Woman-owned automotive company to expand to two new locations in ABQ - Albuquerque Journal

Woman-owned automotive company to expand to two new locations in ABQ

From left, service adviser Kyler Petty, Jesse Jackson, owner of Mango Automotive, and service advisers Chad Cummings and Kellby Medford inside the lobby of Mango Automotive. On the far left sits a mango plushie named Mia. (Liam DeBonis/Journal)

Jesse Jackson, the owner of Mango Automotive and “Auto Repair Queen”, said she and her chief operating officer, Brian Walden, have two business rules: “One, no assholes … The other one is, have fun.”

Jackson and Walden opened their first location on 9620 Eagle Ranch NW in December 2021, and the pair is expanding to a new location at 700 Central NW this week. A third Albuquerque location is soon to come.

Mango Automotive isn’t a typical automotive shop; the lobby is decked out with an essential oil diffuser, a pink Keurig and mid-century modern decor – much of it sourced from local antique shop 1964 Haus of Modern Vintage. Mango-printed wallpaper covers the walls and a friendly-faced stuffed mango, named Mia, lounges on a leather couch.

Jackson asked customers what drinks they’d like to see in an auto shop; she said that the response was overwhelmingly in favor of smoothies and tea instead of the auto-shop staple Coke machine. Mango Automotive offers sparkling water, tea, and smoothies – “especially mango smoothies,” Jackson said.

“Our lobby, we’re trying to make it feel like a cross between a co-working space and a spa,” Jackson said. “I wanted it to be really friendly to women.”

Jackson says that she’s even seen a woman knitting in the lobby.

As a busy business owner and mom of six kids aged between 1 and 15, Jackson said that her goal is to make a “VIP” experience for customers. Convenience is a key part of the VIP treatment; she wants customers to be able to leave the keys at the Cottonwood Mall auto shop, even before or after Mango Automotive is open, and come back to a fully repaired car. Besides regular vehicle repair and maintenance, Mango Automotive offers repairs on electric vehicles as well.

“So you have like the basic tenets of auto repair that everyone talks about because people don’t want to be ripped off: transparency, honesty, trust,” Jackson said. “… But we’re trying to really take it up a level … bringing convenience to the table.”

Jesse Jackson, the owner of Mango Automotive, in the lobby of the business. (Liam DeBonis/Journal)

Jackson got her degree in environmental engineering in 2005. After taking maternity leave for the birth of her first child, she decided to start her own company. Because she had recently gotten a puppy, Jackson decided to make a petsitting app, just a year after the first iPhone came out. She later moved into the startup world, and most recently worked in developing automotive software. After leaving her position, she started talking with people in the auto industry about starting her own auto company.

“I was lucky enough that one of the first people I talked to was my business partner, Brian,” Jackson said.

Walden is “magic” at managing, says Jackson. The pair got the keys to the Eagle Ranch location two days before Christmas last year, and worked non-stop to get the store ready to open by Dec. 27. Jackson’s teenagers even came by to help.

“We’re getting ready to do that process all over again,” Jackson said.

After opening her third location in Albuquerque, Jackson said Phoenix is her next target. Her goal is to make Mango Automotive a national brand.

“We’re starting in Albuquerque, which I think is unusual, but we’re … building this like national brand. So it’ll be cool to be like, oh, that brand came from there,” Jackson said. “I’ve only been here for like four or five years, but I’m trying to contribute to the ecosystem here.”

The company is named after the first food that one of Jackson’s babies ate: mango.

“My business partner hated (the name) Mango Automotive. My husband hated it. … But I was like, you know what, you’re gonna remember it,” Jackson said.

 

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