Amanda Forrester always knew she wanted to work in Conway. She grew up in Conway. She graduated from high school in Conway. And, now she’s back as the Manager of Car-Mart of Conway South, the city’s second Car-Mart.
“I’m ready to rock and roll, and I’m super excited. I’ve waited a long time for this and there’s not words to describe how I feel,” says Amanda. “I know this community. I function well here. This is a comfort area for me. I hope I can make people’s lives better. I want to help my customers with a path in life.”
Indeed, she’s ready and fired up to open her first store. During the past several months, Amanda and her team have been busy with the details of what it takes to open a Car-Mart dealership – from pictures on the walls to vehicles on the lot, as well as obtaining all the necessary permits.
“I think I’m going to do pretty well. I’ve had a lot of good, thorough training,” says Amanda, who was previously the Assistant Manager at the Car-Mart of Russellville South. There she learned all aspects of the business from budgeting, repair shop and collections to customer relationships and more. “It gave me a really good experience of the business, and really helped me prepare for my new role at Conway South,” says Amanda who joined Car-Mart in March 2018 as a Manager-in-Training in Russellville.
Fueled by relationships
One reason Amanda wanted to work for Car-Mart is because of the company’s community outreach. For Amanda, she is eager to build relationships with her customers and making a difference for them. “We’re here to help make life better for our customers,” she says.
At Christmas, Amanda looks forward to sponsoring food drives, blanket collections and other activities to help the community. “I like helping younger folks especially,” says Amanda. “As a mom, I’m selling someone their first vehicle. It’s something they did on their own. They’re building credit.”
Amanda recalls a young customer who just moved from California. Amanda talked to him when no one else would. “This young man desperately needed a car to get back and forth to work. He needed his independence. So, when we went on a test drive, I had a mom chat and offered to help him,” says Amanda, mother and stepmother to five boys and one girl, ages 10 to 23.
Amanda convinced her supervisor to take a chance on this young man. Since then, he’s made every payment and always stops to say hello to Amanda every time he visits Car-Mart. “We made a difference. We gave him a fresh start,” recalls Amanda, while adding the young man is close to paying off his car.
Indeed, her favorite Car-Mart moments are when she can help a customer stay in his or her vehicle. “Life really does come and kick you in the rear-end. At Car-Mart, we will work with you through those rough patches. We’ll do everything we can to keep you rolling down the road,” says Amanda, who has helped customers find jobs and assisted with their resumes.
Now that Amanda is at Car-Mart of Conway South, she’s found her home. When her customers walk in the door, she’ll know their names and the names of their parents.
“It’s the best job I’ve ever had. It makes me happy to come to work. I couldn’t have asked for a better spot. I enjoy being here with my co-workers,” Amanda concludes. “My goal is to make this company better so I can better myself to help my customers. I love everything about this job.”