SHERIDAN, Colo. — Fewer than 1% of small businesses in America are certified LGBT business enterprises.
One new Colorado business is working to break the stigma around what types of businesses the LGBTQ+ community owns and operates.
For many, cars are a necessity, which creates a need for proper repair and care.
It’s something often thought of as a man’s job and that stigma instilled a fear in CC Haug for years.
“I just really enjoy seeing things come together and then being able to take care of people," said CC Haug.
“Throughout my entire life that’s been one of those things, knowing inside that I would prefer to transition and sort of live this way I always had that fear that within that industry, to sort of be pushed out of it. To no have a comfortable safe place to work or even a place that I enjoy.”
They are a transgender person who has always had a passion for vehicles.
“My whole life has been around cars. My dad growing up owned a couple different car dealerships over the years, my brothers owned a couple different shops over the years," said CC Haug.
Being their true self while also working in the repair space is what led to the opening of Good Judy Garage.
CC and Faith Haug, the co-owners, wanted their business to be a place where customers can be comfortable.
“One of us said wouldn’t it be really nice if there was like a queer auto shop here in town and there isn’t and we were like oh well let’s make one," said Faith Haug.
“But it’s more about giving them a place that they know they can go for something that had given them anxiety in the past. Right so it’s kind of one more place you know you can go that’s safe because you still have a long list of places you have to go that’s not.”
Good Judy Garage opened in December 2021 and the co-owners say their quick success is a testament to the need their business is filling.
“I think in the first month we had 215 individual customers, not repeat, like individual people, use us in the first month," said Faith Haug.
“There’s 10 auto shops down this street, you can find an auto shop on any block right. So to just be another auto shop but to get that many customers in our first month really says something to us.”
The Haug's have also become role models within the community, making an impact much bigger than themselves.
“I’ve had a few people say that and it strikes me so strangely I don’t even know how to react to that most of the time," said CC Haug.
“I hope what were doing is making a positive difference in the world or even just on some level changing the way people look at things or think about things.”