.

Most of the music is a "high-energy" smorgasbord of contemporary sounds -- lots of hip hop and funk -- which Mr. Hoffman blends into various 45-minute workouts.

Dynamix users range from aerobics teachers at the YMCA to body beautifuls on ESPN's Body Shaping program. More individuals are also buying Dynamix tapes to accompany their running, biking and Stairmastering.

Mr. Hoffman launched Dynamix three years ago from his home. Now the company, located at the Rotunda office complex, boasts annual sales of $1.5 million and employs a dozen full- and part-time employees.

Financial success hasn't kept the 34-year-old entrepreneur from the trenches, though. Before Dynamix, Mr. Hoffman worked full-time as a personal trainer. He still retains several clients and also teaches aerobics classes every week at Meadow Mill fitness complex in Woodberry.

"Teaching keeps me in direct contact with our product," he explains. "If a tape works for me, it will work for others."

Linell Smith

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