We had the good fortune of connecting with Talena Handley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Talena, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I wanted to wake up and be happy about going to work. To know that what I do is making a difference in the world.

I have always wanted to create jobs for good people. I feel that having a good boss and good workmates is super important since you usually spend 1/3 of your life at work.

Girlie Garage kind of fell in my lap. I had 4 jobs when Covid hit, then I had nothing. In the middle of Covid, I was working on my personal vehicles, when one of my best friends called me. She had just gotten her oil changed and they told her that she needed to spend $2500 to replace all 4 of her brakes because they were metal-to-metal. She called me because they made it sound really scary, and she uses that vehicle to carry her kids around. With a quick phone call and 5 minutes checking her brakes, we determined she needed brake pads but not rotors. We were able to save her $2300 just using knowledge, and I realized that I needed to use my skills as a trained mechanic to help people.

Everyone always tells you that being an entrepreneur is a difficult path, that you work crazy hours, and that it’s lonely. All of these things are true, and if you are self-driven, and passionate, then you can overcome all obstacles, and create your own path instead of building someone else’s path. They say that it takes a village, it does. The constant networking is something that drives my personal passion to be a founder. I literally have an excuse to chat with strangers, make friends, and help people. I wake up every morning excited to do what I do. That is why I wanted to start a business.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Does any Millennial every have 1 career anymore? There is so much more focus on cultural fit when you step into a job that your job is now a journey of discovery.

Each of your experiences shapes you. I’m sure many can relate to at least one of the many random jobs I’ve previously had. I worked general construction & remodel with my dad when I was a little kid, then again as an adult, I’ve delivered newspaper, worked in food service, with a heart doctor’s office, for various automotive race teams including the Ferrari Challenge, in powersport auctions, at a strip club, for a Porsche dealership, did event planning in pharmaceuticals, and I was even homeless and jobless for almost a year.

“Nothing good comes easy” is a very true song/statement. I decided to put myself through and automotive mechanic program at my local community college when my Honda Civic was stolen for the second time. I was 1 of 4 women in the program. I am still flying relatively solo in the industry. Being a woman in a male-dominated industry is a challenge in itself. I like to be so good at what I do that I can inspire others to recognize women as general technicians instead of dissenting to male or female mechanics. I also like to set an example by admitting when I am wrong and learning/growing from it.

One MAJOR lesson I can share is: wear sunscreen, wear gloves, wear safety glasses. Protect your body, you really only get ONE. Another lesson is that you should do what you are passionate about. We are often told that we cannot do something because of some reason that isn’t necessarily logical. For example, “you cannot be a mechanic because you are a girl.” If you are capable and it makes you happy, you should pursue it.

Girlie Garage will help millions of people. We are moving away from just repairing cars and more towards education and consulting. If you have a basic knowledge about the vehicle that you climb into every day, then we build safer communities together because everyone is safer and more confident on the road.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
San Diego has so many cool spots, this is really hard to narrow down. I’m pretty thrifty, so most of these options are free or relatively inexpensive.

Views for sunset:
The beach (obviously)
Mount Soledad
USD Campus

Cultural flavor:
Embarcadero/Seaport Village
Ocean Beach (Newport)
La Jolla shores

Food:
Most Mexican restaurants
3rd Corner (restaurant)
OB Noodle House
Anything in Gaslamp
Rose donuts
Brigantine (for taco Tuesday fish tacos)

Dancing/nightlife:
Cafe Sevilla
Moonshine Flats
Mavericks

Hangout:
Balboa Park
Go for a hike
Ocean Beach dog beach

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is dedicated to those that are there for me literally every week (and then some): Bathsheba Malsheen, Kate Raiford, Alexis Piotrowski, & Ritika Seghal <3

Website: https://www.girliegarage.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/girliegarage/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/girlie-garage/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GirlieGarage1/

Youtube: https://youtube.com/c/girliegarage

Image Credits
Troels Graugaard

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.