Ohio Welcomes Female-Owned Shop
Feb. 11, 2019—Dover, Ohio welcomed a new auto repair shop into the community. NextGen Automotive Service & Repair was opened by 20-year-old Mercedes Czerepak, according to Times Reporter.
Czerepak joins the 16 percent of small business owners under 35, Times Reporter reports. The publication also reports that Czerepak is an addition to number of female technicians in the industry, reported at 9.7 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.
“My mom (Christina) still tells the story of when I was little I would run to the window whenever I would hear a motorcycle run, just because I loved the sound of it,” Czerepak said to the Times Reporter.
According to Times Reporter, Czerepak is pursuing all eight certifications to become a master technician through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
“We try to be as competitive as possible,” Czerepak said to Times Reporter. “We try to make it as affordable as possible for working families because we know how hard it is to make a dollar. We know what it’s like to struggle. We try to make it as easy as possible for them to be able to make their family safe because as far as we’re concerned, they’re our family as well.”
Czerepak will be joined alongside her stepfather, John in the business, according to Times Reporter.
“Being a female in this industry, she understands how people feel when they are just told they need a repair with no explanation other than a bill,” John said to the Times Reporter. "Mercedes has overcome a lot of obstacles while pursuing her dream, and even now, customers sometimes refuse to talk to her and will only talk with me until I, professionally, set them straight.”
Czerepak told the Times Reporter that the objections don't set her back from getting the job done.
“I take it in stride,” Czerepak said to Times Reporter. “You kind of get used to it after a while, so you just shake it off, let them know that you are the head mechanic, and just prove to them you can do this. That’s my biggest thing, is never let anybody tell me I can’t, and never let it affect me.”