ROCKPORT, Maine — Maggie Knudsen acknowledges that her career choice certainly is "different."
She could have followed a similar path as her father and her sister, who both are in construction, or her brother, a welder.
Instead, after tinkering around with cars at home, she chose a career in the tire and automotive service industry, working her way up from a technician to a store manager in the nearly six years she has worked at Auburn, Maine-based VIP Tires & Service.
"It's the best choice I ever made," Ms. Knudsen said with a smile, speaking to Tire Business during a break in VIP's 2021 annual managers conference, held Aug. 30-Sept.2 at the Somoset Resort in Rockport.
"It's just nuts and bolts," she said. "Take it apart one way, and it goes back together hopefully the same way."
Ms. Knudsen continues to do that — at least occasionally — while she is not overseeing the VIP store in Saco, Maine, a community of around 18,500 located on Maine's Atlantic coast.
The store ranks second among VIP's 65 retail outlets, generating more than $2 million in business annually.
VIP's fiscal year just began on Sept. 1, and the Saco store, with five bays and an alignment rack, is budgeted for $2.3 million in sales.
"We plan to do that and then some," she said. 'My goal is $2.5 million."
Ms. Knudsen is accustomed to reaching her goals. In 2015, she applied at VIP to become a service writer, but her boss back then decided she was a better fit as a tech, and a career was born.
She said she worked her way up the tech ladder, "learning from the best at the store."
But once she became a mom — Charlotte Virginia was born May 29, 2020 — she decided tech work wasn't for her. Store manager Jon Gough "took her under his wing," making her a service writer, then assistant, then a manager in training.
She said Mr. Gough knew she wanted to grow into an expanded role.