Demeny Pollitt’s foray into auto shop ownership six years ago was the result of an all-too common series of experiences. As a female customer, her shop interactions left her feeling disrespected, uninformed and taken advantage of.

“I started thinking that there were probably a lot of other women who felt the same way that I did. So I thought that I’d open up an all-girl garage and I would make a million dollars,” says Pollitt, laughing at how easy the plan seemed back when she was earning her degree in automotive technology at Vermont Technical College. “And from that point on, that was my plan, that was what I was working toward.”

Pollitt’s Girlington Garage, which plays on the name of its location in Burlington, Vt., is her vision come to life—at least a modified version of it. The 35-year-old tech-turned-owner is not a millionaire just yet, and her shop, which she co-owns with her mother, Donna Cacace, employs and caters to both men and women. But it does so with a distinctly feminine flair—Rosie the Riveter-inspired branding and all—and with a sharp focus on being all of the things those shops in her past were not: respectful, educational, and transparent.

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