Seattle Auto Repair Revolution run by / for queers, women

The Repair Revolution staff. Owner Eli Alliosn is third from a right. (Photo by Steph Araiza)


Seattle’s Eli Allison always desired cars, even before opening a now iconic Repair Revolution. But when Allison attempted to get work as a technician during an automobile shop, in a classically male-dominated industry, it wasn’t easy.

“It was like a time appurtenance behind to a ’50s,” Allison said. “At a time we was really some-more delicate presenting and used a opposite name that was some-more feminine. And we would get answers like, ‘Oh, we don’t have any receptionist available.’ Or this one emporium told me, ‘You’re going to have to stagger tires and that’s substantially too complicated for you. So we don’t have any positions open.’”

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“After removing a doorway sealed in my face 16 times, we finally stumbled into a dealership where we was given an opportunity,” he said.

But that event wasn’t ideal.

“Being a womanlike in a industry, we had to work twice as tough to infer myself in that shop,” Allison said. “It’s an aged boys bar in general, in a industry. A lot of sexism, a lot of homophobia, a lot of racism. After about 5 years operative during a dealership we was during a crossroads. we was possibly going to quit a attention all together or we was going to open my possess emporium and do it radically differently.”

Allison did a latter and non-stop Repair Revolution in SoDo, with a sign Repair, Educate, Inspire.

Repair Revolution

At Repair Revolution, 90 percent of a staff is queer, trans or female. Allison’s idea is to emanate a gentle work environment. But he’s also austere about creation things totally pure for customers, who know zero about cars, so they never feel taken advantage of.

He pronounced that women, and other people, are mostly prayed adult on during dealerships.

“I did an investigation on a automobile and a brakes had 30 to 40 percent life in them,” Allison recalled. “They substantially had a integrate months left in them. we told that to a use advisor. I’m still unresolved out in a run when we see a use confidant enchanting with a customer. He says to her, ‘You’re going to need to reinstate those front brakes. They are vulnerable to drive.’ She happens to have a child with her. He’s like, ‘I wouldn’t put my child in that car.’ Total shock tactic. we was like, we only told you, she has dual to 3 months. That’s so unethical.”

Allison pronounced business are agreeably repelled by a probity that Repair Revolution delivers. People mostly come in for a second opinion after visiting a dealership, and find they don’t indeed need work done.

“When we are means to, we adore to take we out to your automobile and uncover we what’s going on,” Allision said. “If you’re not here we take lots of cinema and send them to we so we can see what we see. If we tell we we have an oil leak, there it is in a picture. You can see it. Then we can speak about how shortly it needs to be addressed.”

When Repair Revolution opened, it was primarily tough to find a staff. Allison pronounced many odd people and women had already left a industry, undone by a approach they were treated. But he now has a staff of nine.

“Over time, word has widespread nationally,” Allison said. “I’ve got a tech that’s come to me from Austin, a use manager that came from Oakland, another tech that’s come from Arizona. we continue to get emails all a time from people who are like, we have listened about your emporium and we wish to work for you. Sometimes they don’t have any knowledge during all and we approach them to a right place to start school.”

El Scherker did her initial automobile correct when she was 8 years aged and got her initial pursuit in a garage when she was 16. But she eventually gave adult on being a tech and sole all of her tools.

“I consider a many dire thing that happened that was finally like, ‘No, I’m finished with this industry,’ was when we worked during a Firestone,” Scherker said. “One of their comparison techs and a integrate of a guys behind me were joking around. we could hear them behind me giggling about something. Then, all of a sudden, we felt that really graphic sound of your hair being cut. Yup. As shortly as we felt scissors slicing my hair we literally forsaken my collection and walked out a door.”

Then she changed to Seattle and detected Repair Revolution.

“I suffer entrance to work everyday,” Scherker said. “Everyone is super usurpation of everyone, either it’s a other techs here or a customers. When you’ve been doing something for 13, 14 years, fundamentally given we was 16 years old, to finally feel gentle and suffer your pursuit and go to work bland and feel encouraged to learn some-more and improved myself. we indeed see a foreseeable destiny here.”

Allison used to work with homeless and low-income families in a non-profit universe and strives to move a value of assisting people to Repair Revolution. They also learn classes on simple automobile repairs.

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