Home & Garden

Jenalyn Engstrom Spreads Her Southern Charm And Creativity Via The Purple Peg

Jenalyn Engstrom is the owner and founder of The Purple Peg, which allows participants to make their own piece of creative art. Credits: Dawn Miller
Jenalyn Engstrom also sells her home decor pieces on consignment at Folio Art Glass, Inc. in Colts Neck. Credits: Photo Courtesy of the Purple Peg
Jenalyn Engstrom uses recycled wood to fashion seasonal interior and exterior home decorations and more. Credits: Photo Courtesy of the Purple Peg
Hop over the the Purple Peg's website to see how to book a personal painting party of fundraiser. Credits: Photo Courtesy of the Purple Peg

SPOTSWOOD, NJ – Jenalyn Engstrom is a Jersey girl with a Southern twist. Engstrom comes to the Garden state via her native Arkansas. The world traveler moved  from Texas to New Jersey more than ten years ago when her husband Josh’s job was transferred to the area. Together, the young family settled into the borough, making it their home. It didn’t take the mom of three long to love things that are totally Jersey like the shore. However, the move east also brought out the stay-at-home mom’s creative juices.

As all Jersey residents understand, the cost of living is quite high. Engstrom adapted to the change by giving new life to discarded furniture pieces. By redoing several pieces of furniture, Engstrom was able to decorate a large part of her new home. The “labor of love” resulted in a wonderful array of stylish, chic designs that made the couple’s new house a home.

It wasn’t until her youngest entered preschool that Engstrom decided to take her craftiness to a new level, transforming her garage and dining room table into her workspace.

Sign Up for E-News

“When Andrew was in preschool, I was able to dedicate the time to make it (woodworking crafts) a little more serious,” Engstrom explained. “I’ve been doing vinyl and design and stuff for many years prior to that, but I really came up with the name and the logo and making it a business about three years ago.”

“Josh is really good about being understanding,” Engstrom added with a smile.

A piano performance major at Brigham Young University, Engstrom describes herself as always being “artsy” and “creative.” Engstrom started selling some of her pieces on Etsy, but found some were too large to ship. Next up was a Cranbury craft show where her decorative woodworking plaques were a huge hit. Now, Engstrom sells her seasonal and Jersey Shore-inspired creations and more by consignment at Folio Art Glass, Inc. in Colts Neck.

After a fun evening at Pinot’s Pallette, Engstrom began thinking about hosting her own woodworking parties or classes. While she had a blast at the painting party, Engstrom didn’t feel as though she would hang the canvas she made in her home, leading her to ponder how she would do it differently.

“Angela Andre asked me if I could do a fundraiser,” Engstrom said. “She put the challenge there and I’d already been thinking about it.”

Engstrom embraced the gauntlet and the result was a successful fundraiser and the Purple Peg was born. Now, people can head to the Purple Peg to set up a private party, fundraiser, shower, birthday celebration or more via Engstrom’s website. She held her first in October and since then averages about two to four painting parties a month.

“My favorite to do is the private parties in people’s homes,” Engstrom said.

Basically, the event is coordinated through Facebook once people decide on the date and the type of party by visiting the website’s booking calendar. About two to three weeks before the event, participants can visit the event’s Facebook page and choose their desired design. Party-goers must make payment before the party date by credit card through the event page though checks can also be mailed directly to the Purple Peg.  People decide on the size of the piece as well as the type by perusing the available templates. If he or she can’t find one that works for them, Engstrom will work with the person to come up with a custom design for a small additional fee.

Engstrom provides all the tools needed to create their designs and the host provides the tables, chairs and tablecloths. The Purple Peg can supply linens for an extra charge. All the details for organizing a Purple Peg painting party can be found on the website.

When Engstrom fashions creations for the consignment portion of her business she is completely green, using recycled fence planks and discovered pieces of driftwood. However, for painting parties, she purchases the wood pallets. Where others see garbage or a piece of furniture that has outlived its usefulness, Engstrom sees promise, giving discarded wood new direction.

“I’m happy,” Engstrom said of how the Purple Peg has evolved. “It gives me traction.”

More examples of Engstrom’s creativity can be seen at the upcoming production of “Willy Wonka Jr.” at the Spotswood School District’s Appleby School. The Purple Peg did all of the signs for the annual spring play extravaganza and had a hand in the delicious decorations in the concession area.

For additional information on the Purple Peg or to book a party, fundraiser or event, visit Engstrom’s website. The Purple Peg can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.












TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Murder/Suicide in Edison Leaves Father and Son Dead

April 24, 2018

EDISON, NJ -  A confirmed homicide/suicide event occurred yesterday in Edison that involved a father and son in the home they shared.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Thomas Bryan of the Edison Police Department announced today that police are investigating a shooting in which an Edison man apparently shot and killed his son, and then killed himself, says a release ...

Women Need Better Treatment Behind Bars, Lawmakers Say

April 24, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Middlesex County Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) held a roundtable discussion Monday with criminal justice reform advocates and formally incarcerated women to discuss legislation Lopez and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle are introducing, modeled after legislation Booker introduced in the Senate, to reform the way women are treated behind ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, May 2, 6:00 PM

New Providence

Our Lady of Peace Country Fair

Thu, May 3, 6:00 PM

New Providence

Our Lady of Peace Country Fair

Fri, May 4, 8:00 AM

Burgdorff Center for Performing Arts, Maplewood

A Midsummers Night's Dream

Lake Placid Horse Shows To Name Ring In Honor of Kiki Umla

April 23, 2018

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — The Lake Placid Horse Show Association has initiated plans to expand riding areas at the North Elba Showgrounds to provide exhibitors with more space for riding during the annual Lake Placid Horse Shows. The 2018 Lake Placid Horse Shows, presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC and sponsored by Bainbridge Farms, LLC, return June 26 to July 8 at the shows' world-class ...

Travels Jersey Shore Seal Sighting on Spring Lake Beach

April 23, 2018

SPRING LAKE, NJ — Another seal came ashore — this time at the jetty on the south end of Spring Lake's beach.

Photographer Nancy Orlowski was walking the beachfront when she spotted this seal at about 3 p.m. on April 18 and took these real-time animated photos. It’s not known whether it returned to the ocean.

On April 12, a harp seal made its way onto Belmar's Fifth ...

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)


How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...