My name is Chaya Milchtein. I am an automotive educator, freelance writer, and empowerment speaker. Here at Mechanic Shop Femme, I belive that education is empowerment, and we are all about empowerment and accessibility, offering free and sliding scale comprehensive automotive education for the average consumer, not for DIYers or aficionados. Regular folks like you.
When I was 18 years old, I was desperate for a job — any job, as long as it offered a paycheck. After searching for months, I landed at a Sears Auto Center in Glendale, Wisconsin, and had no idea that the experience would change the trajectory of my life. After spending about five years in automotive repair service and a year in the collision industry, my entire business is now centered around helping women and members of the LGBTQ community feel empowered to purchase and care for their vehicles.
I’m not a mechanic, I’m essentially a mechanic interpreter: a person who’s held a customer-facing job with joy and who will help you better understand your car. I believe that being an educated consumer is the key to not being ripped off and I’m here to help you get a handle on your investment.
Since 2017, I’ve focused on bringing my full self to my work. That means I don’t just talk about cars. The Mechanic Shop Femme blog and empowerment platform is a place where I explore many of my passions and those of my readers: plus-size fashion, radical body acceptance, queer life — which includes travel, food and lifestyle — and, of course, automotive fundamentals.
In addition to my blog, I’ve written for publications like Al Jazeera, Shondaland, Rewire by PBS, Helpful Mechanic, Prism, Daily Xtra, The Huffington Post others on subjects that cover the range also discussed in my blog. I also teach private virtual automotive classes for students across the United States and Canada. I’ve taken these popular classes and created workshops for libraries, universities, and nonprofits. Offering automotive education that is accessible for everyone, regardless of experience, is the core of my business.