By Larry Jacobson
According to the dictionary, the definition for longevity is sometimes meant to refer to especially long lived members of a population, as in ‘Our family is known for its longevity.’
For the team at Blair’s Car Care Center on Wildwood Avenue in Jackson it applies to both the Blair family itself, and to the extended family of employees that make up what is known around the area – simply – as ‘Blair’s.’ As in, ‘my car needs a tune-up and I’m dropping it off at Blair’s.’
Mike’s great-grandfather started Blair’s back in 1922 primarily as a carpet business before recognizing the growing potential in automotive tires.
“Our longevity is probably what I’m most proud of and the way we’ve been able to keep going through the generations,” said Mike Blair.
Blair’s Car Care has three generations of the Blair family at the shop now including Mike, his father Richard, and Mike’s son, Mike Jr.
“I started here back in the 1970’s right after high school,” Mike said. “So it’s pretty special for me to know there are three generations of Blair’s here right now. My dad’s out there working, I’m here and my son is here, too. And we plan on being here for many more.”
Blair’s Car Care has been a staple in the Jackson area as a trusted, neighborhood-style car center that maintains a personal touch with clients that’s lacking in larger, ‘big box’ automotive centers.
“I think people do appreciate and value the personalized touch that we offer,” Mike said. “Our customers like coming in and speaking directly to the technician that’s worked on their vehicle and that we encourage that interaction. It’s friendly, it’s personal and that’s how we build relationships. Our customers like and trust us, and are comfortable coming back when they have issues with their vehicles.”
In the ever changing field of automotive service, it’s been imperative for the Blair technicians and staff – they have ten employees – to stay updated on all of the changing dynamics involved. This includes sending their technicians to training seminars and enrolling in online certification classes to keep that knowledge base current.
“It’s important for us to diversify and stay competitive,” Mike said. “But our employees are very dedicated. They want to be up to date on any changes because we want our customers to know that, if they bring their vehicle in to us for a problem, we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”
In a world of ever-changing names and locations, updates and big box competition, it gets more and more difficult for a small business to evolve, survive and thrive. But Blair’s Car Care, with a personalized approach and customer loyalty as a foundation, has done it for multiple generations.
And I’m betting they keep it rolling for many more.