Mac’s Automotive Repair - Switching Gears and Making Masks

While auto mechanics is the first love of Mac’s Automotive Repair, they provide a few other services that most don’t know about, and as of late, it’s the highly sought after face mask. Mac’s Custom Designs is another business run from the same location. This business offers custom made decals, apparel, custom embroidery, and even dog outfits. Ali McQuillen, the owner’s wife and administrative manager, originally made face masks for everyone on the team. Her husband Gary, the owner of Mac’s Automotive, would wear his mask when he ran errands. When people saw them, they started asking for them, and it just sort of snowballed.

“That’s pretty much all I do right now. My husband brings me food and tea, but I stay in the sweatshop,” Ali says, laughing. “We love giving back to the community and take every opportunity to do so when we can.”

The couple started giving them away initially, but there are now so many requests that they began to charge for them. The masks are $10 apiece and are made to order. They have two layers, a nose grip, and a pocket with a removable filter.


The mechanics of it all

Currently, the team is still able to repair cars while following the distance guidelines. If someone needs a repair, they can make arrangements for a drop off in the evenings so that no physical contact is made. No work is ever done without contacting the customer first.

Ali said they are down to a quarter of the work that they usually do, but they are doing all they can to keep the doors open and their employees paid. The guys are keeping busy even if business is slow; they maintain the grass and gardens, are doing some repairs and upkeep, and the shop is the cleanest it has ever been.

Mac’s offers free pickup and delivery service upon request. They have a buy four get one free oil change program. They even provide a four-hour Car Care Class where they go over every part of a vehicle. The next class is tentatively scheduled for May, but it all depends on the home sheltering decisions.

In the shop

Ali's Husband

As for Gary, he loved working with his Father, Robert McQuillen, also known as Mac. Mac opened the business in 1984 because he wanted to be able to offer residents affordable car repairs.  Gary bought the company from him in 2014 when he had to retire for medical issues, but they worked together all those years prior.

Gary tries hard to maintain the standards his father set. He remembers a customer that was an older lady and a regular, with very little money. She had a car on its last leg. Gary’s dad had been given the title for a pretty lovely vehicle, but the customer did not want to do the repairs, so they fixed it anyway and got the vehicle road-ready. The next time the lady came in, they took her car in the back, then brought out the vehicle they’d repaired. Mac said, “Okay, your car is ready to go.” Then he handed her the keys to her “new” car.  She was beyond words.  Gary says, “With that example, I have big shoes to fill, but I take every opportunity to help out wherever I can, and we’ve been able to do a number of similar things. My dad always called those gestures our tickets to heaven.”

Aside from apparel and automotive repair, Gary also owns DoubleTap Firearms, which is managed within the shop. It hosts a wide variety of guns, parts, and accessories. 

To order your mask(s) email Ali at alimcquillen@yahoo.com

Contact the shop

Phone: 804-642-2950 | Website: https://www.macsautomotiverepairllc.com/

Captions of photos:
Ali sewing masks.
Gary wearing one.