Following ChickDriven‘s recent review of Openbay, we connected with the site’s founder, Ruby Davis, to learn more about her new venture. ChickDriven touts itself as “America’s primary car website for women,” featuring car reviews and auto advice from a new perspective.
Davis had just returned from the SEMA show, where she’d collected the “Rising Star Award” from the SEMA Women’s Business Network for ChickDriven. She was also in Vegas for Pirelli, which hosted her at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where she drove a fleet of fabulous vehicles, and even rode in a fighter jet to capture pics of the track events.
ChickDriven isn’t yet a year old, but its founder is already well integrated into the U.S. automotive world, surely thanks to her wise ability to identify a gap in the market, along with her super friendly personality. Here, Davis, who’s come to the U.S. recently from Australia, explains more about her background, her favorite cars, and the parallels between Brazilian butt-lift jeans and auto repair.
How’d You Get into Cars?
I used to work for my parents, from an early age — they had a clothing-manufacturing business. Whether I was working or not, I was always at the office in the factory, and the accountant had a very cool Chevy Impala. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, and it was the first time I went, “Wow!” [laughs]
From there, I started going to lots of car events and meetups, and when I got my drivers license, I got very involved in track events, and taking lots of driving courses. Ian Luff, a very outspoken “Drive to Survive” advocate and race-car driver, really nurtured my interest in cars and driving. I still stay in contact with him, and credit him for pivotal points in my automotive journey.
Tell Us About Your Work in the Auto Industry
I went to school and got a bachelors degree in marketing, and then went to work for Nissan, developing sales programs for its dealers. During the course of that work, I realized there was a huge problem — sales people didn’t know how to sell women, and they were basically scaring women away. So I approached my manager, asking, “Can I help with this?” And he said, “100% yes. Do what you see is necessary, and make it work. Otherwise you’re fired.” And he meant it! That tone is very much the Australian way.
A couple of years ago, I relocated to Los Angeles for a job with a content-creation company, and I’d started ChickDriven on the side. Now, I’m doing it full-time, and am committed to making ChickDriven into a strong brand. It’s so needed in the auto industry.
Throughout my career, it became obvious to me that there are lots of women in the auto industry, but somehow it remains nerve-wracking and scary for women to purchase and service their vehicles. I aim to make that experience more approachable by sharing knowledge through ChickDriven.
What’s Your Approach to Educating Women About Cars?
Think of it like this: Imagine walking into clothing store, and they sold nothing but Brazilian butt-lift jeans. If you’d never heard of such a thing, you’d be completely confused. You wouldn’t even know where to start. But if you’d heard about the concept, you might be more comfortable with it, and willing to learn more.
It’s the same thing with purchasing a car, or with auto repair. How is anyone expected to know anything about it, unless they’ve done some research? How should people know that they’ll need a particular service, based on how many miles are on the car? Unless you have that knowledge, you don’t have that power.
Also, to be powerful, you don’t have to be an expert. You just have to be informed. It should be approachable — people don’t need to be drowning in information. ChickDriven presents information in a way that’s very simple and easy to understand. People have other things to do. They don’t want to read a 1,000-word article on whether to change their brake pads. There’s a lot of info out there in the car industry that’s way too complex for the average driver to need to know.
While working in my former company on content-creation, I created a syndicated daily feature on celebrity-focused news. It was short and simple, and I’m now applying that same short and simple formula to car news for women.
So far, it’s been received really well. The auto industry is still a boys club, but times have changed. There’s been no shortage of people reaching out a hand to help. Also, lots of manufacturers employ people to market to women, but maybe they aren’t hitting every segment of women, or every age bracket. ChickDriven is the perfect answer, whether you’re a single mom, or a teenager with your first car. It appeals to all female audiences.
What Are Some of Your Favorite Cars Out There Today?
- Tesla Model X: the falcon doors are so cool, and the technology is amazing and fun. It’s nice to see a car that’s actually different, and really pushing the boundaries.
- Fiat Abarth – that’s my daily driver. It’s like driving a go-kart every day. I’d wanted one for a while, and am so happy to have one. It looks great and is fun to driver
- Rolls Royce Wraith: it’s so luxurious, a good size, and beautiful. A little luxury never hurt anybody!
While ChickDriven gives you car reviews and auto advice, Openbay can help you with the other side of vehicle ownership — auto repair and maintenance. Check out Openbay to quickly compare, book and pay for local auto repair, or for on-demand nationwide roadside assistance. And, as always, drive safely!