Hi, I'm Debbie Nol, and I married a car guy. My 14 years of working at Arie Nol Auto Center has been an incredible journey, building amazing relationships with customers and learning so much from our experienced technicians.
Now I'm launching a blog to share what I've learned about cars and some of my most memorable customer stories. Hopefully you will find my blog both helpful and entertaining!
Working in auto repair during the holidays is busy because many people travel and need their cars to be ready for a road trip. While we try to remind people to plan ahead and get their vehicles in early, break downs occur and need to be taken care of so the trip out of town isn’t delayed. Our goal is to reduce the stress of car repair, but accomplishing this during the holidays can be a challenge.
Jeff and I were fortunate enough—as owners of an ‘A NAPA AutoCare’ business—to be chosen to represent the NAPA Central Division on the AutoCare Advisory Council. We served a two-year term and traveled to the meetings twice a year. It was an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to make an impact in our part of the automotive world.
I had the opportunity to attend the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan awards. There were over 800 people there celebrating women that are making a difference in West Michigan. Sonia Manzano, Maria from Sesame Street, was the keynote speaker. Ms. Monzano was inspirational while speaking about how she ended up where she did and why it made a difference.
Our city amazes me with its ability to recreate itself. When I was younger, downtown Grand Rapids was somewhere you rarely went. Herpolsheimer’s department store was one of the only reasons to go downtown. Here we are in 2016 and you can see the drastic changes that have helped our city end up on so many lists of “great places to live” lately.
Listening to the honorees and hearing their words of encouragement and motivation was doubly enjoyable as my daughter was there with me. She had the opportunity to speak with several women at our table that are doing research which will eventually impact us all.
The Grand Rapids Business Journal held the event and recognized the women that are instrumental in making Grand Rapids the great city it is to live and work. I am thankful to be a part of a community that values its citizens, celebrates the good, and focuses on making lives better through both words and deeds.
We are proud to be a part of the Grand Rapids community. It was a terrific event, that in many cases, showed the entrepreneurial spirit of our city and the benefit of a positive, can-do attitude.
There are many slogans in support of utilizing local business. Shop local. Eat local. Locovore.
My Dad owned his own business. My husband grew up in the small business we now own. My children all worked in our business and now work for family-owned or small businesses here in Grand Rapids. I've grown up knowing the impact of 'shop local'.
Grand Rapids is blessed with so many small businesses. From furniture making to restaurants, we have some of the best. Our service industry is also full of electricians, plumbers, auto and collision repair. Many of the local business commercials on TV highlight the fact that they are family owned and operated. Some of the places have grown to sell nationally and internationally. Meijer, GFS, Amway, Steelcase etc. all started as local businesses.
Why does this matter? Anyone can read the statistics about the impact shopping local has on the economy of your area. To me, it's personal. We pay our employees who then purchase goods and services in our area. When we as a company are able to use a local supplier or service provider, which is always our first choice.
We are fortunate to share our experiences with customers who start their own business. A coffee roaster that makes a difference, a new janitorial company that is committed to impacting others positively. Watching these people achieve their dream and make our area an even better place to live is a bonus.
As we approach the holidays, keep the ‘shop local’ slogan in mind. Supporting community and giving back is what Grand Rapids is built on.