The Problem with Pinatas...
The first pinatas I made were for my daughters' birthdays - my elder daughter chose a nutella jar and my younger, a crescent moon. They were delighted with them (phew!) and had great fun bashing them to bits.
I followed this with a pinata for myself and a few for friends and family.
It's the way lots of people start out in a creative business - making something for themselves, widening out to family and friends and then eventually, when they have perfected their skills, selling to others.
But here lies the problem... what kind of pinatas should I make for sale?
There's so many different shapes and themes to choose from - the only limit is your imagination. Each pinata takes a fair bit of time to make - usually 2+ hours depending on what it is, so you need to have some sort of plan.
My first selling outing for my pinatas was at the Glasgow Etsy Made Local market in December. I knew that I wanted to have a few different designs available, but really struggled with what to make. I ended up with a bizarre collection (I use the word 'collection' very loosely) of gin bottles ('Let the festivities be-gin'), Christmas wreaths and geometric decorations. I sold some but was unhappy with what I'd produced - I mean, they were well made, but my heart just wasn't really in it.
I wondered if that would be the end of my pinata dream. I had a bit of a break from making them over the Christmas period, but when I spoke to creative friends in the new year, they seemed to see potential in them (and me!).
That fired me up, but the question of what kind / type to make was still there. I wondered if I could just make custom pinatas - I thought that could be the perfect scenario - the customer would be able to tell me exactly what they wanted and I would get on and make it for them. But how would people trust that I knew what I was doing enough to commission me? What about potential customers who didn't know that they even wanted a pinata for their celebration - how would I be able to reach them and show them that it would be the perfect addition to their party?
I had to have some sort of range for sale. Something that I was excited about. Something that I enjoyed making. Something that would showcase what I could do. It would mainly be based online, but also with the potential to sell in gift shops and at market events in my local area.
So I decided that I had to go back to get some inspiration. I looked at my Paperbuzz Manifesto - what elements could I bring from that? Colour. They need to be colourful and vibrant and bright. I thought about where I live - Glasgow, Scotland. I was born and brought up in Shetland but I've lived in Glasgow for half my life so this is also home now. What could I bring from here? What would make my pinatas different from all the others out there? Tartan. Scottish, colourful, different. Add in some fun Scottish slang and I was hooked.
So here they are. Only a few are ready so far, but I'm on a roll. Watch this space.
They'd be perfect for a whole range of celebrations, from birthdays to weddings, hen parties to graduations, engagements to leaving dos. So many of the Scottish words lend themselves to many different occasions - you just have to 'use yer heid!'
But I don't want to forget my Shetland roots either, so at some point I'm planning to make a small Shetland Fair Isle dialect range too, perfect for birthday, wedding and henny celebrations!
While all of my pinatas are created from old cardboard boxes, the 'Gie it laldy!' and 'Belter!' ones were also made from used tissue paper and ribbon, as an added eco bonus.
So, for now, the problem with pinatas has been solved. However, I'm sure that in a few months time, I'll be ready for a new collection. Who knows where it will take me? I'll just have to wait and see what inspirations appear, and in the meantime, I will enjoy making my colourful Scottish Slang Tartan Pinatas.
If you'd like to purchase one of the pinatas above or request a custom pinata, please get in touch.