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Putting the Brakes on a Stereotype: Under the hood with Kate Kleinschmidt, owner of Jane’s Garage

Nothing is rare or unusual if you were raised doing it. “Growing up, I had some friends who thought it was weird. If I needed my oil changed, they’d say, ‘Oh, just take it down the road,’” said Kate Kleinschmidt. “No. We change the oil in the barn at home. If we need a tie rod, we’d fix it in the barn at home. We didn’t take it someplace to have it done.” 

That was simply the way it was done when you were the daughter of the owner of Randy’s Service Station in Fowlerville. It was a do-it-yourself work ethic that Kleinschmidt said both of her parents instilled in her — and it was one that has paid off in a career as an independent business owner. 

Today, Kleinschmidt isn’t known in the area as Randy’s daughter as much as she is as the owner of Jane’s Garage, an automotive service shop at 75 Fowlerville Road in Fowlerville that specializes in everything from oil changes, alignments and air conditioning to suspension, steering and brakes.  

“My parents were very much work-before-play parents. If my brother and I wanted four-wheelers, my dad would say, ‘Well, you have to pump gas for the summer. We’re not just going to give you something. You have to work for it,’” Kleinschmidt said. “And we were fine with that. That builds structure. If we didn’t have them pushing us, I don’t think either one of us would be as successful as we are.”  

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Lifestyle