Grandmother’s design dreams ignite with Latin flair - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Arts & Life

Grandmother’s design dreams ignite with Latin flair

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Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 2:45 pm | Updated: 4:50 pm, Fri Apr 5, 2013.

Cathy Garcia’s T-shirts have been in high demand since the Grammys and Oscars where they were included in gift bags for celebrities.

Since then, the Glendale resident has stayed busy with orders for her T-shirt line, Cha-Cha ChiC, named after her Chihuahua, Cha Cha. Garcia also is designing four new T-shirts and negotiating with several boutiques to have her clothing line in their shops.

“It’s been three years, and we’ve taken off fast with tons of orders,” said Garcia. “And I’ve received other requests besides T-shirts such as kids and dog clothes.”

In the last few weeks, Garcia’s Latin-inspired T-shirts have been placed in the hands of singers Chaka Khan, Bruno Mars and the Marley brothers.

“This started out as a little project for me and just went beyond my dreams,” Garcia said.

She has worked in retail throughout her life but spent most of her time with her family, including her husband, daughter and granddaughter, who challenged her creativity.

“You’re creative, so create something,” she said.

And that’s exactly what Garcia did. She designed three shirts with a Latin flair that celebrated her culture and heritage.

“I love things with a lot of bling and color, so I guess I was probably a Las Vegas showgirl in another life,” she said with a laugh. “It’s important to add a little color to your day, that’s why I love designing colorful T-shirts.”

Many of the 56-year-old’s designs have back stories, including one with a colorful bejeweled guitar.

“The inspiration came from my Uncle Sonny, my godfather, and he used to play the guitar when I was a little girl so that design came from him,” she said.

There also is a T-shirt of Chihuahua with a colorful headpiece.

“I call it Cha Cha Carmen because it based on Carmen Miranda, a legend from way back and she used to wear a turban and dance,” she said. “So I thought, OK my Chihuahua needs fruit and a blinged-out headpiece, so that is how that came all about.”

With the help of her husband, Garcia started Cha-Cha ChiC and contracted with a clothing manufacturer to produce her designs.

She has a website online for Cha-Cha ChiC, and the T-shirts are sold in downtown Phoenix at the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center.

Two years ago, Garcia contacted the Latin Grammys who put her in touch with a company where she was able to have her shirts in the gift lounge for the celebrities.

And she’ll never forget when entertainer Charo received a T-shirt from her.

“I remember when she looked at me and said that ‘I’m honored to have one of your shirts’ and I was like ‘I’m honored by you,’” Garcia said.

Then the same company also contacted her for shirts for this year’s Grammys and Oscars.

“It’s been an exciting ride so far, and I can’t wait to see what’s in the future,” Garcia said.

Garcia hopes to branch out and sell her shirts in other states as well as own her own boutique.

“I’m so proud of everything that’s happening, and it’s never too late to go after your dreams as long as you believe in yourself,” Garcia said.

 

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