Stacy Barrett owes everything she knows about cars to her dad. So, she’s in the perfect job as General Manager at Car-Mart of Tullahoma, TN.
Colin Barrett [Stacy’s Dad] was a legend in the car industry in the Jackson, Tenn. area. He owned a service station, car parts store and car lot. Young Stacy was her dad’s right hand in every aspect of his business – pumping gas and changing oil at age 12.
“I was tagging on my daddy’s britches’ tails since I was four,” says Stacy. “Because of my dad, I eat, live and breathe the car business. We did it all.”
Together, she and her dad rebuilt six jeeps. “My dad and I broke down the first jeep I owned. Then we rebuilt it. And then he made me do it by myself – at age 16,” smiles Stacy, a bonafide jeep fanatic and is on her 37th jeep – 1986 Jeep CZJ7.
As a kid, she begged and begged her dad for a jeep. One night when he returned from a car auction, he woke her up and asked her to go look at the vehicle he had just purchased. “He asked me what kind of Mercedes it was. Lo and behold, it was a jeep my dad had purchased for me, and it was the ugliest brown jeep I’d ever seen. But I loved it!” she laughs. “Jeeps are home for me. They’re my dad.”
Yes, Stacy knows the car business
Once an adult and on her own, Stacy managed two car auctions, as well as a classic car auction, finance lot and car lot. Plus, she’s wholesaled vehicles.
“My jobs have helped me grow,” says Stacy. “It’s where I came from. I was just part of cars. It’s very personal for me. And now at Car-Mart, I get to take my passion and personalize it for others. I can share who I really am with others.”
“I know cars. I know the inventory,” Stacy adds. “They say inventory is one of my strongest strengths.”
Stacy joined Car-Mart in November 2019 as a Manager in Training in Jackson, Tenn. She was quickly promoted to Assistant Manager in Columbia, Tenn. and named to her current position in June 2020.
She’s won Lot of the month five times since she’s been General Manager and she’s continually exceeded her sales goals. “I love what I do. I love making a difference,” says Stacy. “God saved me to get up every day and save others and Car-Mart has allowed me to do that.”
Every day – at Car-Mart – is her best day
“They make me take days off. People think I’m crazy, but when I’m at work, I’m the happiest. Every day, I get up to learn something new and be at work,” smiles Stacy, while adding classic car auctions are her go-to locations for her days off from work.
Plus, it’s about helping people and she does that every day. “I’ve never seen a company that cares about its customers as much as Car-Mart does. They truly help people. It blows my mind. It’s simply remarkable,” Stacy says.
She knew she was in the right job when she witnessed how Car-Mart continually strives to help its customers. “No matter what, this company doesn’t give up on its customers. Car-Mart truly doesn’t want to take people out of their cars,” says Stacy. “That’s when I knew it was the right company for me.”
Stacy once helped a lady and her husband who had no vehicle. They walked everywhere and bummed rides for 16 years. “Nobody was willing to help them, but we did,” Stacy comments. “When I go home every night, I’m not afraid to look in the mirror. It’s amazing. And I’m blessed to know that I’m giving back.”
“Car-Mart is a remarkable company. I am blessed every day to work for a company that truly cares about people. Plus, I’m in an industry I love,” says Stacy.
Car lessons – courtesy of her dad
Stacy cherishes the memories of her dad who continues to be her inspiration and motivation. While she learned plenty of life lessons from him, she, also, received plenty of car advice.
“He always told me if your windows aren’t clean and your tires aren’t shining, you’re not going to sell the car,” Stacy says. “He also reminded me to ‘never judge; treat everyone the same.’”
Stacy recalls being at a car auction and talking to a possible buyer for a car she was selling. Her dad pulled her aside and asked if she had driven the car? No, was Stacy’s answer. Her dad replied, ‘then you don’t know. Don’t tell people about cars you don’t know anything about. You need to drive the car.’
To this day, Stacy drives all the cars she sells at Car-Mart.
“My dad always held me accountable,” says Stacy, while adding that her dad’s famous saying was ‘right is right and wrong is wrong.’
Another best practice performed by Stacy – thanks to her dad – is writing hand-written thank you’s to her customers. “My dad always wanted to stay in contact and stay personal with everyone and show appreciation,” Stacy comments.
“We sold cars on a sticky note and a handshake. And my dad always said your word is all you have left in this world and that it is the one thing that is free but can be worth millions to others,” continues Stacy.
And she is her father’s daughter. That’s why Stacy’s most proud Car-Mart moment was when the Car-Mart Director of Training told her: “We can hire people every day with car knowledge, but we can’t hire people every day with car knowledge and passion.”
This is the moment Stacy knew she had become her father.
Carrying on her dad’s legacy
For Stacy, there are not enough words in the world to fully express what her dad means to her. “I just didn’t realize the impact he’s made on my life until he was gone,” she says, who held his hand as he took his last breath on March 21, 2011.
Yet every day, she feels the presence of her dad in her office. It’s her dad’s shirt – now a pillow with his ink pen in the pocket – and it’s a daily reminder of all that her dad taught her. “I was a Daddy’s girl. I owe so much to him,” concludes Stacy. “Car-Mart has allowed me to realize that I learned something from my dad.”
Indeed, she is making her dad proud.
If you’re looking for a new ride, check out America’s Car-Mart of Tullahoma, TN. Stacy and the Tullahoma team are ready to help get you into a quality, used vehicle.