“We’ve definitely created our own little community here – in both studios – and we’re a family,” says Hannah Perry, owner of The Giggling Pig.
And this vibrant family is welcoming some new critters into the fold. “Basically, I’d written a few books about The Giggling Pig,” explains this former nanny and single mom. “So, I wanted to create these characters that really talked about kindness and friendship. That’s what we stand for, so we had the plush made.”
And with these new stuffed animals, Perry’s brand is growing. All the while, she teaches kids more than how to paint. Her unique Authors & Illustrators program enables them to publish their own books. “Teaching kids about entrepreneurship and letting them know that they can bring their ideas to life is really important,” she says, noting she uses her story of perseverance to inspire, too.
In 2017, Perry suffered a frightening setback at her second art studio. “That store was open 8 months before it burned down, so that was really, really heartbreaking,” she says. “The community was really strong and amazing. We re-opened in 24 hours in a new location…it really shows kids that even in the worst of situations, you can definitely come out on top.”
The new toys are providing smiles at Yale New Haven Hospital. “Every plush that’s purchased, we’ll give one to the pediatric unit to give to their patients,” says store manager, Laura Shevlin.
The art space helps growing kids find compassion and confidence. “I think it definitely helps them grow their self-esteem because they feel such pride in doing what they do here,” says Perry. “It’s very special .”
Perry is planning to publish more books, open more studios and, yes, her busy summer camp will once again be filled with creative kids.
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