Interview: Kate Jenkins

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Kate Jenkins runs a shop called Pinyatay. She creates unique pinatas, alongside garlands, decorations and favour boxes. I was lucky enough to interview Kate about her shop and what she is currently up to. 

Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?

Good thankyou!

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I studied fashion design and worked in fashion for years before having children. My old job wasn't particularly flexible and I didn't want to miss out on my children growing up.  I was lucky enough to be able to quit my job and be a full time mum- hardest job ever by the way! 

I adore your business. What made you decide to set up Pinyatay?

I was looking for something to do when my youngest started school that was both flexible and creative. I made a pinata for my son's birthday and it was a real hit (excuse the pun!) I had so many compliments and requests that I decided I could turn it into a business!

Why did you call your shop Pinyatay?

It was actually my sister who came up with the name- I was struggling and she jokingly said 'what about pinata and party together - pinyatay!' We laughed and then I just couldn't get it out of my head!

How has your creative process changed since the start?

Not much really, I have always started with an idea or suggestion and then just dived right in to making. I am definitely a trial and error kind of girl.

How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?

I just kind of make it up as I go along! 

Have you always been into craft and design?

Yes always. My mum is very creative- she made our clothes and was doing art projects with us when we were young. Luckily I was encouraged to explore my creativity and went on to university to study fashion.

If there were no resource restraints, what would be your dream project?

I just love it when a customer comes to me with a crazy idea that doesn't seem possible at first and I have to find a way to figure it out!

What equipment do you use for your work?

Cardboard, tissue paper, scissors, scalpel.

What tools or materials could you not live without?

An endless supply of sharp blades for my scalpel!

Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?

I love Instagram for connecting with likeminded creatives, it has such a lovely sense of community. Everyone is so positive and encouraging. It can be pretty lonely working from home but it feels like I have friends in my phone who are doing similar things at the same time so in a sense they are my workmates! And if I get some sales from it too that's a bonus!

Who inspires your work?

Totally my kids! They are always coming up with ideas and planning their next party!

Do you have any favourite pieces of work that you adore at the moment from your shop?

It's hard to say, probably the star with tassels- I like the ones that are a bit more than just piñatas!

What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram and your work?

I am doing my first wedding fair - most curious in March at the old truman brewery. Very exciting but scary! And I haven't thought much past that yet!

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a few new ideas that have been going around my head for ages and I now finally have the time to realise them.

What’s your typical working day?

I try to get emails and computer stuff out the way first thing then onto the fun stuff of making.

What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?

Getting seen! I am terrible at telling people what I do. I find it really hard saying - I made this, it's brilliant and you should buy one!

Do you have any exciting plans for this year?

Get myself organised is my most exciting plan! My work room is always such a mess so I really want to streamline it and make myself more efficient!

What are your career plans with your online shop?

I want to offer more than just piñatas at some point - more like a one stop party shop. But I am quite happy to slowly grow and not rush ahead though.

Do you have any advice for anyone doing craft fairs?

Nope! Newbie right here!

What advice would you give to people looking to define their own style?

I spent ages searching for the right thing for me but in the end my style found me. Like with most things, I think, it all works out when you stop trying so hard!

Do you have any advice for anyone starting their own online shop?

Just do it. I spent ages thinking it's all really complicated but once I started it wasn't as hard as I imagined. 

What’s next for Pinyatay?

More custom orders I hope! 

What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?

Don't wait until everything is perfect. Just start!

You can follow Kate on her Instagram '@pinyatay' and Facebook '@pinyatayparty'. She has some wonderful pinatas in stock. 

Rhiannon BrittenComment