Vancouver piñata maker brightening up spirits during pandemic
Published Tuesday, June 9, 2020 6:28PM PDT Last Updated Wednesday, June 10, 2020 8:37AM PDT
A customized piñata created for a graduation can be seen in this handout photo courtesy of Your Piñata.
VANCOUVER -- A Vancouver piñata maker has been bringing some much-needed smiles to people's faces during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meaghan Kennedy's fascination with the party staple started a decade ago when she was searching for the perfect piñata to celebrate her birthday.
When she couldn't find the pink poodle piñata she desperately wanted, she decided to take matters into her own hands and created one herself.
Two months later, she quit her full-time job and started her own company Your Piñata.
"Everyone thought I was crazy," Kennedy told CTV News Vancouver.
While business was booming for quite some time, like most small businesses, it took a hit during the global health crisis, due to restrictions on large gatherings.
But Kennedy said even though it's been slower, she's still finding ways to keep busy.
One of her most recent clients wanted a piñata replica of her daughter to celebrate her graduation.
While this was a first of its kind for Kennedy, she said there's been a lot of interest in custom piñatas for graduations, as large social gatherings remain off-limits.
"It's such a shame she couldn't celebrate her grad as originally planned," she said.
"It's important to stay positive, we all have days with the weight of the world on our shoulders, we have to be kind and be kind to ourselves. Piñatas are a good way to do that."
But Kennedy said making a custom piñata is no small feat. The graduation piñata took her about 10 hours to complete and cost the client $300.
"It's all in the details," she said. "I even made her dogs and a Tiffany necklace."
The necklace was the finishing touch Kennedy is most proud of and she was able to recreate it by using a silver chain.
"It's amazing what you can make out of recycling," she said. "I just like to highlight the wonderful things about people and having a piñata with all those details is such a fun gift."
Several store closures during the pandemic also forced Kennedy to get even more creative.
"That’s something COVID taught me and I'm sure a lot of people," she said. "Learning what you can make with what you have at home."
Kennedy uses whatever she can get her hands on, with everything from paint and nail polish to ping pong balls and toilet paper rolls.
But that's not all that's been occupying her time while in quarantine. Kennedy has created a number of piñatas for Zoom birthday parties and other social distancing friendly celebrations.
Kennedy is also offering creative workshops over Zoom to help people make their own piñatas at home.
"Sometimes the best thing you can do is keep things light and fun," she said. "Just be silly."
B.C. students are missing out on traditional prom and graduation ceremonies this year, but many are finding ways to experience some of the pageantry from home.
For our upcoming Class of 2020 series, we're highlighting some of B.C.'s most exceptional graduating high school students.
If you want to share your grad outfit with the world, send your name, photo and school to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know a student who deserves to be recognized? Email us their name, photo and short, 150-word description of their achievements and ambitions.You can also connect with us using the social media hashtag #CTVClassof2020.