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Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrating our Heritage

They call America the “Melting Pot” and that’s a beautiful thing to us because it means we have a diversity of people, histories, and cultures shaping who we are, and represent as a country. 

This year for Hispanic Heritage Month, we got a little curious about the melting pot that is Socksmith. We reached out to a few Hispanic team members and asked them three simple, yet insightful, questions:

  1. What's the background of your family heritage?
  2. Who has had the greatest influence on your professional career thus far?
  3. What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

By exploring this curiosity, we were able to get to know the team a little deeper and gain perspective on the experiences of the humans that make Socksmith, Socksmith. 

Our hope is that by sharing these responses, you are able to explore and consider the value of the experience of those who belong to a heritage different from our own—there’s always a lesson in a story, an experience and a history. 


President, Sean Jimenez

Hispanic Heritage Month with Socksmith


What is the story of your family heritage?

My father is 100% Mexican, born in California and also 2nd generation (meaning my grandfather was born in CA as well). My Mexican grandmother was also born in CA, as well as her parents. Like many Latinos in California, they worked in agriculture. My grandfather was a foreman at a very young age, working on tomato, lettuce, onion, and asparagus farms. He was known for having the straightest "rows" for crops and used to manage a 3,000-acre farm. 

My grandmother began cooking for the field laborers, with her mother and sisters, when she was eight years old. This is why she was considered the best cook in our family (hands down). Years later, when my father worked for the California State Legislature, he and my mother would host parties at our house, where state assemblymen, various lobbyists, and even a few Congressmen from time to time would come, and they'd all ask if she would cook for them. It became quite an event when the dinners were scheduled because my grandmother's reputation for being such a great cook had spread throughout the Capital and everyone wanted to come to the house. It's also the reason I rarely eat at Mexican restaurants, as no one can cook like her (though my aunts come close).


Who's helped to shape your career thus far?

I kind of had to figure out things for myself, actually. My dad was in construction as I got older, my mom was a teacher, and my interests were different from my dad's as well as my brother's. I was on my own when I was 18, so figured it out, for better or for worse. I would say that my friends had a large influence on me, as many of them hopped on some pretty successful paths early on in their careers. Having people around like that, to bounce ideas off of, came into play often.


What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

I feel it's about not only recognizing what the Hispanic culture does around us, whether it's in everyday life or sporadically (perhaps depending on where you live). I also think it's knowing where you come from, understanding what the relationships are that have shaped you, and recognizing the importance of that. I grew up in a small immediate family (only four of us) but my close, extended family was huge. I have numerous cousins and aunts and uncles, and growing up we spent a lot of time with them. We used to have a family reunion once a year, but it started becoming so big, we had to have them every other year, and at a state park because no other place could hold us! Oddly enough, even though we're all family, we still have to wear name tags because the incredible amount of people means there's no way we can remember everyone!

 



Kat, Social Media Specialist



Can you give us some background on your family heritage?

My parents were born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua. They immigrated to the United States in the 80s with the intention of providing better opportunities for themselves and their families. I am a first-generation American, so there are parts of me that feel disconnected from my roots and my heritage, culturally. However, my mom made it a priority to ensure that her children spoke Spanish fluently. At home, we exclusively spoke Spanish (this rule was really annoying at the time), and at school, we spoke English. I think that persistence in making sure that we preserved the language of our culture is something that's allowed me to maintain a connection with my roots, and I'm so very grateful for it now.


Who would you say has had the greatest influence on your professional career thus far?

My dad. There's a certain kind of hustle that is born out of a need to survive. Being the primary breadwinner for his growing family in a new country, my dad, simply put, had to figure it out. It's through his example that I learned what it meant to work hard, with integrity and with utter accountability. I think the best thing I could ever do to honor my parent's struggles, sacrifices and hard work, is to continue seeking and creating opportunities that align with who I am. I'm happy to say that this mentality has got me working with a rad group of people.


What does Hispanic Heritage month mean to you?

Personally, it serves as an opportunity to remember and honor where I come from and who I am. It also serves as an opportunity to learn more deeply about others, and where they come from. I think there's something really powerful about learning a new perspective, or experience that we might have never been exposed to otherwise. It allows a platform for people to celebrate diversity and the melting pot of cultures that is America.

 


Maria, Customer Service Manager


 

Tell us about your family heritage.

My parents come from a time of living off the farm with a well on the property. My mother is from Zacatecas, Mexico, and my father, although his parents are from Mexico, was born in Kansas City, Kansas. Their marriage was an arranged marriage. My mother lived with her in-laws for the first 13 years and came to the U.S. with my dad along with nine children. My father is a proud man (deaf/mute from birth) who believed in working hard and putting his family first, which brought five more children to raise. The older siblings have very traditional family values, whereas we younger USA-born "brats" took life a little less seriously and "Americanized" ourselves. The variety spanning 50 years from the eldest to youngest age brings so much joy, arguments, and genuine love. 


Who would you say has had the greatest influence on your professional career thus far?

I would have to say my mother has been my biggest influence. This woman has given her life unselfishly to raising her children and making sure we all were fed, clothed, and warm. I have never seen or known anyone to make a dollar stretch the way she can. With no formal education (because in those days women were to marry and have families), she could hold her own discussing everyday topics from finances to religion. From watching her, I've learned to never give up and find solutions to the hardest situations, while still having dinner on the table at a decent time!


What does Hispanic Heritage month mean to you?

That I am proud to be Latina and I know the hard work and dedication of our ancestors paved the way for the opportunities and choices we have today that were not as easy for them. The culture is rich and diverse, colorful as my daughter puts it, and no matter what we need to remember where we came from to show our children and their children that we are a strong, important part of history; that we ourselves can be whatever we set our hearts to, and bring a little "spiciness" to everything. 




We want to take the time to thank our beautiful Socksmith team members for sharing their stories with us.

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