Saturday, June 8, 2013

Satterwhite tuned into needs of customers and their cars

Victoria Satterwhite, owner and operator of Pleasure Island Auto, the very busy full-service garage on Carolina Beach, knows she's not your typical car-care expert.

Getting to Know: Victoria Satterwhite
Hometown and high school: Raleigh, St. Timothy's Hale
College: Appalachian State University, with a degree in electronic media and broadcasting
Previous job of interest: Profit/loss supervisor for Global Knowledge in Cary
How long owning Pleasure Island Auto: 3 years in November
What do you do for lunch? Order in for me and the technicians
Afternoon power boost: Coffee
Dinner: Cook at home
Where do you get your news? The computer and Island Gazette
Favorite music to listen to: I'm a big fan of radio, so I listen to anything
Favorite sports teams: UConn and New York Giants
Place to relax: Kure Beach shore.
“Being a woman in this business is both a blessing and a curse,” said Satterwhite, 28. “I do have heart strings, you know. When I have to figure out and add up what it will cost to get a customer's car safely on the road, I never think that I'm selling them anything.

“I believe I'm educating them.”

Her calm, instructive message to customers has created a positive buzz on the island.

“I admire her demeanor,” said Diana Jourdain, new to the area from New York and living in Kure Beach. “I researched garages and she gets great reviews. Look, I drive a lemon, so I know what I'm talking about. You can just tell she's honest. Not because she's a woman. You get a gut feeling she's shooting straight.”

Satterwhite and husband Westley began renting the vacant space at 306 N. Lake Park Blvd. almost three years ago, converting it into a garage/inspection station after a decade of diverse iterations – gas station, consignment shop, kayak/surf shop.

The gas tanks had been removed years ago, leaving sandy beds on one side of the lot. The couple, among other things, rewired the whole facility, installed car lifts in two inside bays, and just recently paved over the sandy beds and installed a third outside lift to tend to increased work.

“We are slammed,” she said about the brisk business, which has forced Saturday hours to complement weekdays.

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