I love meeting other indie business owners! It’s so interesting to hear all about the products and passions that drive people to become entrepreneurs. Today, I wanted to share an interview with a fabulous new friend of mine, Nessa Jay. She is the owner and artist behind LaLa’s Party, making pinatas, confetti, and festooning. Her craftsmanship is just incredible, and she has such a great attitude about business. Whether you are looking for inspiration or simply planning a party, I think you will enjoy this peek into Nessa’s world.
Nessa, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview! Can you tell us a little bit about LaLa’s Party and what made you decide to open shop?
Thanks so much for inviting me!
LaLa’s Party is a handmade pinata shop I launched in 2013 from my home in Puerto Rico. I specialize in custom pinatas for unique party themes and decor.
Since high school I made pinatas and other party decor supplies for friends and family as a hobby. About 2 years after graduating from college (and floundering in a terrible job market) my best friend Ginny suggested I take that hobby and turn it into a business. I played with the idea for a little while but about 3 months in I realized I loved it and wanted to pursue it with gusto.
Your handmade pinatas are absolutely fabulous! How long does it typically take you to create one from scratch?
Thank you, that’s very kind! Custom orders take the longest and time can vary depending on the design and difficulty. From the sketching/design phase to packing up for shipment can take anywhere between 10 to 20 hours. Sometimes more if I’m REALLY obsessed with a detail. Of course, this time is divided between multiple days as pieces need drying and setting time.
For made to order designs I create a pattern for all the pieces and details from the prototype which means I can create one in 3 to 5 hours + drying time.
So many party possibilities! What are the most popular occasions for having a pinata?
Pinatas for adult events are my best sellers. Most of my clients approach me for pinatas for gender reveal parties, bachelorette parties and anniversaries.
Have you received any weird, wild, or challenging custom requests?
Hmm…The only really strange request I’ve ever received was for a Buddha pinata. The idea of creating something in the image of a religious figure didn’t feel right to me so I passed on that project.
One of my most recent challenging requests was for an engagement party. The couple wanted a pair of pinatas of their faces. They sent me a photo and from that image I created a stylized version of their facial features. In the end I really loved the results but that was definitely a challenging one. I made about 7 different versions of the bride’s smile and changed the position of her eyes about 4 times before final approval.
I see that you recently refreshed and re-branded LaLasParty.com. What are all the new goodies we can find there now?
Yes, in July I took a month off to finish an entire rebranding and remodel of my shop!
Now, for the first time ever, there are paper mache designs available for sale online! The logistics of shipping a paper mache item prevented me from selling them online in the past but now I can finally ship them safely and offer them to my long distance customers!
Any big plans for the future?
I’m so glad you asked! This next year is going to be big for me AND LaLa’s Party. My next big plan is to move back to the mainland U.S so I can be closer to my clients. Shipping from an island has its difficulties and limits the sizes and shapes of pinatas I can create and ship. Being in the 48 solves this issue and will let me to create bigger and bolder pinatas for everyone!
Thank you again for taking the time to chat. It’s such a pleasure talking with another indie business owner, particularly someone who also works in parties and events. It’s a fun job… and it’s ours!
Thanks for the opportunity! It was really fun and I LOVE your work! Us party girls gotta stick together! 😀