Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Teresa Gándara was born and raised in Central El Paso, Texas. She attended various catholic schools and graduated from El Paso High School. She credits her catholic education for helping her through school. Even though her parents did not approve of her going to college. She cleaned houses, was a house painter, and a life guard throughout her college years. These jobs helped her to pay rent and basic needs. Gándara received her bachelors and master’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. While attending school, Gándara met her mentor Connie Gamboa who taught her how to channel her leadership abilities into coaching. Gándara moved out of El Paso to New York where she faced racism. In New York, she worked as an assistant manager for Wynona Knitting, a houseware store. She moved back to El Paso a year later to finish her education. Upon arriving, she started a job at Linens-n-things, where she moved from stocker to manager in a year. Gándara graduated and began coaching, she returned to receive her masters degree. Her husband lost his job at this time and assisted with housework as she got her masters. While discussing returning to a job, Gándara and her husband began a new business, Pencil Cup Office Products. She decided to go into business for herself because her husband had knowledge of office supplies, and felt that her husband was the best person to invest in. Pencil Cup supplies offers a personal experience while purchasing office supplies. The company was supported financially by Gándara’s education career, this was their biggest challenge. Gándara now depends on a line of credit from her bank. She plans on getting further funding from the federal government 8(a) after her company become certified. Being 8(a) certified makes it easier to obtain loans. Gándara plans to leave her company to her son when she feels he is ready. She also hopes that El Paso will buy things locally which will help all small companies to grow.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Teresa Gándara by Edmundo Valencia, 2009, "Interview no. 1538," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.