Andrea Ellett jokes that when her family purchased their business in 2004, it was probably the first time she’s ever been in an automotive shop.
“Before that, I think my dad took care of any repairs or maintenance I needed, so it was a totally new experience for me to say the least,” she laughs.
Ellett was working as a paralegal when her dad and brother asked her to help start a tire store. She thought she’d just stick around long enough to help them start the business, but 13 years later, Ellett now co-owns the tire dealership with her brother, Anthony Greci.
“For me, I love the relationships I’ve formed over the years. Our customers have become friends, almost like family. The same can be said for a lot of our vendors and other dealers,” she shares.
Ellett says there is no “typical workday” for her, but she’s responsible for the tire dealership’s bookkeeping and marketing. Occasionally, she’ll help her service writers, one of whom is her sister, and work with customers when needed.
“I am really lucky to be able to work with both of my siblings,” Ellett says. “We work incredibly well together and play off of each other’s strengths. I find that we make a really great team and divide and conquer really well. I think being able to rely and depend on them to help me with things that may be out of my area of expertise has given me a great confidence boost when I’ve needed it.”
A true family business, Ellett says her three children often come into the shop. And with three “shop dogs,” there isn’t a quiet day at the office.
In addition to her duties at the tire dealership, Ellett is a member of the Virginia Automotive Association’s Next Generation Advisory Council. Ellett became involved with the group to promote automotive careers and build new professional networks.
“I wanted to get involved at least in part to help change how the industry is perceived by students today. Kids in middle and high school are so often on a college track and may not see our industry as a viable career option, so my hope is to find a way to get into schools and show kids what a job in the automotive field can look like, and how successful they can be,” Ellett says.
“Also, a lot of the people who have influenced me the most in our field are getting to a point in their careers where they are looking to retire or sell their businesses. As they leave, if we don’t form networks and relationships, all of the information and experience they’ve garnered over the years is going to be lost. There is so much both generations can learn from each other and I’m really looking forward to connecting with more ‘experienced’ members of our industry and learning everything they are willing to teach!” she says.
Fun Fact: If she wasn’t working in the tire industry, Ellett would be a children’s librarian.
“There is something really amazing about teaching a child to read and watching them get lost in a great book,” she says.