My Journey Toward Car Literacy

I Married A Car Guy: My Journey Toward Car Literacy

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!

Monthly Archives: November 2015

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

There is a lot of controversy this time of year regarding stores opening on Thanksgiving Day to get a jump start on the Black Friday crowds. For us, Thanksgiving has always been a day of spending time with family and eating way too much food. It’s important in the midst of all the cooking and catching up with relatives we don’t see enough, to give thanks. What are you thankful for? Take the time this Thanksgiving to be thankful and to tell the people in your life that you are thankful for them. Even if they took the last piece of pecan pie that you were dreaming about at the feast. For the first time in many years we will be closed this Friday. We have the opportunity to spend some time with relatives that we don’t get to see as much as we’d like. It also gives our employees an opportunity to spend an extra day home with their families. It was a big decision for us because the day after Thanksgiving can be busy and we like to be available for our customers. But, sometim ... read more

What’s in Your Wheelhouse?

What’s in Your Wheelhouse?

I was speaking to a young woman who is a senior in high school. Her vehicle’s check engine light illuminated on her dashboard and she stopped by to have us check into it. While a technician was checking the vehicle, we had a conversation about finding a college. She has been participating in college visits to find one that suits her. She had visited the college my daughter attended, and we spoke about that as well as some of her upcoming visits to other colleges. It was interesting because I had been reading about finding your strengths as it applies to the working world. The phrase I've heard lately is, “That’s in my wheelhouse.” It means that it's something which is within your area of expertise. I always thought it had to do with boats but after checking, found that it is a baseball term meaning a ball pitched right where you want it. You're most likely to hit the ball if it's in that area. The customer I was speaking to was saying she wasn't sure what she wanted to purs ... read more

Shop local. Eat local. Locovore.

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 i ... read more

These Boots Are Made for Walking…In Snow

These Boots Are Made for Walking…In Snow

This time of year, Jeff is thinking about snow tires and antifreeze. I'm thinking about boots. I should be thinking about boots that are practical and repel water and snow. I need good boots for work but then, I go online. I'm lured in by the ‘what's new for winter 2015’. All the pretty, furry, funky boots, lacing, zippers, and all the other fun things that are added but not needed. Boots, like many things nowadays, aren't just functional but have to be attractive or a certain style. Boho, classical, cowboy, western, motorcycle or equestrian. And work boots. Even work boot style boots have had their moment of being chic. I've never seen a photo spread in Vogue with the title “technician boots, not just for the shop” though. Then there's the open toe booties. They show those on models wearing winter coats, hats and gloves. I love how they look but the reality is, in Michigan you'd get frost bite on your toes and they'd fall off. Not such a good look. Then I'm besieged by th ... read more

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