First-generation business owners find dream in sharing heritage, culture

Hispanic Heritage Month

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — With just one step through the doors of Kulture, you are transported from Midtown Sacramento straight to Jalisco, Mexico.

Original clothing, Aztec-inspired art, portraits of Frida Khalo line the walls — Mexican culture is celebrated everywhere.

“The leather comes from Tlaquepaque, also in Jalisco near Guadalajara,” Kulture co-owner David Garcia said. “La Lupitas are also from Jalisco, Tonalá.”

Garcia and longtime friend and Kulture co-owner Cuahutemoc Vargas know that authenticity is what sells.

‘They’re like, ‘Wow, it reminds me of Mexico,’ so that just kicks it off at the right foot and people start buying left and right,” Vargas said. 

‘No vengo a ver si puedo, si no porque puedo vengo,” Garcia said. “I’m not coming to see if I can make it, I’m coming because I know I can make it. I just take the bull by the horns and go for it.”

It’s not only about their drive to succeed. It’s also about honoring sacrifice.  

For Vargas and Garcia, the pressure isn’t necessarily from society to succeed here as first-generation Americans. The pressure actually comes from their parents.

“You get here and they kind of expect, ‘OK, we brought you, you’re born here we expect you to do better than we did,’” Garcia said.

Garcia and Vargas are both sons of migrant field workers, parents who worked long hours and days to ensure their children have an easier life.

“I know my parents for sure want us to be better than they did. They don’t want us working in the fields, 105-degree weather, 10-12 hours a day. They don’t want us doing that,” Garcia said.

‘I feel like we were raised differently. We didn’t have an option. This is what we have, this is what we do and just deal with it,” Garcia said. “It’s been tough but thanks to that, that’s why we have this.”

And like any Latino family, they keep you grounded.  

“They tell me too much. I feel like they feel like I’ll get big-headed, so they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re doing good.’ They keep you humble,” Vargas said.

But that hard work is not lost on these two. They are proud of their heritage, hoping that by opening their doors, they are also opening hearts and minds.

“Hopefully they give us a chance, to learn from our culture and they will realize how great of a culture we have,” Vargas said.

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