We had the good fortune of connecting with Sanya Pillai and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sanya, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
During the time of the COVID pandemic, I wanted to find ways to pursue my interests and I was inspired by people I saw who were starting their own online businesses and making a difference in their community. I started exploring entrepreneurship and planned out several for-profit and non-profit businesses at the age of 12. Fast forward to my first year of high school, and I got to know one of my peers, Ananya Pilla. We both had interest in baking and we had differing strengths (hers being decorating and mine being recipe-writing and baking), and eventually we planned out and started our own baking business, Whisks to Wonders!

What should our readers know about your business?
What sets my business apart from others is that we don’t have a single set of products that we sell. Instead, we follow more of a “build-your-own-cake” approach, where our menu has a section for cake flavor, the type of frosting and the flavor, and additional designs and decorations. Customers can choose what cake flavor, buttercream flavor, and design they want, so they can mix and match as they please, and each feature of the cake has its own price so we just combine the costs into the total price! This same mix and match concept applies to our cupcake selection as well! We also stand out because we offer custom designs, and our cakes are significantly cheaper than cakes sold in bakeries, regardless of the fact that each cake is homemade. Lastly, we also stand out because of our “Special Cupcake Menu”, where we test out unique flavors of cupcakes like Chai or Strawberry Shortcake, and we offer these unique combinations to our customers!

What I’m most proud of is the fact that we were able to have a community impact, and that we got the opportunity to have our experiences shared with others. When Whisks to Wonders was just starting off, I didn’t have high hopes because I figured it would be hard to focus enough energy onto the business while balancing the large workload of high school, especially towards my sophomore and junior year. However, as the business grew, we got opportunities to speak for a women’s career empowerment group at our school, and that eventually grew to my partner and I having the opportunity to share our entrepreneurial journey with other girls that also sought to start their own initiatives. It was amazing to be able to share our experiences and help guide our peers who wanted to go down the same path we did, and ever since then, we’ve sought to continue interacting with the community through our business!

Getting to where I am today business-wise took a lot of extra time management and dedication from my end, especially because balancing a heavy academic load along with multiple business initiatives (including Whisks to Wonders) is not easy! It was definitely a huge learning process for me! One of the biggest challenges was that at the time, I had only explored entrepreneurship on my own, so I was still very new to business and my partner and I struggled to grow Whisks to Wonders’s presence. It took a lot of research and experimentation to overcome this challenge, so we’d often sit for long planning sessions to discuss all of the details, from the recipes to marketing to finances, even down to the packaging for our products. This challenge was especially difficult to tackle considering that we could only work with whatever we had at home, since we didn’t have a lot of money to invest into our start-up at the time. We had limited storage and fridge space, and we didn’t have a lot of money to buy any extra equipment and/or ingredients, so we had to make do with what we had. However, we overcame this challenge by finding ways to market for free, especially through social media and our school networks, and we even went as far as bringing desserts to our speaker sessions for a club in our school so that we could increase our customer base, and we eventually started generating enough profit to pay back the money we used!

The biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way is to not let other people define your limits or what you’re capable of. When I told people about my business ideas or about Whisks to Wonders, they’d think it was crazy for a child to run a business, and they’d often tell me that it was impossible. However, even though there were days that were more difficult than others, I could not be more grateful for where Whisks to Wonders has reached today, and I’m grateful for all of the lessons I’ve learned and hope to carry them into my future entrepreneurial ventures as well! If there’s one thing I could share with the world about the story of my business, it’s that even though there are large, well-known bakeries that could overshadow a small business like Whisks to Wonders, we still strive to make an impact on those around us and bring joy to those who buy desserts from us for the special moments in their lives, and we hope to continue to do so!

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?
Day 1:


– Grab breakfast from a local cafe (one of my personal favorites is Siena Cafe!)
– Explore the wonders of the Perot Museum

– Grab some Tex-Mex for lunch!
– Take a walk through the Dallas World Aquarium

– End the day off with some pizza from Palio’s while watching a movie!

Day 2:

– Start the day off with some coffee from 151 Coffee (another personal favorite of mine)
– Explore the Dallas Museum of Art!

– Grab lunch from one of the food trucks at Klyde Warren Park!

– Take a walk through the Bishop Arts District and grab dinner from one of the local restaurants!

Day 3:

– Have a breakfast picnic in the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

– Go kayaking in White Rock Lake, then grab some BBQ for lunch!

– End the day off with a walk through The Sound at Cypress Waters and sit down for dinner at one of the restaurants there!

Day 4:

– Take a walk down Katy Trail, then get a healthy breakfast from First Watch!

– Visit the Sixth Floor Museum and Dealey Plaza, then try a new dish from a food truck at the Klyde Warren Park!

– End the day off with dinner and a movie at Alamo Drafthouse, and explore the shops nearby!

Day 5:

– Get moving with some indoor rock climbing at Movement!

– Enjoy some pizza from Mister O1 Extraordinary Pizza, then grab some ice cream from Kilwins!
– Enjoy some go-karting at K1 Speed!

– End the day off with a movie at home!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Firstly, I owe a huge thanks to my business partner! Ananya has put just as much effort into this business and creating our products, and always continues to support me in my other initiatives and projects. I also want to thank my friends and family, who always listen to my ideas and support me in my journey as an entrepreneur. Our business has also been supported by many of our teachers and organizations within our school, who have given us opportunities to expand and share our project’s journey with others. Lastly, Whisks to Wonders owes a large thanks to all of the people who have bought desserts from us. Without the support of our customers, we never would have made it this far, so we truly thank you for your support and hope that we can continue to serve your needs!

Instagram: @whiskstowonders

Image Credits
Portrait Photo was taken by Vishwas Vijayan!

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