We had the good fortune of connecting with Wende Larkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Wende, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
So much of my background has impacted who I am today! At The Sugar Cookie, our goal is to bring joy to customers, by creating a well-crafted cookie that showcases their unique personality with photos and motivational messages. We make cookies with a cause! Henry Matisse once said, “Creativity takes courage.” Every person that has overcome and thrived knows this to be true. I was born and raised in Seattle, WA., given up at birth and adopted at three months old by a biracial couple. Often times, adoptees experience feelings of loss, rejection and wonder where they truly belong. I was not immune. At age five, my adoptive father passed away and I experienced not only a loss of someone I loved dearly, but a loss of identity. Throughout my upbringing I experienced physical, verbal, and mental abuse, then multiple immune-deficiency disorders and a heart that stopped beating on it’s own at age 25. However, I’ve learned that everyone is fighting their own internal battles and the power that forgiveness carries. It’s that realization – and the strength that comes from knowing that my true identity is given only by God that has allowed me to overcome. Today, I’m completely healthy and continue to use my creative gifts to help others. The ability to learn, adapt, trust God and overcome has driven me since I was very young. But it’s the road to forgiveness and healing that has left me with a pure heart and a genuine love for people. It’s that love that is evident in everything I do, both personally and professionally! It’s the meaning behind our slogan… Taste The Love!
What should our readers know about your business?
The Sugar Cookie makes moist, buttery cookies that showcase each customer’s unique personality with photos and motivational messages. 20 years ago I owned a web and graphic design business. However, I kept getting requests for the uniquely designed party favors that I was creating for my daughter’s parties. Eventually, I combined both of my passions for design and for baking to form The Sugar Cookie! Being an entrepreneur is not easy, but finding your niche, knowing your market, knowing how to remain focused on goals and having an insatiable drive to never stop learning helps! My faith and the lessons learned in life are also applicable in running a successful business. A life remembered requires courage, hard work, drive, integrity, an accountability team, an unwavering belief in who you are created to be and a lot of grace. Business, in my opinion, requires the same.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Houston is full of culture, unique attractions, fun experiences, amazing food and beautiful people! Depending upon the time of year, I like to take visitors on day trips to each of the following: Houston Space Center Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Galveston Beach Woodlands Marketplace The Galleria Houston Astros Game The Museum of Fine Arts The Houston Zoo All while dining at some of my favorite spots: Xochi The Breakfast Klub Hugo’s Burns BBQ Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Tony Thai Brewsters Ice Cream
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The support of family and friends has been invaluable! My Mom has offered much needed capital and others have jumped in to work tirelessly with me throughout the night during our early years. I’d like to thank my daughter Brianna for allowing me to raise her as a single mom and business owner. Her patience, sense of humor and understanding of the entrepreneur’s mind made it easier to juggle parenthood and the demands of business. Pastor Keion Henderson of The Lighthouse Church has provided invaluable wisdom and incite to keep pursuing my purpose. I’d also like to give a special shoutout to mentor, Pastor Kim Jones of Limitless Church, Real Talk Kim and The Inner Circle. In 2019, life will threw a series of punches I wasn’t expecting. Real Talk Kim and the members of The Inner Circle pulled me out of the shadows, encouraged me to get back up and go from just existing to being willing to shine. There are so many others who have jumped in to make a valuable impact at key points along the way. Their wisdom, love, friendship and support makes all the difference! As a result, The Sugar Cookie continues to expand and grow to new levels!