When Arkansas mom Melanie Hurley ran into a problem, she didn’t avoid it. Instead, she tackled it head on and in the last 10 years has created a product, started a company and can now call herself a successful “mompreneur.”
Her products are a line of nail polishes, which may not seem unique at first glance, but Piggy Paint is non-toxic, water-based and 100 percent safe for kids — not easy to find in a product that is typically full of harsh chemicals.
The product was inspired by her daughters, Maddie and Macey, and now you can find this home-grown nail polish in stores across the country including Walmart and select Targets.
Little Rock Family talked to Melanie about starting a business, balancing her roles as a mom and an entrepreneur and more.
What prompted you to create Piggy Paint?
I launched Piggy Paint in 2008 so it’s been almost 10 years now. My girls were 2 and 4 at the time and I was always concerned about the chemicals in traditional nail polish and the smell really bothered me — I’d get headaches and my oldest had skin sensitivities and allergies.
One day I was painting their nails over a styrofoam plate and the polish that was supposed to be kid friendly dropped on and bubbled and ate through it and it just got me concerned about the chemicals in traditional nail polish. So that was kind of my “ah-ha” moment and it started from there. I feel like we were really ahead of our time 10 years ago but now the natural movement is booming …. People are looking for natural, cleaner products for their families.
What have you enjoyed most about starting a company and creating a product?
When I started, I didn’t have any business experience — I was an elementary teacher. So I really modeled everything after what I thought I would like as a consumer — I consider myself an average mom — and what my girls would like. So it’s been really fun to watch it [grow] from an idea and [then] starting it in my basement.
Now I have a business partner and we have a large warehouse and it’s crazy to see something form as an idea and then come to life and just to see how it’s affected a lot of people … Moms are excited to have something safe and worry-free for their little ones and I think it’s more than just painting nails; it’s bonding with your little kiddo.
What role have your daughters played in Piggy Paint and what do you hope this experience has taught them?
They definitely have been and continue to be the inspiration part of this business. They’ll come help in the warehouse and with color names and with trying products and testing things like that. I hope that they can see that when you’re passionate about something and you work hard that you’re able to achieve anything you put your mind to and your heart in.
How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
It’s a challenge for sure. I think I’ve gotten better at it over the years. It’s been a transition — in the early stages you’re doing everything yourself and now we have a great team so that’s very helpful — and so just reminding myself why Piggy Paint started and it’s always been for my girls and ultimately always will be. That’s just something I have to continually work on as a mom is to find the balance and enjoy my girls.
To order your own Piggy Paint or learn more about the product, visit PiggyPaint.com. You can also find it in Walmart, select Target stores and on Amazon.