Originally published in Alaska Public Media

VIDAL: At first I started calling myself a word I made up — “Piñateur” — which is silly because it has some Spanish and French, but now I’m just the owner of The Piñata Shop.

Almost a year ago, my now-seven-year-old was about to turn seven, and she asked me for a Trolls-themed birthday party. And she doesn’t have to twist my arm to make a party. I enjoy parties a lot. I was an event and wedding planner in Mexico and I worked doing the same in New Jersey. I knew I wasn’t going to find it in Anchorage, because I knew when I’d seen piñatas before. I think I know piñatas; I’d been around them all my life. Usually, by the time the second kid hits it, it’s broken in pieces, and I thought they were very fragile and not very well made.

So I told her, “I’m going to make you a piñata. And she want the cloud guy. She wanted the cloud to rain candy once it was broken. And I gave it a shot, and I loved how it turned. And that was the beginning of it.

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I wanted to do something different, so I went for a salmon, a humpy salmon. And I loved how it turned out, and my husband, the Alaska guy, was very proud. He took a picture of me holding the salmon piñata and sent it to all his relatives. And our neighbors and friends started looking at what I was doing, and I started getting orders from them.

I’ve seen them being whacked and people ask me, “doesn’t it hurt to see your work, and those hours invested in them, just being whacked.” And I say no. I thought it was going to be like that, but I’m excited for the kids. I’m like, “Get it! Harder! Come on, Johnny! Come on Lulu! Come on, go for it!” That’s nice for me to make their very first piñata and I have people coming back to me and asking for more.

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