Dad’s career has been the building block of my dreams

Many seniors are constantly asked, “what are you going to major in when you go to college?” The most common answer is “I don’t know.” This isn’t the case for me because I know what I want to be once high school is over.

My dad has inspired me for as long as I can remember. Growing up and going to his shop every weekend to watch and help him work sparked my interest in becoming an architect. Seeing all the beautiful cabinets he has constructed over the years and the satisfied smiles on his customers’ faces motivates me to become an individual who can do what he does- to be happy with my job. 

Day and night, my dad puts in his hard work to be the best version of himself to be able to provide for my family. Late at night, he’ll be up sketching a kiosk or cabinet for a customer because of how much he enjoys doing his job. Even if he is tired, he’ll continue to work because he has dedicated his entire life to being a carpenter that has grown his business exponentially and he loves what he does. I’m choosing to do this career without the intention of doing it for my dad but doing it for myself because it’s what I like doing and my dad taught me through his work that I need to be dedicated.

When my dad was just nineteen, he came to America for the ‘American Dream’ lifestyle. Initially, he had worked with his self-employed dad, doing carpentry. He entered America with the knowledge of doing business with different types of people and knowing how to construct cabinets because he had worked with his dad since he was a teenager. One of his first jobs in America was as a valet car parker and on the side, he did carpentry for someone else. He finally became a self-employed businessman when he was thirty years old and was making a name for himself with his business of ‘Lezama Cabinets’. Over time, he changed his business name to ‘Lezama Customs’ because he wanted to promote how he doesn’t just do cabinets, but how they can be customized. His business motto is “You dream it, we build it.”

My dad’s business has been open for more than sixteen years and continues to operate from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day excluding weekends. Whenever he gets a new customer, he goes through a process. Initially, the customer explains what type of cabinet they want and my dad then sketches their envisionment. Afterward, he meets with them days later to discuss any alterations of the sketch and he makes the adjustments, if necessary. Thereafter, he begins to construct the cabinet(s) in his shop which could take a while, depending on what and how many cabinets the customer is requesting. Finally, once all the cabinets are assembled and ready for delivery, my dad then drives to the customers’ homes, businesses, etc., and installs their cabinet(s).

The process that my dad goes through to make cabinets intrigues me because some days he can get distraught but he never gives up. He finds other solutions that solve his critical thinking, creates his own rules, and hardly takes “no” as an answer.

With the different customers he has, he has been fortunate enough to travel around the country to do business. To name a few, he’s been to Oregon, Washington D.C., Texas, New York, New Jersey, Las Vegas, and many more to install. I have been privileged enough to go on a few trips to help him install the cabinets. One of my favorite trips to date has been to the convention center in Las Vegas to put up a kiosk at the fashion show. My dad created a kiosk for a business that was going to be there and it took two days to install because of how large it is. On this trip, I learned how my dad’s thinking process works to put up the kiosk and although he can get frustrated, he learns to keep going and find different alternatives if one way doesn’t work during set up. 

I have learned that my dad’s passion for work started with taking initiative and being your boss may be challenging, but it’s worth it because your worth is being proved in the world and it draws the attention of those who want to become self entrepreneurs. My dad has always told me to never let my guard down and “if you think you’re not going to do it, you’re not going to.” Many of his lessons have played a big role in my life because they taught me to keep pushing forward and never letting anyone make me feel less of a person. After all, I need to be my own boss that should shoot to have high intentions to succeed exponentially well in life.

I am proud of my dad’s accomplishments and how far his business has taken him in his life. It has been an honor to follow in the steps of my dad and become a self entrepreneur that designs and builds with the positive mindset that he has. You can follow my dad on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat @Lezamacustoms to see how he lives up to the marvelous name of Oscar Lezama.

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