Last Friday night, I had dinner at one of the fine restaurants on Kings Harbor with one of my very good friends, Lynn Beckwith. We sat and spoke for hours about her family, her personal life, and daily dealings as an average American. It’s a side of Lynn Beckwith that I’ve seen since the three years ago that we met. I wondered on that evening: out of all the people in town who know Lynn, how many of them have exclusive dinner dates with the popular radio personality, philanthropist, and businesswoman?
I would like to paint a picture of our evening together, so that everyone can know the woman behind one of the top automotive repair facilities in America—and answer the question on everyone’s mind: Who is this Lynn Beckwith, and how did she become such a small town success of suburbia?
Lynn attended college in Texas where she began to pursue her artistic passions as photography major. “I’ve always had a problem with depth perception, so I think that has always given me an advantage at seeing images as a photograph or a painting. I have an eye for seeing the world flat on the page or canvas;” however, being the logical thinker that she is, part way through her college career she changed her major to something that could allow her to be more valuable in a corporate market. She graduated from college at the top of her class in the late 80’s with a major in Business Administration, and a minor in Photography.
After college, in May of ’89, she went into business for herself opening Beckwith’s Car Care. “My friends from college tell me that I would always talk about owning my own business,” she says, “Working on cars was just something I’ve always done. I never had any money in college, so if whatever I was driving broke—I had to fix it. Whenever the opportunity came to open Beckwith’s everything seemed to fall into place.”
Lynn became an anomaly for the automotive repair industry as a single woman shop owner, and became part of a minority in an extremely competitive market. Beckwith’s soon became the talk of the town as it progressed towards a nationally recognized multi-award winning operation. “I’ve always put 100% into everything that I’ve done. [Everything] from projects in school to marketing, I’ve always strived to be the best that I could.”
As the shops popularity began to grow Lynn was invited to join an alliance of local shop owners in the Houston area that holds meetings discussing the issues that concern the industry as a whole, and the standards by which it operates. “As a woman, being invited into this group—which is dominated by men—was a huge milestone. I was honored to know that Beckwith’s had what it takes.”
As a young girl Lynn’s father professed the mantra to “always surround yourself with people who are better than you are.” It is a practice that has bode well for her, as her employees—like her shop—have been recognized and awarded for their skills as technicians, and for outstanding customer service.
Come the second decade of the new millennium, Lynn’s business had become a “well oiled machine,” but despite its ability to run itself, she still makes a conscious effort to be at the shop the majority of the time saying, “I think it says a lot whenever you go into a business, and the owner is there to shake your hand. In this day that’s something that you don’t see too often.
She has continued to venture into new territory as with two years ago, and the “That Car Lady” personality; it supports a consumer education campaign, and hosts educational classes at the local college and women’s enlightenment. That Car Lady presents a feature based Monday mechanic program on AM950, as well as automotive tips throughout the week. She is a regular host The Car Counselor Show, a call in talk show, and a variety of other shows including Fox New Features.
“I think it’s important to remain goals oriented, and strive to reach those goals.” This is an idea that Lynn continues to practice as this past year has also brought the latest installment of Lynn Beckwith’s enterprise: “Rage Bull Customs,” an aftermarket accessory line that features lift kits, spray in bed liners, and performance upgrades.
She continues to be an active member in the community as well. Just recently Lynn Beckwith helped organize “Cure Fest,” an all day music festival that raised money for brain cancer research. Among other things, she’s supported charities such as The American Heart Association, Child Advocates, and The Susan B. Komen Foundation.
As our evening drew to a close, the waiter brought us our ticket, and the sun set passively over Lake Houston. It is truly an honor to be involved with one of the Lake Houston Area’s finest. Lynn Beckwith has been a blessing to her industry, and to Harris County. “I’ve dedicated myself to making sure that when people leave my doors, they have a smile on their face—because at the end of the day that’s what’s most important.”
To learn more about Lynn Beckwith, Beckwith’s Car Care, That Car Lady, or Raging Bull Customs please visit www.beckwiths.com for more information.