At Patriot Software, we’re committed to providing accounting software and payroll that lets small business owners keep their time and money for what they love: running their business!

Our #PatriotSpotlight customer success stories celebrate and inspire U.S. small business owners across the country. For our April spotlight, we spoke with Brittany Parker, owner of Wink Boutique.

Wink Boutique is a quaint small town gift shop located in the heart of downtown Pflugerville, Texas. The shop sells a variety of buzzworthy gifts for every type of person and occasion. From candles to clothing to kitchen necessities, Wink Boutique prides itself on its unique finds, friendly staff, and personalization. 

Can you tell me a little bit about what you do and offer?

We offer a variety of gifts for all kinds of people and can personalize gifts with monogramming and engraving. Recently, we also started offering women’s apparel. Not only do we have gifts for mom, baby, birthday, graduation, and more, we also have plenty of options if you want to buy something for yourself. We have everything you need from candles to clothing to laundry detergent (one of our best sellers!). 

Product table in Wink Boutique showing off laundry products

What made you decide to start Wink Boutique?

Wink was actually already a shop when I purchased it. I always loved going into Wink in my hometown. When I came back from college (with a buying background), I worked with the previous owner, and I said I really wanted to take part in Wink in any way that I could. Her life was changing and she didn’t have the time to keep up with the shop anymore—and I was looking for the opportunity. I ended up purchasing the shop from her.

I kept Wink Boutique pretty much the same, but made some slight changes to it and added my own personality. Wink Boutique is such a big part of the community, so continuing on with that community value was very important to me. We work with a lot of local artists to showcase and sell their hard work. I wanted to give a voice to makers and artists in the town that don’t necessarily have a physical location (and give them visibility in the shop). 

Exterior photo of Wink Boutique in Pflugerville, Texas

What’s your favorite part of running your own business?

Honestly …  helping people. We always say, “We’re not a shop of needs, we’re a shop of wants.” Helping someone find a gift or something they like or even just having a conversation with them is so fulfilling. 

Whether you’re making a sale or having a nice conversation, seeing someone smile because they find a gift or they’re getting to know someone in the shop makes it worth it. You can learn so much just by talking and listening to someone. Having that connection on a different level and being that thread to their smile is the best. 

What are some of the biggest challenges of running your own business?

Getting the word out there. More and more these days, people are getting pulled in a bunch of directions with social media, and people are busier than ever. 

Making sure that we remain front and center as a thought can be difficult. We want to be the first place someone thinks of when they say, “Oh, I need to get a gift!” 

It can be hard cutting through the clutter of all the other options out there and competing against larger retailers that have stepped up their game. We just try to let as many people know in as many ways as possible that at Wink Boutique, you can get unique gifts that you’re not going to find at someplace like Target or Kohl’s.

How does Patriot’s Full Service Payroll help you run your business?

Oh my gosh, it’s so helpful! My mom helps me out with day-to-day operations, so she helps me out a lot with payroll. With Full Service Payroll, it’s super easy for her to log in, put in the hours for everyone, and gather reports. 

The reports really help provide amazing breakouts per quarter and are easy to understand. If we ever make a mistake or have a question, everyone at Patriot is super helpful and easy to contact. Your price is also amazing, which makes the value even better. 

When it comes to your business, what are you most proud of?

My people that work at Wink. We all have the same idea of what we want things to be, and we’re invested in the shop and helping people. I couldn’t be more thankful and proud of my team. Everyone’s experience level is different, but at the end of the day, we all have the goal of helping others who come into the shop.

Additionally, we’re all female-operated, and I think that’s important, too. I’m proud that Wink is able to give women the opportunity to be part of a fun team and work environment and that we can lift each other up and push each other.

Wink Boutique team posing next to exterior sign

What words of advice do you have for people hoping to start their own small business?

Research, research, research. Do as much research as you can and try to find a mentor you can confide in. This can be someone from your hometown or even out of state. 

Consider also getting involved in a knowledge share group (e.g., on social media). I joined a few groups and have learned so much from people all over the U.S. It’s made it a lot easier to run my business. 

You can also get involved in your city and work with them on improvements and initiatives. In a way, it’s kind of like free marketing for your business. 

Connect with Wink Boutique:

Images courtesy of Jillian Savage.