Cindy Calderon didn’t always know much about cars. Like a lot of women, she hadn’t spent a lot of time learning about basic car maintenance and repairs. She too has felt intimidated and unsure of whether she was going to be taken advantage of by other mechanics. It’s a tale so many of us are familiar with. We’d like to think that in 2021, women would have an equitable experience with men when it comes to dealing with their cars, but that just hasn’t been the experience for many of us.
Cindy has found a way to change that. Over the past few years, she’s been working to break those stereotypes and help women understand that they don’t have to be an expert in order to take control over the care of their cars.
She is absolutely the best woman for the job! Her warmth and generosity come across immediately when you meet her. Plus, she’s a mom of 4 kids and a business owner. Clearly, she has a ton of energy and a knack for getting things done!
A Mission to Serve Other Women
Cindy wasn’t always that interested in knowing all she does about cars. Beginning in 2015, she was supporting her husband’s repair shop, Kingdom Auto Repair in Garden Grove, California. When they opened their doors in 2015, she started out by helping with administration, and a shared dream of serving the community in a better way.
As they grew, she started building relationships with the customers and noticed a pattern of women sharing how they usually feel in repair shops. An all too common theme was that they didn’t have a lot of knowledge or confidence, and they didn’t always understand what the mechanic was telling them. That made them feel insecure about dealing with their cars.
Cindy got a journal and began writing their stories. She knew how she could help the community of women by empowering them to address their own cars with confidence. Her husband, Irving, started teaching Cindy small car maintenance and repairs, and Cindy started teaching their customers. Most of the time, the women she came across didn’t have experience checking fluids, opening their hoods. She could see how helpless that made them feel, and how teaching them the basics really built their confidence.
Serving a Larger Purpose
She loved that feeling and decided to make her services accessible to more women by starting a workshop. In 2019 she and her husband led a workshop at their shop and over 100 ladies showed up. They started doing it every month, giving women the opportunity to take control and feel empowered to understand their cars and how to get the right answers when it came to car maintenance and repairs.
Kingdom Auto Repair is named in honor of her family’s faith in God, and their goal to serve others. Cindy told me she knew her purpose almost as soon as they opened their doors. She said, “God wanted me to serve women”. In other companies she worked in prior to opening the shop, she discovered a knack for drawing women to her, building connections with them, and building strong teams. This was her purpose.
Cindy says, “Cars are just the wrapping paper to bring people into the shop, and then once I can share my testimony and they receive it, God can start working on their purpose.”
Evolving Ladies Kar Care through Covid 19
After Covid shut businesses down, the inability to gather influenced Cindy to start a Facebook group. She turned to social media in March of 2020 and would video Facebook Lives to continue to reach out to women. She’s built up a group of 2,500 women who are all learning in this community. They’re not just there to learn, but everybody supports each other. Now that it’s growing, If people know something or have learned it before from Cindy, they share their expertise and keep building each other up.
Every Wednesday she has an “Ask the Expert” segment. She has drawn in a group of female mechanics who have the knowledge and skills, and want to help. So each Wednesday, they come together to answer the group’s questions that go beyond basic maintenance.
On Instagram, she posts challenges and scenarios to encourage women to learn more about their car and have confidence that they would know what to do in different situations.
A Growing Enterprise
Cindy realized this mission was growing and in October of 2020, Ladies Kar Care became its own separate business. She’s launched several products to help empower women to take control and have confidence in the choices they make when it comes to their cars.
Here is a list of some of her products that give community resources and tools to feel confident by taking small steps and gaining independence. You can access them through her Facebook Group and Instagram Page and this link
- A female-friendly mechanics directory for reputable places to take your car around the nation.
- Priceline- a list of prices so women have a comparison to go by when taking their car in for repairs and maintenance
- Car maintenance planner. Creating tools that can help guide women- amazon and website This helps with tracking maintenance. A lot of the repairs done in the shop are because the client didn’t maintain their cars on schedule.
- Essential Oil Car diffuser- Air fresheners can be super toxic and cause migraines and allergies. Cindy created a car diffuser where you can add essential oils to safely refresh the air. Inside the diffusers are inspirational quotes. Here is one example:
Cindy’s advice and knowledge have been invaluable to women across the country. She advises, ” It’s the customer’s job is to do your homework and find out if a mechanic is honest. Women were given the instincts If you don’t feel comfortable, just run. If you feel like something isn’t right, don’t hesitate to walk away. Ask questions. You don’t even have to get your hands dirty. But you should have the knowledge and understand what the steps are so that others aren’t taking advantage of you. “
For more information about Cindy and her business, check out her Facebook and Instagram Pages And spread the word about Ladies Kar Care. Understanding how to do things yourself can save you a lot of money and empower you to make smart decisions so you can take care of a big investment like your car.