Originally published in the Anchorage Press.
Since living in Alaska, Carolina Vidal has spent the last year making and selling homemade piñatas through social media.
It started a year ago when Vidal’s daughter was about to turn seven. She requested a Troll-themed pinata, and Vidal knew she wouldn’t be able to find it in Anchorage. She took matters into her own hands and created the piñata at home. Vidal’s friends and neighbors took notice and then the orders came in.
“I told her I would make her a piñata… I think I know piñatas I’ve had them all my life,” Vidal said.
Vidal was born and raised in Mexico. She’s been living in the U.S. for 12 years now, but has only spent about two and a half years living in Alaska.
She spent many years as a wedding and event planner, and hopes to supply piñatas for not only kids events, but also retirement parties, weddings and other adult events.
“I like to think I’m bringing more fun to Alaska events. I know all Americans know pinatas, but I want to show that, you know, they are fun for kids parties, but also for grown-ups. ” Vidal said. “I want to show people that besides doing the sweet, cute pinatas for children, grown ups can have fun, too.”
Although Vidal grew up around piñatas, she needed some guidance when she started out. She found a wide community of pinata makers on the internet that have helped her along the way.
“I wanted to do it the old fashioned way, with balloons, and the paste, and the paper,” Vidal said. “Everyone talks to each other… it’s nice, we help each other with techniques.”
Through her micro-business, Vidal has found home in Alaska.
“I still felt like a new kid in town. I still havent been here for even three years yet, but I have met a lot of local artists and local businesses. It’s nice that they reach out to me, or we try to team up now. I feel like wow. It’s such a great feeling. I hadn’t felt that for awhile,” Vidal said. “It’s nice to feel like I belong somewhere, and that Alaska, mainly Anchorage, have been receiving the piñatas well.”
Making piñatas helps Vidal adapt to her new culture in Anchorage, while also practicing techniques and traditions that are an important part of her heritage.
“It keeps me in the Anchorage community, but also very connected to my roots. It’s something that brings me back home,” Vidal said. “Yet, I’d love to do more Alaskan theme ones. I’m trying to do both, the traditional pinatas with an Alaskan twist.”
Vidal does custom pinatas and examples of her work and contact information orders can be found on her instagram, @the_pinata_shop, or Facebook, @ThePinataShopbyCarol.