Amna Ali has been running her piñata business for over seven years. She started her journey as The Pinata lady when she couldn’t find a piñata for her son’s birthday. Amna talks about her mad piñata making skills, the struggles she had to face as a start up and her source of inspiration!
Were you always drawn towards arts and crafts?
I was very energetic, growing up I was inclined more towards sports than art. I played basketball and I loved swimming, I also competed to national level in 1987, art however is a learnt trait. I later started fashion school and that is where I found the direction I wanted to steer towards.
How did you begin your career in piñata making?
It was my son’s birthday and I couldn’t find a piñata anywhere so I thought I’ll make one myself. It made me realise that the market and demand is but there is no one to supply for the demand. So my business actually started from Al Fatah. A lady came along with a cart full of treats and I asked her if she was shopping for a birthday party, to which she said she organises birthday parties. Although I hadn’t even sold a single piñata at that point, I told her I made them. She took my number and the very next day placed an order. And that’s how it all started. I believe in my case, it was destiny.
What is the most challenging part about your job?
I have been working solo since the beginning so from arranging the art supplies to marketing, everything is done by myself. Initially I did struggle a lot and it was hard for me to get connected to people. If I asked people to put my fliers in their coffee shops they wouldn’t. I think everything has helped me grow stronger each day.
What did you struggle with the most as a solo entrepreneur?
Consistency was my biggest problem. I used to lose heart when I first started, months would go by and I would not get a single order but that is where my husband came in, he supported me and most of all he helped me be consistent through it all.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
I love making people smile and I felt that making piñatas was just the right way to do it. This trait has helped channel my energy in the best way possible. It helps me express myself and experiment with how creative I can get. It makes me feel like I am worth something. For a woman it is important to have her own identity, something that she can call her own.
What inspires you?
I am very fond of reading and the novel “Aleph” by Paulo Coelho is what inspires me a lot.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud of the fact that I have done everything on my own, I marketed myself and didn’t hire a PR person or a manager to help me out with my new business.
How long does it take you to create a basic piñata?
One basic piñata takes around 2-3 days and a complex one takes about a week but I put my heart and soul into it and make sure that it turns out just perfect. Because the smiles! That’s what matters the most.
What was the most challenging piñata you have ever made?
The most challenging piñata that I have ever done was a castle and a clown piñata. I create piñatas for every occasion from dholki parties to bridal showers to 80 year old grandma’s birthday parties; I have come to know that people of all ages enjoy piñatas which is great, more reasons to smile right?
A piece of advice you would like to give to other females starting up their businesses?
Women need to understand that we are powerful creatures and are capable of doing so much if we just put our minds to it. Believe in yourself, be consistent and good things will surely come to you.