We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Corral and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erica, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started Wink as a creative outlet from my 9-5 office job. As humans, we’re creative beings and I found one of my creative callings through making treats and cakes. The business part I fell into. A good friend of mine asked for a menu because she wanted to pay me for my work! Prior to that, I was making treats for my friends and family for free. Once I had my first paid order, one thing led to another and Wink came to be. I would say my thought process behind all of that was to lean into more of what excited me which lead to all these small steps and growth.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Wink is a custom dessert studio that is in the business of making special moments a little bit sweeter. We bake our desserts from scratch and take care in the details of the design. We aim for desserts that taste great and designs that delight. What I’m most proud of us is where we are today. I started baking in my apartment and now we’re in a beautiful studio with a team of 3 all due to the love and support of our customers. It was easy in that I love what I do and it hardly feels like work. It’s difficult in that as all small businesses, there are ebbs and flows. To overcome the challenges, we find ways to hear our customers and adapt. If there are patterns we notice, such as there is a big group of customers that would contact us “last minute” so we created a line of predesigned cakes to streamline the order process. The lessons we’ve learned along the way is to set boundaries and work from a place of love. When you take care of yourself (with boundaries) and can work from a place of love, love for the craft, your work, your customers, than the business will continue to grow.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The most exciting thing I believe Houston has to offer is the diverse culinary experience. There’s so much good food to eat here. My must take spots for visitors are Corkscrew BBQ, Killen’s BBQ, Steak 48, Kim Son Buffet & Dim Sum, Thai Gourmet, Taste of Texas, and Lupe Tortilla. Favorite hang out spot is Axelrad Beer Garden, Karbach Brewery, and St. Arnold’s Brewery. Favorite spots to visit Hermann Park, Discovery Green, Houston Museum of Natural Science. Caveat of course is covid.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my friend, Jessica Martinez. She was the first person that saw Wink’s potential before it even began. She was the biggest motivator in creating the business and remains our biggest cheerleader as we grow the business. She even did a small stint as our office manager! I’d also like to dedicate a shoutout to my team, Farasha Hernandez and Karen Mugnol. Everyday, I am so grateful to work with them and their contributions to Wink make it what it is today. The passion and care they bring to their work here deserves all the recognition.
Divya Pande Photography Arzu Vargas Photography