Woman Opens an ‘Honest’ Auto Shop with an On-Site Nail Salon

Girls Auto Clinic isn’t only changing oil but changing the relationship of women with the automotive industry. This shop offers a wide array of services to make the deal even sweeter.

The brainchild of engineer and mechanic Patrice Banks, this shop is a stress-free area for women to get their cars serviced and learn more about different vehicles in the most supportive and respectful way. 

And, in the meantime, while the car’s oil is being changed, the female customer can have her nails done if this is something they want!

The shop was inspired by the mistreatment and frustration that female customers are often facing when they take their cars to the auto shop as most mechanics are males. 

The shop empowers women to become #sheCANics and according to Banks, this is a hashtag that she often uses on social media to describe herself and her girls!

What Inspired the Opening of this Unique Auto Clinic Shop for Girls?

Back in 2009, Patrice Banks would rather spend her Saturday mornings having her nails done than have to keep her Kia Sorento in working order.

However, cars need their oil changed; still, though, she would rather head for a mani-pedi instead. 

At the time, she explains that she was an auto airhead or someone who doesn’t have a clue about cars and who lives assuming she couldn’t ever understand or become interested in cars in any way.

She was looking for a female mechanic at the time because she thought that a woman would be less likely to talk to her like she was an idiot. 

But a woman mechanic was nowhere to be found. Banks worked as an engineer at DuPont at the time but she wasn’t very happy and somehow, this was the birth of her new business.

She Had to Earn Her Place & It Was Not Easy to Find a Proper Location

For two years, Banks had to attend night classes so that she can get a diploma in automotive technology. And, she later decided to give up her six-figure job and red heels and started to work at a mom-and-pop auto shop with a weekly paycheck of $600.

In her free time, Banks held classes in Philadelphia and taught women how to work on their own cars. She shared videos with captions like “think of your engine like a vagina…”

At the time, she also started to look for an auto shop to open up her own car salon-she wanted a space large enough to include a nail salon. 

She wanted women to be catered to and was totally understanding of the fact that most women dislike having to get their cars serviced because she was once like that.

Oftentimes, in the past, she would look for an auto shop that’s near a nail salon so that she can do something interesting while having her car checked out. 

It took Banks two years to find a place she likes and where she thought a car shop and nail salon would be awesome. It was on sale on one busy street corner on the city’s outskirts. 

The official opening of Girls Auto Clinic Repair Center and Clutch Beauty Bar happened in January and the shop features a big sign outside with a logo of a red heel and a wrench as the stiletto. 

They offer mani-pedis in addition to car services. 

Transforming the Idea of Auto Shops One Step at a Time

According to Banks, though some may find it “silly” that a woman is to be lured with nail polish to get their car oil changed, there’s some relief in seeing someone wearing something feminine than the usual jeans uniform. 

Banks aims to transform the idea of auto shops and made hers a clubhouse for women. Customers say that it feels less like a spa or an auto shop, but more like the home of your most stylish friend.

There aren’t just women who work in the shop-Banks has also interviewed several men who had applied for a job. However, the women who now work there have had the best qualifications so far.

Together with her colleagues, Banks explains the insides of cars to their customers without making them feel scolded or ignorant.