Stan Craven builds bodies in a couple of ways. Not only does his CARSTAR Chicago 38th St. shop achieve strongly satisfied customer rankings and reviews from drivers pleased with the body work done on their vehicles, but he frequently wins awards in body building competitions for his muscular physique.
“Stan has been a weightlifter for almost his entire life; we grew up poor, and he would have his sisters sit on his back while he did pushups,” recalls shop manager and administrator Bambi Libersher, who was among the Craven siblings who had Stan’s back. And they still do.
That spirit of cooperation and loyalty continues to this day as 38th Street leverages a powerful pattern of family connections throughout the operation. Technicians are mostly recruited from the ranks of relatives of existing staff members, and family ties have long steered Stan throughout his path to becoming a successful shop owner.
“It’s basically been internal,” says Bambi of the hiring process utilized to build the shop’s roster of 11 competent and customer service-oriented technicians and support personnel. “They’ll say, ‘My brother needs a job,’ and we’ll say, ‘Okay,’” she explains, “and we haven’t had any issues with any of our employees.”
A key qualification, however, is that all the new hires have to be amendable to taking part in 38th Street’s ambitious array of continuous training and educational courses.
“We’re in a highly Hispanic neighborhood, and if they know Spanish it’s a huge plus,” says Bambi. “It’s important that I have bilingual people on my staff.”