Loyola seniors Lenes Lopez-Gonzalez and Juan Turcios created clothing line Winky Apparel to further their artistic ambitions. The company sells originally-designed sweatshirts, jackets, t-shirts and hoodies. All of Winky’s designs are made using Photoshop by both Gonzales and Turcios who share an interest in photography and design.
Lopez-Gonzales started working on the business around seven months ago, and it has been an official business for around five months. He constructed the name and idea for the business and then reached out to Turcios to be his partner in the company.
Winky Apparel’s second season began on Oct. 1.
Lopez-Gonzales said, “I was thinking about [the business]for a while. I also hit up a friend to help with it but that didn’t work out, so I took a break for while. Then I came up with Winky because of my Instagram name Winkyflex. [Turcios and I] partnered up and started designing.”
When Lopez-Gonzales reached out to Turcios to help, Turcois enjoyed the idea of the company because it combined multiple passions into something they enjoy.
Turcios said, “I wanted to combine my interest in graphic design photography and fashion. I’m definitely going to continue a profession with an art form behind it, such as film or design.”
Lopez-Gonzales’ passion for photography led to his idea for the company.
Lopez-Gonzales said, “There are already major clothing brands out there. I am also into photography and follow a bunch of photographers and designers on YouTube, so I always get inspired by those people.”
The company has gotten the attention of many seniors at Loyola, who often can be seen wearing Winky Apparel. Some have recently reached out to the partnership to help with marketing on social media, modeling and other means of assistance.
Aaron Paris, fellow senior and clothing model, said, “When I heard he was looking for help with modeling, I jumped on the opportunity because I’m always looking to support creative initiative. For the level of professionalism [of]the website, the photos and the clothing, it’s really cool to know that two high schoolers did it all.”
Although the business has made a lot of progress in the few months it’s been active, Turcios and Lopez-Gonzales are still experimenting with different ideas to help the company by changing and improving designs and using customer feedback to make the overall experience as good as it can be.
Lopez-Gonzales said, “We tried to make things more personal with our customers by providing personal deliveries and writing original jokes for each package. We actually have a couple collabs in the works with different types of artists [and]are working to gain more exposure by hosting events such as parties.”
Even with school and co-curricular activities, the two are constantly working on the business so they can make new designs and bring another clothing line to fill in for the previous season.
Despite the stresses of owning a business and keeping up with academics, they are enjoying having the business and love every minute of making designs and marketing.
Lopez-Gonzales said, “I do plan to take this as far as it can go. For now, we’re just trying to have fun while doing stuff we love and trying to learn as much as we can from a bunch of people and get exposed to different types of art and environments.”