Black Woman-Owned Auto Repair Shop Offers Customers Hair, Nail Services While They Wait For Their Cars

by Gee NY
The attractive and savvy Patrice Banks at her auto repair shop. (Photo courtesy of Patrice Banks)

Patrice Banks, the Founder and CEO of Girls Auto Clinic, has revolutionized the auto repair industry by catering specifically to women.

Her innovative auto repair shop in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania offers top-notch car maintenance and beauty services, allowing customers to get their nails done while they wait.

Banks, a former engineer, left her six-figure job to address a significant gap in the auto repair market.

Recognizing that women, who spend $200 billion annually on auto purchases and repairs, often feel intimidated and overcharged by mechanics, she launched Girls Auto Clinic to empower and educate them about car maintenance.

At Girls Auto Clinic, nearly all employees, including the mechanics, are women. The shop has gained popularity and maintains a 4.9 rating from 188 Facebook reviews.

In addition to car services, the attached Clutch Beauty Bar offers “manis, pedis, and blowouts” in a humorous auto-themed setting, with toolboxes at each station and a wheel-constructed sink.

Banks’s journey from a self-described “auto airhead” to an empowered business owner began when she realized the lack of female mechanics in the industry.

“I didn’t have an empowered mother, which is crazy, because I was always an empowered girl. I always wanted to prove that women could do anything men could do,” she said in a December 2017 issue of JerseyMan magazine “I believed I was bigger than my surroundings. I didn’t want to become my mother. So I was always funneling my extra time into positive things, schoolwork, sports, having jobs. My mom didn’t know how to drive, she took the bus to work. I had to ask people for rides home, and I hated being dependent on others. And that has a lot to do with why I’m very self-reliant.”

She earned an Automotive Technology diploma from Delaware Technical Community College and opened her own shop after overcoming significant obstacles.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. Banks has been featured on major platforms like Fox & Friends, CBS This Morning, and O Magazine.

She also conducts free workshops and maintains a blog to further educate women about auto repair and maintenance. Her 300-page book, “Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide,” breaks down and explains car mechanics in simple terms.

Beyond financial success, Banks aims to foster female independence and self-sufficiency, a drive inspired by her upbringing.

As the daughter of a single mother, she saw firsthand the importance of being self-reliant and now strives to provide a supportive and empowering environment for her employees and customers.

Banks’s dedication to fair pricing and avoiding unnecessary upsells has built trust among her clientele.

She proudly states that her greatest accomplishment is offering well-paying jobs to her female mechanics, helping their families and providing a supportive workplace in a traditionally male-dominated field.

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