Minnie’s Auto Service has female customers in mind

By Karamie Sullivan

There’s a car repair shop in Columbia that recently opened. And this one isn’t like any you’ve seen before.

Minnie’s Auto Repair, at 6220 St. Andrews Rd. is geared toward female customers. The shop is owned by Claudia Donnelley, whose husband, Jason, owns Mickey’s Auto Repair on Bush River Road.

Mickey’s has been servicing cars for more than 30 years.

According to Minnie’s Director of Operations Sarah Donnelley, who is also the owner’s niece, Mickey’s needed some additional space to continue servicing the amount of cars that were coming in.

So they decided to buy another shop. “It started off as a joke really. They said that they already had Mickey’s, so they might as well make a Minnie’s,” Sarah said. “We created Minnie’s because women have a patronization issue at body shops all the time.” The Minnie’s concept is for women to feel comfortable when they come in the shop, according to Donnelley.

We just want our customers to be able to enjoy something that they have to do,” said Donnelly. “You have to take care of your car.” The waiting room is designed with a “living room feel” in mind. There are couches with throw pillows sitting on top of decorative rugs, with a TV placed in the back. Around the corner there is a tapestry hanging beside a free coffee station. The six car ports outside are outlined with a pink border.

We’ve had a few negative comments on our Facebook page about how it’s geared just towards women, but that’s not our goal,” said Donnelley. “Our goal isn’t just women, we service all cars, and all people.” She also said the shop has both male and female mechanics. And Claudia and Jason value all of their customers.