Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Juan Bárcena was one of 7 children born and raised in El Paso, Texas. His family immigrated from Mexico and settled in central/south El Paso. He graduated from Cathedral High School and attended East Texas High School before joining the airforce. Bárcena created his company ABA Labels printing inc which creates labels for all industries servicing the El Paso and Juarez area. He created this business at the age of 40, after her long term job began laying off people. Bárcena has 50 years of printing experience, now he specializes in creating food labels and computer printing. Through an SBA loan, Bárcena was able to purchase his first label machine. During the late 1970’s, El Paso and Juarez had a high demand for labels, printing locally was more cost effective than sending printing to the east coast. His business began with manual printing in a small building on Yandel Street. As time went on, Bárcena was able to get loans from the bank which helped his business grow. As Juarez industrialized and more printers were available in the area, the cost of printing went up. Bárcena traveled to the east coast to stay ahead of the game. He learned how prices would change over time and anticipated it. Bárcena received financial assistance from Bank of the West, he also received four loans through SBA. When discussing challenges, Bárcena faced competition from other companies but even through recession, he was able to keep business going. He mentions the struggle of going through recessions, but the worst was the recession of 2001 to 2002. He prepared for the 2009 recession by saving money. Advice Bárcena offers is to learn about business and have at least three different options. Invest in your business and to be honest to yourself and employees. He also suggests to build a strong relationship with a bank and a banker.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
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Interview with Juan Bárcena by Manuel Sanmiguel, 2009, "Interview no. 1539," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.