Firm pins its hopes on a pink car nation
Shelly Price isn’t short of ideas. Pink
Now it’s time to see if gallons of pink
paint and plenty of ideas can be combined
into a workable business as Price and her
partner, Linda Hansen, prepare for the fullscale
rollout of Diva’s in Sparks.
Not five months ago, the two fugitives
from life as corporate managers had modest
plans to open a locator service to help customers
women, mostly find the right
Since then, the modest plans have grown
almost daily. Diva’s now includes:
* An automotive sales operation.
* An auto-body shop.
* Smog and mechanic shops.
* A detail shop.
* An car-audio installation shop.
* Eight mobile units to provide automotive
mechanical or detailing work at a customer’s
home or business.
Before long, the owners hope Diva’s also
will include a delicatessen assuming
Sparks officials give their blessing as well
as a travel agency. Price and Hansen are
kicking around even more ideas to extend
the Diva’s brand.
Even as Diva’s extends far beyond its
original modest plan, however, the focus
remains the same: Target women.
Price, angered when she was treated a
sucker on a couple of car purchases, points
to statistics that women typically pay $600
to $1,000 more than men for the same car
even though women’s earnings are less than
those of men.
That, Hansen and Price vow, won’t happen
“We cater to women, and the focus is to
help them with their busy lives,” Price said.
A woman or man, for that matter
who buys a car at Diva’s will be contacted
90 days later for an oil change and car wash.
A mobile unit, one of the eight that have
contracted with Diva’s, will take care of the
work. In another 90 days, another call for
an oil change and a vehicle inspection.
Again, mobile units will be dispatched.
By the time the vehicle’s owner is ready
to trade, Price said, Diva’s will have a solid
relationship and a two-year maintenance
history it can share with the vehicle’s next
The initial business plan Hansen and
Price put together was simple. Down one
side of a sheet of paper, they listed every
hassle involved with buying a car. Down the
other, they listed ways Diva’s could address
Which explains, in part, how a simple
locator service grew into a multifaceted
business. Hansen and Price were savvy
enough, however, to recognize that they
were getting stretched thin. Beyond the initial
vehicle sales operation, most of the services
provided by Diva’s are handled by contractors
who split their revenues with Diva’s
in exchange for the firm’s marketing and
steady flow of customers.
That’s where the pink comes in.
The very pink 20,000-square-foot Diva’s
building at 1250 Greg St. in Spark is visible
for blocks away even from aircraft landing
nearby and the same pink shows up
everywhere from business cards to the interior
of service bays in the auto-body shop.
“We’re not crazy about pink,” Hansen
acknowledged. “It’s a marketing thing.”
Neither of the partners has any experience
in the car business. Most of Price’s
experience is in purchasing for much larger
organizations. Hansen, meanwhile, worked
in corporation operations before launching
And they’ve looked for people with a
similar lack of experience as they filled
many of the 20 position at Diva’s.
“We don’t want anyone with bad habits
diluting the plan we have,” said Price.
Diva’s was capitalized on a shoestring.
Hansen and Price have committed their life
savings and run up balances on personal
credit cards to get the operation going in
the building owned by Hansen.
But even though Diva’s is just barely
open, Price already is thinking about a second
location, maybe in the South Meadows
area. That, she figures, will take outside
And that, for Price becomes the germ of
another idea: How about a Diva’s branded
angel-investing group to provide financing
to start-up businesses owned by women?
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