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Though the medium may be wacky, Meaghan Kennedy's piñatas are detailed works of art.
Meaghan Kennedy is talking so fast her words stumble over one another in a competition to leave her mouth. She is gesturing enthusiastically, her two-inch long fingernails clacking together repeatedly.
“I would love to have a line at a craft store: Crafting for Girls With Long Nails,” laughs Kennedy.
While her flawless manicure might suggest otherwise, Kennedy crafts for a living. Not only that but Your Piñata, Kennedy’s company, produces the haute couture of piñatas—custom, one-of-a-kind and lovingly handmade.
Customers send her a photograph of the person they would like replicated into a piñata, and Kennedy creates their likeness. She has made piñatas for a diverse clientele that includes CEOs and celebrities, such as Jason Priestly and Robert Pattinson.
Kennedy got her big break into the piñata business with her very first creation, a piñata for friend Paul Anthony and his new monthly cable-access variety show, Talent Time. The craftsmanship of her work created so much interest that people began to make requests for their own piñatas, and soon Kennedy quit her retail job to become a full-time piñata maker.
“I sat down to my first day of work and just sat there laughing for two hours, thinking, ‘This is my first day of work,’” Kennedy smiles.
Though the medium may be wacky, Kennedy’s piñatas are detailed works of art.
“When people order a piñata they don’t get it yet—what goes into it,” she explains. “But when they actually see them they’re like, ‘Oh my God, it has hair!’”
The piñatas also have false eyelashes, customized clothing, and Kennedy goes so far as to have artists from the Flying Dutchman illustrate tattoos, if required.
Your Piñatas founder Meaghan Kennedy is often hired to make piñata representations of her clients. Her own paper mache doppleganger bears her signature two-inch fingernails. (Image: www.yourpinata.com)
Despite the hours of labour that go into each piñata, Kennedy still wants her piñatas to fulfill their piñata destiny: to be smashed to bits with a big stick. However, everyone reacts differently to her piñatas. Some people display them in their houses, which Kennedy is deeply flattered by. Some become upset at the idea of breaking their own effigy. Others use the opportunity to release inner demons.
“I’ve had a few people who have been trying to overcome something in their life so they’ve ordered their old selves or their exes and bashed them,” Kennedy says. “If I could’ve smashed my ex-boyfriend, I probably would’ve gotten over it a lot faster.”
Though intrigued by the psychology of her piñata clients, Kennedy is simply glowing to have stumbled into her life’s passion.
“I was at my married friends’ place and they were talking about how they’re so in love and happy, and I said, “Alright, alright, I feel like I found that with piñatas. I know my purpose and I’m really excited about everything, and that must be like the love you have.’”