Detroit mom sees at-home paint business boom during pandemic

LaShay Heard owns 'Paint'D Party Services' in Detroit
Posted at 12:00 PM, May 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-02 19:04:40-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — LaShay Heard of Detroit started her mobile paint and sip business back in 2017. It's called "Paint'd Party Services," and provides an instruction-led painting experience, which she leads.

The businesses offer group painting to both adults and kids. LaShay has visited schools, churches, and people's homes for special events like baby showers or birthday parties.

But with two sons battling Sickle Cell Anemia and a full-time job, the 24-year-old mother never had the time to turn this passion project into a full-time moneymaker; it was always something she did on the side, mostly for fun.

And then the pandemic hit, which LaShay said pushed her into something she'd always wanted to do; become an entrepreneur and invest her energy into the business full-time.

“In over a year I’ve serviced over 2,000 people for paint kits," she said.

Paint kits, just one of the ways she has adapted her business to fit the pandemic's needs once large group painting events weren't ideal or at times, even allowed.

Each paint kit is $15 and they include the paints, a template, instructions, and what the finished product should look like. LaShay has sold the kits all around the country, and will have new kits ready to go for Mother's Day.

She also offers virtual painting classes, another service that kicked off during the pandemic.

“It was just too scary to let my kids who are already immuno-compromised go out into daycares, and plus they had closed," she said. "So I decided to step back from my job and basically immerse full-time into my business.”

A new poll from ABC News shows that one year after the pandemic started, around 25% of American women feel their family's financial situation is worse than it was pre-COVID, compared to 18% of American men.

LaShay researched grant opportunities and asked friends and family for help in order to take her business to the next level.

Her advice for other women sitting on their big idea?

“Don’t let the current situation that’s going on stop you from following your dreams," she said.

Her next big dream will be transforming an old party bus into a mobile paint bus. The Cass Tech graduate hopes to have the bus street-ready by the end of the month or early June.