Woman Opens 'Honest' Auto Shop With On-Site Nail Salon

April 21, 2022

Girls Auto Clinic is changing the conversation around women and their vehicles.

It is a one-stop-shop where customers can get their car fixed, receive quality education on what it needs, and get a manicure while they wait.

Patrice Banks auto shop for women
Patrice Banks / patricebanks.com

Patrice Banks used to call herself an "auto airhead". She always feared taking her car to an auto mechanic.

"I always felt taken advantage of. I waited to the last minute, you know, to do any maintenance or repairs. Any time a dashboard light would come on, I'd kind of wish it would go away. And I always felt like I needed to ask a guy for help when it came to my car," she said in an interview with Marketplace.

Banks was making six figures as an engineer with DuPont before deciding to go back to school to learn how to fix cars.

In 2017, she opened Girls Auto Clinic, located just outside Philadelphia, PA.

It is a mostly-female run auto shop that has an on-site salon for customers to get their nails done while they wait.

"Girls Auto Clinic is committed to creating a unique, comfortable, and confident automotive repair experience for women. We opened our doors in January 2017 to provide the Philadelphia area with dependable, honest, and educational auto repair. We offer full-service auto repair, women mechanics, and the cherry on top – manis and pedis while you wait at Clutch Lounge and Beauty Bar!" the website states.


Banks says she got the idea for a nail salon on-site while getting oil changes during her lunch breaks at Dupont.

"Me and my girlfriend, on our lunch break we would go to the specific Jiffy Lube because there was a nail salon next to it," she told Marketplace. "And we would get our nails done and get our oil changed, right, so we loved it. And I thought this would be great. You know, we go out of our way to get our nails done. We will not go out of our way to get our oil changed. So I thought this is great. Killing two birds with one stone."

Girls Auto Clinic also hosts monthly sessions to teach people how to check and maintain their vehicles -- from oil to brakes to tires and more.

Banks says the shop's success has encouraged her to expand and "start franchising" to reach more women.

"It's just a matter of time," she said. "My goal is to reach every woman driver. So yeah, I'm excited to start expanding and growing."

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