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BALLWIN, Mo. - No matter the sport, athletes usually need equipment. And it's that equipment one local couple is especially passionate about.

Only this isn't exactly equipment anyone can use, it's more to be appreciated and admired.

In a basement in Ballwin, a tiny business keeps Tom and Judy Murphy rather busy.

"I've always messed with wood," said Tom.

But until 1993 it was more of a hobby than their livelihood. In 1993 Tom was laid off, so he went searching for something to do and stumbled upon a dollhouse shop.

"I never built a dollhouse in my life," he said.

But he took a kit home and built it, and Judy Murphy sold it. And that opened his mind to a world of small possibilities.

"I told Judy, you know I think there's a little money in this," said Tom.

So they started building thumbnail size accessories and over the years the business has evolved to a different miniature need.

These days Datim miniatures creates pocket-size ice skates, toy-like toboggans, and about 70 other pint-size pieces of sports equipment. You name it they can make it down to the finest detail.

So in a world where you often hear go big or go home, the Murphys are doing quite the opposite and they're enjoying every little minute.

If you're interested in a miniature, email them at datimminiatures@sbcglobal.net.

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