By: Rachael Smith, Emily Olivier, Jordan Roderick, and Rhianon Peavey
Ms. Maria Rodrigues has been operating Kyla’s Auto Body and Rental in Brockton since 2009. At the time, Ms. Rodrigues wanted to inspire her three young daughters to do anything they dreamed of as long as their heart & mind was in it. She figured if she could enter a male dominated industry and become successful as a woman, it would prove just that. Her daughters mean the world to her and she named the company after her youngest daughter, Kyla. Her business first started out with rental cars she would receive through insurance claims; however, many of the cars ended up needing additional auto body repairs. A good amount of the work had to be outsourced. She thought to herself if she rented out a body shop she could consolidate and keep everything in-house. A couple years later she came across an auto body shop that was for rent, and she saw her vision coming together.
However, this didn’t come without hardships, but what kept her motivated was her children. When she saw the rental company becoming more of a success it fueled her motivation. Since they were a smaller company & had ties to the community they were able to connect with their customers on a personal level and offer lower prices compared to competitors.
Maria has built a strong community and successful business, despite one of the most difficult challenges she faced being a single woman in a male dominated industry and the stigmas she overcomes daily. Others automatically assumed that she did not have as much knowledge as them due to bias, regardless of her expertise. In fact, she has over 15 years of experience and has a vast understanding of the field.
In 2023, Maria faces the toughest part of having a business, which is the financial state of customers. Many customers come to her with vehicle issues, but these unexpected repair costs can be high in today’s economy. Customers are forced to settle for fixing issues bit by bit, due to the conditions of the economy, as a hardworking mother of five Maria is able to relate to the financial struggle of her customers.
When asked what makes her business stand out amongst the others she responded that they have true compassion for their customers. They want to help their customers and offer them affordable vehicle services. Vehicle repairs can be very expensive and Maria can confidently say that if there is a way to help their customers save money, they will take advantage of it.
Currently the business’s only way of bringing in customers is through word of mouth and promotion through their business practices. In a diverse neighborhood, the people at Kyla’s Auto Body are able to speak various languages, allowing them to tap into a more diverse market. The business relies heavily on current customers’ referrals about their excellent service and experience. But, Maria recognizes that she isn’t using social media to her advantage and is looking for ways to take advantage of it to expand their brand.
Maria, originally from Cape Verde, is no stranger to hard work and dedication, as she looks forward to the expansion of her business in the upcoming months. The ambitious owner pictures an increase in rentals and hiring full-time employees who align well with the values of the shop. While Maria believes her customer base is a more mature group, she is open to promoting the business through social media to create a new wave of clients for the business. For now, Ms. Rodrigues enjoys the close bond with the clientele she has built through the outstanding reputation she created. Maria is enthusiastic about her field of work and dreams to take a deeper dive into the company workload. She believes the industry is constantly evolving and is on a journey to accumulate more knowledge and experience. Maria appreciates the loyalty her clients offer and hopes to build her customer base while meeting new people, and through her reputable work in which people will refer their friends and families. Kyla’s auto body shop comes highly recommended from previous customers, where the business is described as efficient, reliable, and affordable.
Kyla’s Auto Body is located at 819 Main Street in Brockton, MA. You can contact them via:
Website URL: https://www.kylasautorental.net/