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A Woman With a Wrench and a Purpose: Karla Giardino

The auto repair business is booming.  And one savvy woman is sheBOOMing along with it! Karla Giardino started New England Automotive in Burlington, Vermont with her business partner in 2012. She was trained at the Center for Technology Essex (CTE) in their auto technology program and then went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Business.

Her company offers mechanical repair services (including brakes, suspensions, and engine repairs) for vehicles of any make and model, foreign or domestic. But Karla doesn’t just care for cars and customers, she also rescues dogs and donates to animals in need.

Karla’s fearlessness, brains, and heart make her a true sheBOOmer! We recently caught up with her to get her perspectives as a trailblazer (in a male-dominated industry) and new entrepreneur.

Any surprises?
“The extent to which we’re able to help others and create new understandings and relationships on a daily basis is amazing. We were initially expecting more of a daily battle and mental strain with dealing with selling needed repairs; but our experiences with customers have been wonderful and have made for some loyal and long-lasting relationships.”

Your proudest moment?
“I have found that the smallest instances have had the greatest impact with running my shop. A few years ago after I was driving home from working at the shop that day, I noticed a guy parked off to the side of the road with his hood popped and staring at his cell phone. I pulled over and asked what was going on and he explained his car just died and coasted to a stop and his cell phone was dead as well. I told him I run an auto shop and could have it towed there and could diagnose the problem first thing in the morning. He was so happy that I was willing to help as he was a college student at UVM and didn’t know many people or the area very well. I was so happy to have helped him out through my business when he needed it the most.”

Advice for other women starting their own service businesses?
Stay strong in your passion for your business, be patient with earning your success and create as many relationships/connections as you can along the way. Keeping your eyes, ears, and heart open in building your business will only serve you in developing your passion. Lastly, NEVER EVER give up and constantly remind yourself why you’re working as hard as you are for your business.

Are you a sheBOOmer? Do you know one? Tell us your story! Just contact nancy@sheboom.com.