By Guillermo Rojas and Victoria Lis Marino | Tulsa, OK
Wendy Vega was born in Aguascalientes, México, and after earning her college degree she decided to migrate to the USA looking for new horizons.
She crossed everything that needed to be crossed: the desert, a river, life, until she reached her destination; becoming an independent and entrepreneur woman in a world of men, here, in Tulsa.
Today she owns Tulsa Snacks, a snack shop located at 1060 S. Mingo and is proud to be one of the female faces of the American dream in our wonderful city.
Her story is one of many others that starts somewhere else and ends in Tulsa, one of struggle and determination that has a happy ending.
Wendy had to work multiple jobs before arriving to her destination. After being a cashier at Las Americas supermarket, she realized she had certain skills she hadn’t noticed before; she could manage people, she could run a store and she could make her own decisions.
“I understood what it meant to have your own business and becoming your own boss,” Vega said.
At Tulsa Snacks, Vega specializes in the sale of flavored waters, ice-cream bars and natural juices, ideal items for the first days of a long summer.
Even though the store she now owns was temporarily closed, it is back open now Wendy is confident old and new clients will stop by.
“After years of working at the same place and ending up empty handed I realized that it is better to be your own boss, because the employer will never give you enough,” Vega explained, aware that being an immigrant entrepreneur in Tulsa is more than being employed, it is owning a key part of the social wellbeing and richness of the city.
“Originally I intended to open another kind of business, but I was looking for a store and ended up finding this one,” she stated, determined to own something for herself. “I am in charge of everything, and I feel proud because in a business like this one women can attest we can manage ourselves and also bring growth into the community,” she stated.
Vega is proud of being able to manage her own time, manage her store and handle her family without giving any explanations. The store is a family business she manages with her husband and child, but the idea is all hers.
“My eldest son is 14 and he works here with me and other two employees that help me. I am so grateful that I can also provide for jobs in these times,” Vega said.
Vega’s story is very special because it throws overboard the ubiquitous idea that women are prisoners of men’s values in Latin-American cultures.
Apparently, here in the USA, the American dream recognizes no gender, and it is indeed the dream of working families.
“If the whole family gets involved in the business then it can blossom,” Vega said, adding that her most important achievement in life is raising a healthy family, loving her husband and becoming a successful immigrant.
Vega shows us that women can also dream big in Tulsa, manage a business, hire people and acquire a different life, one they can fully control. We only need to follow her advice and press play: “Risk it all, get out of your comfortable places, know that you can work, take the first step, because if you do not, you will never learn to walk.” (La Semana)