BETHEL, Conn. — The Giggling Pig is nearly ready to open its new location in Bethel , and visitors are invited to enjoy free crafting fun at an open house Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Residents can see what the Giggling Pig, located at 178 Greenwood Ave. in Bethel, has to offer.
"It's really just a mini version of our current location," a Facebook said of the new location. "It's adorable and I hope you can stop by and show your support."
The popular art-and-party studio was started by a cash-strapped single mom in a 350-square-foot storefront in downtown Shelton.
The 5-year-old business has soared to success, now hosting art classes, summer camps and more than 300 birthday parties a year in its now 2,000-square-foot space on River Road in Shelton.
The new location won’t change a thing about the winning formula, says owner Hannah Perry.
Originally from Yorkshire, England, where she trained as a nursery nurse, Perry moved to the U.S. in 1999, looking after special needs children in their homes to make ends meet for herself and her young son.
That was no small feat in Fairfield County, where she had trouble finding things for her son to do that wouldn’t break the bank.
In 2011, she pooled her funds and took a serious leap of faith, opening The Giggling Pig, which specializes in art classes, summer camps and other programs for children and adults.
The idea came after she mounted a 2010 art exhibition and found out there was a market for the whimsical style of artwork she had developed since childhood and showcased in two children’s books she wrote and illustrated.
“I did the exhibition and things sold,” she said with a smile. “I thought, I can do this.”
The business quickly outgrew the downtown storefront and — two moves later — she set up shop in the River Road space. By 2015, the popular parenting blog Playground Parkbench named The Giggling Pig its top birthday party venue.
The business prides itself in keeping costs down so all families can have a creative experience through Mommy & Me, Paint & Giggle, weekly art lessons and seasonal camps.
“If they can’t afford it, they won’t get turned away,” said Perry, who also organizes outreach to church and special needs groups.
Once the Bethel location is up and running, Perry hopes to begin franchising the brand in January.
Building the business means Perry and her staff work long hours passing on a love of art paired with a healthy dose of self esteem and manners.
“When I started the business, I was a single mom with a lot of debt, butIi kept going,” said Perry, now a mom of two. “I never wake up and say, ‘I don’t want to go to work.’ It’s just such a good environment.”
For more information on The Giggling Pig, visit the website .