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Georgia Car Dealer Sewing Face Masks

By Jeffrey Bellant April 02, 2020

Georgia used-car dealer Tammy Woodard is taking time between slowing sales to support healthcare workers in her community by making much-needed face masks.

Woodard said she was at her sewing machine on Wednesday April 1 in the former bank building which serves as her dealership in Hoboken, Ga.

“I’m just sitting here sewing some face masks,” she said. “My sewing machine and my serger are down here. I’m just doing this to help my community.”

Woodard, owner of Woodard’s Auto Sales in Hoboken, Ga., has had her dealer’s license almost 11 years.

As business slowed and she saw the need, she began making masks.

“I’m giving them away to anybody who works in healthcare,” she said. “I’m been sewing these, putting them up on Facebook and I just can’t sew them fast enough.”

Woodard provides them free for people working in nursing homes, pharmacies – “basically, anyone that asks for them.”

She had made about 250 in the first week, even while running the car dealership.

Tammy Woodard is sewing facemasks for frist responders

 

For those not in healthcare, Woodard is offering them for sale.

“I’m selling them to all my car dealer buddies,” she said. “I’m shipping these all over to Pennsylvania and my buddies up in New York. Now they’re buying them six or 12 at a time.”

At press time, Woodard said her small rural town had no infections, but everyone is still trying to be safe.

“I’m just a small dealer,” she said.

Her daughter Emily, one of triplets, is home from college, helping with title work – and some sewing. Emily is working on masks for babies and kids.

Typically, the dealership will carry 28 to 30 vehicles. Woodard traditionally has a strong turn in her sales each month.

“Before all this mess happened, we were turning 28, 29,” she said. “Last month, we didn’t sell but 12. That’s a big drop.”

The average price on the lot is about $12,500, she said.

“It’s all domestics,” Woodard said. “I mean, I’ve now got a BMW out there, but it’s the first time in 10 years I’ve had something like that.”

“I focus on subprime and prime,” she said. “I work indirect (financing) with a bunch of credit unions here locally. But, yeah, I do subprime. Actually, we won the January (best dealer in the market) for Credit Acceptance Corp.”

Woodard’s dealership was open by-appointment-only at press time.

“I actually bought an old bank which was in our little city of 227 people and it has a drive-through,” she said. “I delivered a truck (recently). “

She left the paperwork in the truck for the customer, who then filled it out and left it in the drop box at the side of the building.

Woodard praises Tecobi, the software CRM she uses for managing her customers and leads,. Keeping in touch with customers is critical now.

“I’ve always loved it before, but it’s been a blessing during this,” Woodard said. “That’s kind of our lifeline.”

She’s glad to make masks in the downtime of the dealership. While she knows her way around a sewing machine, Woodard said the masks offer somewhat of a challenge.

“I make clothes,” she said. “But I’m not used to working with cottons like this. I’m used to working with knits. But it’s all good.

“I found me a little simple pattern and got them going on.”

Although Woodard’s city and county allowed dealers to operate at the time of this interview, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a shelter-in-place order shortly after it. The Georgia Independent Automobile Dealers Association reported it was trying to get clarification about dealers.

 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 07 April 2020 16:28

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