What are the odds that a single family includes every necessary skillset for forming any business? Yet that’s exactly the case with Garrett’s. With three world-class technicians (one of whom isn’t kin by blood, but has been a lifelong part of the family), an accounts receivable expert and an operations manager who learned the ropes from the ground up—the Garretts have every part under the hood necessary to form a successful, family-owned and operated automotive services business.
Owner, lead mechanic, high-flying BMX’er (Even at 46 years old!) and a believer in the fact that handshakes, smiles and understanding every customer’s needs are what it takes to provide the best fix.
“I didn’t become a mechanic in order to chase money. I did it because it gives me a feeling—the feeling I get when I tear something apart and fix it the right way. The feeling I get when I help someone in the process.”
Scott’s passion for tearing apart and fixing things dates back to when he started taking apart clocks, toys and just about anything he could get his hands and tools on as a kid. Meanwhile, his unwavering belief that human relationships—and not just car repairs—should be the focus of automotive services comes in part from his parents. (His mother served as a substitute teacher, while his father was a Methodist minister.) After more than 20 years of service in franchised operations, when Scott felt that “things were getting lost” and that good, honest repairs were giving way to corporate interests, he decided it was time to set things back to the way they’re meant to be by opening his own business.
Customer service, business and accounts manager, queen bee with an impeccable eye for detail and the first smile behind every service.
“At Garrett’s, we aren’t smiling because we’re trying to take your money. We’re smiling because we feel good about what we’re doing and we’re happy to be here.”
With years of experience in accounts receivable and accounting, Joyce is the clockwork that keeps Garrett’s books in ship-tight shape. Meanwhile, she doesn’t hide away in her office crunching numbers. Her smile and infectious personality are often the start of every service. That attitude comes from a strong belief that no customer should have to walk into a business and wait to be greeted. For Joyce, every visit represents an opportunity to make someone part of the Garrett’s family.
Technician, repair-oriented innovator, shop singer and the boss (In his own mind at least, but all in good nature!)
“When you get to the end of a job, you can step back, look at what you’ve done and say, ‘I did that.’ You took the time to make that repair, to do it the right way and to save your customer as much as possible.”
Ryan’s love of cars spans back to just 3 years old, when he followed Scott everywhere he went, including under every vehicle! A few years and a few modified go-carts later, it was obvious that he got grease in more places than just on his diapers. He had cars on his mind and on his school desks (by the time he got done with them). In high school, he studied at Chesterfield’s tech center and by age 15 landed his first position at an area franchise. From there, his experience spans from every make and model of car to large trucks and even forklifts, as he learned the ropes across independent shops throughout the area.
Jessica (soon to be Garrett) Whalon
Operations manager, expert analyzer, shop whip-cracker and translational genius of automotive issues.
“As a young girl, I had to venture into the shop and learn about repairs in order to know what I was talking about and to assist customers. I became hooked on the whole thing—customer interactions, learning how cars work, how repairs are performed and all aspects of the business.”
As a young teenager, Jessica admits that her entry into the world of automotive services began as a form of punishment—something to keep her busy after school each day at her aunt’s local franchise business. But little did she know at the time that she’d discover a lifelong passion. After years of service in positions ranging from the front desk to shop manager, her ability to manage customers and traffic flow are what keep Garrett’s busy and running smoothly. In addition to managing, her specialty includes understanding customers’ needs in order to help them prioritize services.
Technician, perfect-touch welder, high-speed drifter and “brother from another mother.”
“You can’t say that something needs to be replaced until you’ve torn it apart and figured out exactly what’s wrong with it. And in most cases, things can be fixed for a lot less than they can be replaced. Heck, that’s part of the fun in this business.”
Eric’s love of cars—and anything mechanical for that matter—made him a natural friend of the Garrett family (and most notably its garage when he was growing up). But his passion for making things work can first be attributed to his father, who is an entrepreneurial-minded, hands-on craftsman. As a lifelong friend, every one of those cars tattooed on Ryan’s school desks had a counterpart—across the room on Eric’s! His childhood obsession with making chopper bikes and go-carts quickly graduated to something more, leading him into Chesterfield’s tech center for training. Following high school, he spent a year at Pennsylvania’s WyoTech, where he studied general automotive and high-performance work, before landing his first job at a local franchise operation.