May was an exciting but frightening month at Marinelli Auto Service. Business in the auto repair industry tends to ebb and flow in seasons. April was quite slow…maybe due to people focusing on paying their taxes? Then May came and BAM! We had more work than we knew what to do with. We knew we needed to make a change because we wanted to provide the same level of service, or better, to what we’d been providing over the previous 17 months of the shop’s existence. Increased customer needs meant long work hours and little sleep for Andrew. I was doing everything I could to support him as I continued to learn everything I could about this new industry. I’ve never worked harder in my life! Continue reading Challenges and Changes in a Mom and Pop Shop [We Like Mike]
Let me begin by telling you that I’ve always held jobs where I was just one of many women…teaching, youth ministry, writing and communications. While I’ve never been opposed to working in a male dominant industry, it just never occurred to me (because of my interests and abilities) that I ever would. I grew up in a fairly equal male to female environment and I’m totally cool with relating to men. However, now that I am working alongside Andrew at the shop full-time, I’ve become increasingly aware that I’m a minority in this industry.
Carrie* wandered into the shop one chilly (for Florida) Friday afternoon. “Do you have any work for me?” she asked with a look of desperation in her eyes. She clutched a tote bag and a dirty blanket. Her hair was disheveled, clothes stained, but she had a beneath the grime beauty about her. I invited Carrie to have a seat in front of the desk where I was working, just like I would for a customer in the shop. I gave her some water – she had been walking down Forsyth Road all day asking this same question – “Do you have any work for me?”
Christmas is right around the corner and, if you are like me, you are probably thinking about gift ideas for your family and friends. However, if you are like Andrew, you’ll probably wait until the week of. Whichever your shopping style, I thought I’d give you a head start on some gift ideas.
Change is abounding at Marinelli Auto Service. I’m leaving my job to help at the shop more, which has caused Andrew and I to reconfigure how we’re going to pay our bills. Continue reading Life Transitions and Paying Bills in a New Business
“See this? It does not pass the Mom Test,” Andrew told me one afternoon pointing at some rusty doo-hickey as he crouched beneath a vehicle.
“The ‘Mom Test’?”
He explained and it made sense to me…and made me wonder if the Mom Test isn’t what’s missing in the auto mechanics industry. Continue reading Does Your Car Pass the Mom Test?
As a little girl I imagined marrying a business man, much like my father. As a college student I was sure I’d marry a man doing full-time Christian ministry or a missionary. Instead, I married a mechanic. Even more to my surprise, my husband’s profession has become a part of my own identity, just as much as my own job has.
Starting this shop has been a long journey. It’s hard to say when the journey actually started. Andrew’s been talking about doing this since before we began dating in 2011. At times the conversation was more serious than others. Then, last summer Andrew became really serious about making it happen. It had been such an up and down journey already that, to be completely honest, it took me some time to get on board. I’m now very glad we made this leap of faith and am very proud of my husband for what he is doing…especially after all the joys and trials we’ve experienced along the way. Continue reading How Marrying A Mechanic Changed My Life