When Pigs Fly
Janese Simunek spent most of her career as an interior painter. At age 50, she decided to transition her skills and experience into painting furniture. It was then that she came up with a new concept: teaching courses to people who want to learn how to paint wooden items such as benches, wine racks, and even cornhole boards. That is how she came to found When Pigs Fly.
With 10-12 different projects monthly, When Pigs Fly is focused on teaching guests the art of painting and staining wood, from those who have never painted before, to professional artists looking to learn a new skill. People who sign up for a course can select their projects ahead of time, and are free to paint or stain whatever item they want. Courses run on average for about two hours (“It depends on how much wine they bring”).
Simunek stressed that people do not need any artistic abilities to succeed at her courses. With 10 stain colors and 50 paint colors, she just wants to see what everyone is capable of.
“We are a social place,” Simunek said, emphasizing her focus on fun and expression at When Pigs Fly.
The name of the business, When Pigs Fly, originated from Simunek’s childhood experience and love of raising pigs. “They were funny, and cute, and smart, and tasty,” she joked (she never actually ate the pigs that she raised). When Pigs Fly was flying high in business before the COVID-19 lockdown, Simunek had to close down her courses. However, the quarantine did not deter her.
“I’m a pivot, make it work kind of person,” she said.
Simunek began providing people with materials that they could pick up, and paint from home. According to her, the at-home painting made When Pigs Fly the busiest it had ever been. Suddenly, people began to cherish their painting during quarantine. “It was like toilet paper,” Simunek said.
Once Simunek opened When Pigs Fly in person again, the courses were in high demand, to the point that she was having to split up large groups. Recently, she made the decision to provide mobile courses to guests who would like to paint from another location. Simunek hopes that the mobile option will allow people to enjoy the courses of When Pigs Fly at their comfort level, as well as preventing the groups from becoming too large.
Simunek is thrilled with the success of When Pigs Fly, and cannot wait to teach even more people the art of wood painting. You can follow When Pigs Fly on Facebook.