A savvy businesswoman has made it possible to get your car, your hair and your nails all fixed with one appointment. And you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off or resorting to reading a men’s magazine on an old plastic chair.
A few years ago, Patrice Banks, an engineer, realized she wasn’t the only one dreading every part of auto maintenance. At 30 years old, Banks said she was an “auto airhead” who struggled to lift the hood on her car.
She told The Philadelphia Citizen she would get nervous whenever a dashboard light came on, and always felt like she was being taken advantage of when she’d take her car in to get looked at.
Banks set out to find a way to make the process of car repairs and oil changes more comfortable for women.
“I couldn’t find a female mechanic, so I became one,” Banks says in her TED talk.
Shortly afterward, she started her own shop.
“The automotive experience for women is one of STRESS, ANXIETY, and inconvenience,” she writes on the Girls Auto Clinic Repair Center Facebook page. Banks wants women to feel empowered to have as positive a relationship with their vehicle maintenance as they do with their beauty maintenance.
Girls Auto Clinic opened in 2012. It’s a full-service auto repair shop outside of Philadelphia. While Banks’ team of “sheCANics,” as she calls them, fix up your car, you can grab a blow-out, manicure or pedicure in a stylish, relaxed environment.
“Our customers come to feel confident about themselves, their cars, and their buying choices,” according to the GAC Facebook page.
If you don’t live in Pennsylvania but you’d like to support Banks and her mission, good news: She has a book called “The Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide.” The $25 book includes an overview of how your car works, what you should know about maintenance and what to do in an emergency.
Banks also holds car care workshops for the sheCANics of tomorrow.
A well-manicured thumbs-up to that.