The Little Gingerbread House reopens

September 28, 1997


Staff Writer

FUNKSTOWN - Finding Halloween tricks and treats just got a little easier here since Friday's reopening of The Little Gingerbread House.

Linda Long Gibney, owner of the tiny 109 E. Maple St. craft and antique shop, said she's stocked five or six times more inventory than when it opened for nine months in 1990.

This year, she's added a witch - a character part of a new section of magic supplies and costume rentals, which also include a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, a Spanish dancer, Santa and Mrs. Claus and Batman.


Dancewear, movie makeup, masks, wigs and other disguises are also available.

"I'm a big kid. I've always liked to play. This is the result. It's fun to have a shop like this that you really enjoy," said Gibney, 44.

She's placed a bench at the top of the path leading down to the shop,"for husbands-in-waiting. I'm sure there will be a lot of them who will want to sit out here rather than wait in the car."

The Little Gingerbread House also offers party and wedding decorations. Customers can order balloon bouquets - delivered by a costumed character - or buy fill-it-yourself pinatas, shaped like cars, cacti or cows.

Gibney also makes soft, fully dressed toddler-sized dolls called "Brat Dolls." The dolls have no faces because they're made to stand in the corner or against a bed, as if they're pouting.

"Here lately I've been starting the day at 6 a.m. by plugging in the glue gun," she said.

The 15-by-20-foot store, painted like a gingerbread cottage with white "icing" trim is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

"For now, we want to do personal things for individuals. If it's not here, we'll try to make it or get it," Gibney said.

Gibney manages another business from her home - Health and Fitness Weight Loss, a medically supervised weight-loss counseling service.

That business has thrived for seven years, and it has 600 clients on the books - women and men, 12 to 80, she said.

"We've added natural herbs, but it's not Weight Watchers, and we don't use diet pills," she said.

The entrepreneur leans on family to help things run smoothly: her daughters, Jessica Preston, 23, of Funkstown, and Beckie Fazenbaker, 29, of Big Pool, Md., and her husband, Lloyd Gibney, 46, who is a fellow craft enthusiast.

Lloyd Gibney builds furnished two-story wooden doll houses for sale in The Little Gingerbread House. He also makes and paints wooden birdhouses, kittens, tulips and other wood crafts.

"There's hardly time for the new marriage. It takes all our time with two businesses ... but it's fun," Linda Gibney said. "My favorite part is working with the costumes - the entertainment part of it. You meet so many people ... and my husband and I get to work together."

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