How 20 Years of Sacrifice Built the Perfect Engine for Business with Amber Blonigan CEO of GI Automotive

episode description:


In her early mid 20s, Amber Blonigan started GI Motorsports. For over a decade, GI Motorsports has been the premiere European automotive maintenance and tuning shop in Los Angeles. From McLaren MP4-12Cs to Lamborghini Aventadors, GI Motorsports does it all. As a female CEO in a male-dominant industry, she received a lot of pushback from society and competitors. Despite the negativity, she was able to persevere. With years of hard work, wise business decisions, and a do no harm, take no shit approach to the industry, Amber grew GI Motorsports to over $100,000 in sales within the first few months of business to paving her way as a thought leader and community builder in the automotive industry.

Instagram: @amber_blonigan & @giautomotivegroup

Show notes:

Eric: All right. Well welcome everybody. This is Eric Chen from the Y-Factor podcast. Today I have Amber Blonigan the CEO and founder of GI Automotive Group, and I would love to have you introduce yourself to the audience and what you do and and everything. 

Amber: So, I’m Amber. I own GI Automotive Group.

I started this company in 2004 and the idea behind starting this company was. Well, first of all I’ll tell you what we do, we do kind of like a full Automotive concierge. So I have which were you know in my building right now, obviously a full workshop we can do mechanical aftermarket body work. We do a lot of customization, I try not to get too much in a fabrication because that’s like a lot and you don’t make that much money doing it, but we can do that stuff as well and then I help my clients buy and sell their car. 

Usually I’m only handling like more high-end transactions and just maintain you know some of my clients who will go to one of their garage and was not really my client.

But this kind of gives you an idea of what I do. I help them kind of like maintain their collections as well. And the reason behind me starting this company was I really enjoyed cars. I liked modifying my car’s. I like kind of pushing them to their limits and I just wasn’t having a great experience whether it be at the dealership.

Or the the shops or whatever it was, it was always like, you know, obviously if you’re at a dealership, your car is broken and that sucks, right? 

Eric: Yep. 

Amber: Um, usually the environments, the waiting rooms, the service people whatever it is like a to z it’s just not that pleasant. And then if it you know, you go to the other side and you’re trying to modify your car it’s like a project you’re super excited about you’re like, oh my gosh, what am I to do and and you really are excited to do this project and you actually are fine spending the money.

And same thing, you know, it would be like, oh this project is going to take a week and like six months later I might get my car back like in like worse condition than it came and it was just always something so I was having like a really bad experience at a lot of places. So, initially I kind of like went and got a location was very small and hired a few people that I had dealt with whether at the dealerships or the other shops that I liked.

I mean, I definitely recruited from their places. 

Eric: Yeah, you have to have the best talent. 

Amber: Right. Exactly. So I mean it was few and far between but there were a couple guys that I was like these guys, you know, we’re on point they did what they said they were going to do and you know, I’d like to have them work for me.

So it was kind of self-serving. I just kind of wanted a place that I could do my own car stuff. And maybe some of my friends stuff and like if I could just make enough money to keep the place open and kind of break even and be able to do some fun things for myself, that was cool. But you know it caught on really quickly.

Within the first six months. I was in business. We were doing $100,000 in sales and I was completely out of the red by like month four which is unheard of yeah in a small business. I mean, it usually take small businesses like three to five years to even 

Eric: yeah a year if they’re lucky. 

Amber: Exactly exactly. So I was like, wow, you know at the time I still was doing some Investment Banking and Venture Capital, but I was like there’s something here. I mean, this is great. It’s something I love doing and I have potential to make a good you know career of it. So I transitioned out of you know, the the VC stuff and just went full time running the shop and it grew quite quickly.

Yeah. I’ve gone through economic ups and downs, you know. 2008/9 all the mortgage stuff, which I was also involved in some real estate stuff at the time which I lost my ass. Yeah, but I had this company so, you know, thank God I was able to you know continue on it was really interesting because during that time like where a lot of people would normally like buy a new car and modify and keep it for a couple of years or I had a lot of restoration projects I was doing or custom builds. 

They kind of moved away from that but then these people were like, well, you know, we don’t know what’s happening. So they’re losing their ass on their home values or whatever all their other assets. So they were like, well we might have to keep this car for a while, so we’re going to maintain it well and luckily I always had that side of the business too, the service and maintenance. Yeah, so that really carried the business forward and actually I increased in sales in 2008 and 2009 just on the service and maintenance side because people would normally you know get a new car every couple years and do something were keeping their cars and they’re like well now we have to maintenance these cars so we don’t know when you’re going to get another one.

Hmm, so we don’t want to drive it into the ground. So it was kind of like this really interesting like balance of everything but that’s why I found it important to kind of be able to I mean, I know people you don’t want to be the Jack of all trades and it’s kind of like the advice everybody always gives you in small businesses because when you have a small business, you have to be everything from like the janitor to like, you know, the PR person like, you know, I’ll be cleaning the bathroom and then I have to go to like an event and like look amazing and like talk to people about business. It’s you know, but in my experience just in what I do, it’s actually been fine. 

Eric: Yeah. So I love to dive a little bit more about your background in terms of whether it was the VC world or in the ibanking world and really just at the point of transition into deciding you want to own your own business.

You sounded like you found a huge balance point of you know, you love working on cars love working on these projects and at what point you told yourself I want to do this for myself or if this could be that. 

Amber: Yeah, like the breaking point for me was just having a really shitty experience. I had at the time bought a BMW 740i and it was like a year and a half old and the engine blew up yeah, like smoking stuck on the road like it was it blew up and it was like six months before I got my car back and then I was like, okay whatever like I’ve got a new engine everything’s cool, so I’m going to go do some mods. So then I went and did some lots and that ended up being like a disaster and I was like, okay that was like my breaking point like I want to do this myself. I don’t want to deal with this crap anymore. You know, like the automotive industry doesn’t have… they don’t present themselves well in general, you know, whatever level you’re dealing with. 

So, I mean even more so for a female like being a consumer, it’s just it’s not a very inviting atmosphere anywhere you go. 

Eric: They assume that you don’t know what you’re talking about, what you’re trying to do. 

Amber: Yeah. Yeah, so I mean unfortunately in LA as well, like, you know, a lot of people are trying to take advantage of people and whatever business you’re doing.

So, you know, it’s kind of like this walking target like I’d go in and at the time I was like in my early 20s too so they’re like, oh she’s got nice cars and money and she looks really stupid. She’s got blonde hair. So, I just [00:07:00] really just got sick of the whole environment in general and was like, I’m just doing this myself, like I’m over it. So that was kind of my breaking point and I saw like I saw a need in the market just having a place that did like this is really simple like just giving you what you pay for and doing it because you’re paying me money, right? Like if you walk into a store on Rodeo and you drop a couple thousand dollars, they’re going to take care of you and it’s just this really weird thing in the automotive industry, you’re spending, you know, the average transaction, especially for the types of cars that we work on is, you know, 15 to 2 thousand dollars and goes up to a few hundred thousand dollars and like people are paying people and they’re getting treated like shit. It’s really crazy. 

Uhm, so, you know, I just really saw need to like be very, you know, customer service oriented and take care of people and if you charge them for a part and then it’s in their car like it’s kind of that simple, but it’s like one of these really it seems like the simple most simple concept, but people don’t it.

Eric: Yeah, and so essentially you just had such a pain point where you’re like, I can solve this problem and treat customers the way I want to be treated and that was really the driver behind you creating something like this. Did you so did you work on this as like a side hustle while you had a full time job or you just went 100% in? 

Amber: Initially like initially, you know, I was doing VC and I helped, you know a friend run a company, so it’s not like I didn’t have to I had my own schedule. 

So I kind of thought this was something that I was going to like help start up because I was working at VC World and we’re starting up companies left and right so it was kind of like I was doing that all day anyway, so it’s like okay this is going to be mine.

Hmm. And yeah, I thought I was going to kind of get it started and get it going and then kind of go back to what I was doing, but I realized that you know

Eric: there’s so much opportunity here Amber: opportunity and it definitely required my attention. I mean, I don’t think it [00:09:00] would have lasted long had I just kind of like handed it off and checked on it once in a while.

Eric: So where did where did the passion in terms of working on cars even come from? 

Amber: I think you know like I’ve always been very athletic. I’ve always been like very active and I want to learn everything right. So I think the passion really just came from, you know, just first of all gives you something to do with your hands like you’re physically active doing something. You’re learning things and I’m learning about what I love which is cars.

So when I started this, I didn’t know anything about I mean, I may be knew a little more than the average person just because of all that issues I had had but I really didn’t know that much. I learned from the guys that I had hired. They really kind of trained me like on the job, so I mean I could have gone to like UTI or one of the the Automotive 

Both: Technical and Vocational schools, but I had a bunch of technicians there who are already on my payroll, so… 

Eric: So instead of you, you know, just giving or just dropping your car off and having them deal with it, you spent [00:10:00] time to just sit there and learn from the actual things that they’re building or working on and that’s that’s how you got the experience.

Amber: Yeah. Yeah. 

Eric: Wow, so that’s pretty much like you you’re so involved or passionate about cars and because the car is your baby. 

Amber: Yeah, right.

Eric: It’s like why drop off a baby to a babysitter and not know what’s going on? 

Amber: Exactly. 

Eric: Right? So you want to be as involved as possible. 

Amber: I just wanted to do it myself and that’s kind of how I am about everything and I think that’s why I’ve been able to be successful is because like, I think so many people like rely on somebody else to take care of something right like, oh well, like, you know, this person will do that or like my girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, whatever somehow things will just get it done. 

Eric: Yeah, magically. 

Amber: Yeah and like half the time you look at people’s lives and you realize like half the shit they need like it’s not getting done. So I’ve always just been like I’m just going to do it myself. Yeah. So I like to empower myself with you know, knowledge and ability and skills.

So like I think I don’t need anybody like if my staff left, I mean I would struggle through a lot of stuff but I would ultimately be able to kind of like figure out a large amount of it on my own. 

Eric: Where is that balance point between being an owner taking ownership of the task and then being able to properly delegate it to your team? 

Amber: Yeah, it’s a it’s a delicate balance for sure. But I’ve got great people who work for me, especially now I have an amazing team.

So I feel very confident to you know, a lot of times delegating stuff like half the time it gets swept under the carpet and you follow up with people and they’re like oh what I don’t remember that. Yeah. I mean, I went through years of that with different, you know, various employees and staff, but the the group I have now of guys like they’re amazing and I know I can tell them like hey this needs to get done and it’ll get done.

Yeah, because first of all they really like working for me and they know what the alternative is out there. They know that if they’re working somewhere else. They’re not going to have as pleasant of an atmosphere to work in they’re not going to have the support that they have here. They’re not going to have the flexibility, you know, if they’re like, oh my kids sick today like I got to go pick him up early at school.

Whatever, you know, I work with them. I’m a single parent. So I understand and we all work together as a team. Yeah, so whatever it is, like I know I can trust them whether it’s delegating something to them or you know customers show up in here like, “here’s five grand cash, like I’m just going to pay cash” like it won’t be a dollar short. 

Eric: Hmm. 

Amber: So that’s great. I mean that’s great. But I didn’t always have that so it was a little like running around like chaos. Sometimes like going ok this person was supposed to do that and that person is supposed to do that, and like everybody kind of like didn’t like follow through and so you got to go and clean up messes and there’s definitely been points in my business where I felt like 80% of my day was spent just cleaning messes up.

Eric: Hmm 

Amber: And probably was yeah, so it’s really important the people you surround yourself with people you hire and you’re not going to get it right like I took me a long time to get it right. 

Eric: How long do you think that whole time frame to hire a proper team, train them and be able to trust them. How long is that process?

Amber: Well, I mean I’ve been in business for 15 years, so we’ve had you know good teams and bad teams. We’ve had a couple good guys on you know in a couple bad guys you know, we’ve had different scenarios, but to really recognize and learn how to properly hire, manage people, I mean it definitely it took a couple of years.

Eric: And has there ever been a time just because it’s, it’s already tough to be a woman in the workplace, but then being a woman business owner and working in an industry that’s dominated as a male industry, like how’s that been for you in terms of working around that?

Amber: Yeah, that’s always like the question. Everybody’s like how do you do that? Yeah, it’s funny. Like I mean, I have people who were just like why do you do that?  I do because I’m just really stubborn. I think more than anything, but

Eric: like if you’re more stubborn than the men and then.. 

Amber: yeah, exactly, but yeah, when I started 15 years ago it was completely unheard of. There was no women in this industry there was none and like people just refused to acknowledge me like when like they would come into the shop and I would greet them and say hello, they would assume like, oh it’s a secretary/ receptionist, whatever. And you know they go like oh, well, I have this question about my car. Okay, I can help you. They’d be like uhm no and like I literally had this happen like numerous times were they kind of just like brush me off walk past me and just look for a man. Yeah, like sometimes that man like was even like another customer who’s like, “I don’t know it’s her shop.”

Like they just could not get their head wrapped around it. It was so weird to them and it’s only really been in the last year or two. I mean, I would say even the months, and I think it’s largely because of this whole, “me too” movement and all the women empowerment that it’s become like it’s like kind of went through a phase of like it was completely unacceptable and then it was like, okay people just dealt with me because they’re like, oh she’s been here for quite a few years, she’s not gonna go away.

Eric: So even having established like the business 15 years ago, even for being in business for five – ten years still had to deal with that. 

Amber: Yeah, I think at a certain point there was like this kind of point where like people were  like, okay we just got to deal with her because she’s not she’s just not going to go away.

I mean at least other people in the industry and customers kind of started to be like, okay, she knows what she’s doing, you know she’s got a good reputation and then it just kind of transitioned into like, okay, this is okay. This is okay people aren’t freaking out and trying to sabotage me and being really nasty to like now, it’s kind of becoming celebrated. Like like I said only in the last couple months, it’s like we’re at a point where people are like that’s cool. We want to know more about you. Like now I’m starting to stand out in the crowd a little bit were like I should have I think I always did, but it should have been something that was like a positive before rather than a negative. 

Eric: Just combating the negative aspect versus now you can embrace the positive 

Amber: Exactly, and I’m not like a big supporter, you know, the whole me too movement thing is like it’s like listen everybody’s got their thing. Right? Like I one of my good friends, who’s a journalist actually two of them I was talking to are very well known Automotive journalists and they’re heavy.. they’re very heavy and you know, they get people talking shit to them online all the time making fat jokes and stuff like that. So everybody has like their challenges and you know, I think with women in business, you know, it’s it’s like this whole movement it has its good side and its bad side. 

There’s a lot of people like women falsely accusing of people or trying to make themselves like a victim to take advantage of this current atmosphere and that will happen no matter what and that sucks because they’re really, you know, taking away and devaluating the stories of women who have legitimately had issues. I heard that it’s now going to be required on publicly traded companies in California to have a woman on the board, which is like that’s kind of scary like that.

I think a lot of people are looking at a positive way and it is to a certain extent but, it’s also a little scary because that means that companies are probably afraid to hire women because they’re afraid they’re going to like somebody is going to be accused of like sexual harassment or whatever sexual misconduct.

And so now they’re having to require people to hire women. So, I mean there’s a good side and a bad side to it. I mean, I definitely have had different struggles because I am a female, but I can say I’m really proud of the automotive industry as a whole. 

Eric: Hmm now you bring up a lot of good points, right. It’s, how do you carry yourself and especially for you to represent your business, you know in the automotive industry and how you want to be perceived is huge importance to be able to do that. Yeah, especially with women in general and how to represent women right and I think you have such a huge fan base and people who respect you within this industry because you have been this beacon of light to show that you know, you can you know, essentially dominate this this industry, uhm, even going through all of these challenges that you face everyday. 

Amber: Yeah. Yeah. No, I mean it is not that is that is the core of why I’ve kind of sometimes even endured some of the stuff that I’ve had to go through to continue this business and keep it where it’s at is because I realize even 10/15 years ago when we were so far from all of this where we are today is like I knew one day like it would impact somebody, somehow in a positive way. 

I knew it would someday like make a difference and we’re finally kind of getting to that place. So that’s that’s why and it’s I get letters from men and women, you know all the time Facebook messages, Instagram messages. I’ve had people write me letters and send it to the shop like telling me like I Inspire them and it seems so weird, like, I inspire people? I have a 14 year old daughter and she’s like, “What?” 

Eric: You’re like, you’re just my mom. I don’t see you like a cool mom right? 

Amber: Yeah, I know. I went and talked to the school because last week because I’m gonna like try to help them put together like a you know, some classes at the school for just the basis of the classes like, you know, not so much empowerment, but just teaching girls like because all they see is social media and they see all these girls with filters and they don’t really look how they look, but all they see is what’s on social media and their boobs hanging out all this stuff. So it’s just about teaching girls kind of self-respect, but I was saying that to them when we’re talking I was like I can inspire like a bunch of strangers and my daughters like, “whatever” but that’s you know, that’s why I kind of kept on doing what I was doing.

I mean, I’m a single parent like I have zero zero financial support. Hmm. Haven’t for nine years from their father. He’s gone, left the country. So I’ve done all of this and I’ve supported two children and raised them completely on my own. Hmm. And I also have Lupus which is an autoimmune disease, so I’ve had times where you know, I’ve gotten very very sick, but part of like having the drive to be successful and like do something that’s bigger than yourself is like you have to just like some days you get up and you’re like, oh my I’m really sick. Yeah, like I don’t feel good or like I just want to sleep or I want to go out and party with my friends tonight or whatever it is and you just kind of can’t do it. 

Yeah, or you have to make yourself get up and move forward and the more you kind of just put like one foot in front of the next regardless of your situation if it’s challenging and it’s so challenging and overwhelming that like, you don’t want to do anything like you just keep moving forward.

Yeah, like it’s just sometimes it’s like, “Amber, okay, get up get in the shower… get dressed”  then the more you move forward the better it gets right. 

Eric: Yeah, and I think a lot of people, you know, who listen to motivational podcasts about finding their passion in the work. I think more in terms of my experience, I realized sometimes passion isn’t enough anymore. Right? Your passion is the car industry and it may have gotten you to a point here, but then comes down to what your purpose is. Yeah like you mentioned, it’s having people talk about how you inspire them or is it you know for for you to raise a family as a single mom. Having that purpose really driving you right? Because if you were sick and you couldn’t drive your kids to school for instance right then but that is a purpose you want to take care of your children or you want to take care of your business? Yeah, and that just becomes, you know, larger larger factor or something that’s bigger than you 

Amber: Exactly. 

Eric: Because if it was just passions like, okay I don’t need to go in, you know, to the office today, but yeah for you as a business owner, you’re you have employees that you need to take care of .You have customers you need to take care of. You have your family and so forth. So yeah, I think that’s a huge huge thing that you’re already encapsulating, you know with yourself and the business.

Yeah have there been any challenges that have gotten you to a breaking point? 

Amber: Like I want to give up? 

Eric: Yeah. 

Amber: Um, honestly like no no, close when a few years ago when I first got diagnosed with lupus, I was having all kinds of issues, I mean I’ve even had like surgeries on my kidneys and stuff like that and they finally figured out what it was because lupus is one of the most wrongly diagnosed diseases. 

And the doctors were like, well, you should probably like, you know plan like what’s going to happen if you’re not here anymore for your kids and stuff like that. I’m like so I’m going to die? 

Eric: I have to create an exit plan. 

Amber: Yeah, and that was really scary like I was like, “what?” 

Eric: I can’t imagine.

Amber: Yeah, and so I was kind of like I definitely I like laid down one day like it took me like a couple weeks like I got up and ate and went to the bathroom. Really took me a couple weeks to like…

Eric: But just your mental state is yeah. You just 

Amber: get back up and get out of that like horrible place, but I mean no giving up has never really been an option.

I see people giving up all the time, especially the younger generation right now. Like I see all these people who are like 28 and younger 30 and younger and it’s like they’ll try one thing for like a couple weeks or a couple months or six months and they’re like, oh, I’m not an overnight success.

I’m going to move on because like the world today is telling you like oh you can have a tech company or you could do this or whatever and like tomorrow you’re going to be a billionaire and you’re going to be like rolling in like jets and fucking you know Bugattis. 

Eric: Yeah. 

Amber: An that’s just that’s once in a while that happens.

Eric: Yeah. 

Amber: But that doesn’t happen that often. It takes years and years of work to get there and like I feel like social media is really negative,  negatively impacting yeah, like the younger generation because they just see all this bullshit on social media and I hate to say it because like some of these people are my friends and and I think, overall, the big picture and what they’re doing is really positive but it’s also there’s there’s kind of the other side of it where like everybody saying you can do it, you can do it! Like if you want it you can have it. 

That’s not true. It’s actually not true and it sets a lot of people up for failure and and devastating, you know, consequences to life because all they hear everywhere is like oh if you want to drive a Lamborghini and fly around in jets, you can have it and so they try for a little bit and they fail because you’re not going to go from zero to jets 

Eric: exactly 

Amber: in like six months. 

Eric: All these entrepreneurs or self-proclaimed gurus will talk about, you know, overnight success after a year.

Amber: Yeah 

Eric: but they don’t talk about the 20 years of foundation they had to build… 

Amber: Yeah. 

Eric:… to even get there in the first place. 

Amber: Exactly exactly. So, it just it takes so much so much hard work and not giving up and just moving forward in dealing the failures and dealing with you know, all of that to get to where you want to be.

Yeah. So, you know, if you want to do something like you’re just going to have to like, you know buckle in and go on that ride.

Eric: And like you mentioned right? You even you yourself were hit with the 2008 financial crisis and real estate, but you figured out a way and a solution to keep the business running and even become more profitable.

Amber: Yeah, I turned it around. I found a way to to kind of reinvent the wheel and just turn it around where I saw like my competitors closing left and right. 

Eric: So I know you had mentioned to me prior to the recording is that you have all these other ideas that you’re working on as well. 

Amber: Yeah. 

Eric:  Like something behind us in this video are all these like purses and fashion, so you it seems like you have an eye to figure out like here’s a problem or a challenge that you want to solve whether it’s something small or big. 

Amber: Yeah. 

Eric: Tell me more about the stuff that you’re working on. 

Amber: Well, so we moved recently to the location where we’re at. I recently took on a partner; I was doing this solo for the first like 13 – 14 years and about a year and a half ago, I brought on the partner. She’s not here full-time, but it’s another female she’s actually transgender. So when she approached me at the time, she hadn’t kind of transitioned or come out yet, but she told me this was like what she planned to do and I was like, I’m already a controversy enough let’s like just do this shit like this is going to be amazing.

So we, you know, moved the business here a couple months ago. Just got everything done and what’s behind us is our first little go at like, you know, I’d like to combine fashion with cars because you’ve got these beautiful cars, you’ve got Lamborghinis and Ferraris and Pagani’s and all these things.

They’re amazing beautiful cars their engines to everything top to bottom built amazingly and there’s like no way to accessorize them like the the brands have their own lines, but they’re like polos and t-shirts and I don’t want to order that stuff, but this is this is like a little higher end approach. 

So what I have here is I’ve got two lines I’ve got techno monster, which is carbon fibre and titanium luggage made in Italy. It can all be customized like the the stitching, the hardware, the leathers can all be customized to match your car… 

Eric: Yeah. 

Amber: … or whatever you want to do. And then the other line is Thale Blanc, which is a good friend of mine Deb’s line. She was a designer for Valentino and Dior and you know, she kind of wanted to do her own stuff, and this is also customizable to match your car as well. So, I mean back here we’ve got the gray the blue, you know different ones, but if you have a yellow car we can do yellow if you have a purple like right now we have a bunch of GI cars that are in purple, so I’m making one of these backpacks to match the cars. So yeah, it’s all customizable and all based on,you know, around your car.

Eric: Mmm. 

Amber: So now that you have a lot more women moving into buying cars and doing [00:28:00] high end cars, what do you women want to do? They want to accessorize. 

Eric: Exactly. 

Amber: So, you know, we give them the opportunity to do that where I haven’t seen that anywhere else. So hopefully, you know, we just kind of got it going so I need to put a little more resources behind it, but that’s kind of the next step is kind of bringing together everything. 

I mean for sure some of the companies have done some lifestyle stuff, but not quite you know on the level of this.

Eric: Yeah, and I know just a few weeks ago you had hosted an event for women as well to come hang out at your office and everything and share more information about yeah, we’re working on there.

Amber: Yeah, that was really exciting. So six years ago, my friend Amy Shackleford, and I, she runs Gold Rush rally and she has a social media company events company, we tried to do all women car meet and literally three girls showed up and like we heard all this like negative stuff like too from [00:29:00] people in the industry going like you guys are going to be like a girls thing like it’s gonna flop and were like, yeah, “eff you it’s going to be awesome” and it did flop like there’s the three girls there. We’re just sitting around going okay, let’s just pretend like we didn’t even do this because everybody’s going to talk shit.

A couple weeks ago, I did it and I had like 60/70 women show up. 

Eric: Yeah. 

Amber: and it was really cool because it was like women I know who don’t necessarily get along all the time, but like everybody got along and they really like came together for this purpose and to my knowledge it was the first all-female car meet anywhere that I’ve ever seen or heard of. I mean, they’ve definitely like had like small groups of women go do certain things Automotive related, but I don’t know of any like all female, you know car meets and it was it was just so cool.

It was so cool to see all these women come together and it was everything from you know, Aston Martins and lamborghinis to you know, American muscle cars and and modded BMWs and like it was just everything there was no car requirement, just you had to [00:30:00] be passionate about your car.

 Eric: Yeah. 

Amber: So it was it was definitely a cool experience.

I plan to do more stuff for women. Thursday, we have a Gatsby party which isn’t just for automotive, it’s just it’s all women’s event, but I did invite all the women who came to the car meet. It’s just a place for women to kind of start to network and learn about each other’s businesses. It’s mostly for business owners and and just help support each other.

Eric: Yeah. 

Amber: Because it’s a really weird thing like, you know, women don’t always support each other that much. You would think that like we… 

Eric: It’s naturally competitive. 

Amber: Yeah. Yeah, so it’s really interesting, but I think it just think that it’s changed so much just in the last month, last year with how women… just everything.

Eric: Just yeah, I feel like business in general. There’s there’s such a huge emphasis on collaboration, building a community…

 Amber: Yeah.

 Eric: … With a network that you can work with or even rely on and partner up together. 

Amber: Yeah. 

Eric: So I think that’s an amazing thing that you’re helping build out right here.

Amber: Yeah. 

Eric: in Hollywood. So… 

Amber: Yeah, and then we’re going to do the next all woman’s car meet we’re going to do is going to be focused around a charity, so everybody’s going to bring things to donate to the the women’s shelters, which are homeless women and battered women and children. So, you know feminine hygiene products or clothes or anything to donate to those shelters is kind of going to be the focus of the next well woman’s car meet. 

Eric: Yeah. Well that is amazing Amber. Is there anything else you’d like to share with with people? 

Amber:Yeah. I mean, I think your podcast is about, business people starting… or, you know, more established business people too, but I think the important thing like that I like to tell people and really leave people with is if you want to do something like don’t give up like it’s not going to happen overnight.

You have to keep doing it to keep at it. Obviously if it’s just a horrible idea like and people keep telling me like [00:32:00] this is really bad like maybe listen to them. 

Eric: and see if you can figure out a solution 

Amber: But yeah, but really like, you know, if it’s something you’re super passionate about it and you want like people just need to not give up and keep moving forward.

Because, it might take you 15 20 years like it’s what it’s taken me, but eventually it’ll work. 

Eric: Yeah, and it’s at that point when your social media comes out and it’s like the overnight success. It’s like no it’s 15 years even more in the making. 

Amber: Exactly like it’s so funny. Like all these people are now finding me.

They’re like, oh, so what I say, I’ve been in business 15 years like Oh, I thought you were only around for like two years. I’m like… no. 

Eric: Well, awesome. Thank you so much. 

Amber: Yes absolutely 

Eric: for coming onto the show and talking through your whole journey and the challenges you’ve gone through. I really appreciate it.

Amber: Yeah. It was awesome. Thank you for having me.

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