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Automotive Entrepreneur Leverages Family Experience to Open First CARSTAR Location in Idaho

“My wife and I decided to branch out with our four children and take everything we learned from Mom and Dad to establish our own dream of creating a stellar work environment,” co-owner Greg Solesbee said.

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Greg and Rachelle Solesbee

CARSTAR announced that its first store in Idaho has opened, expanding the franchise’s U.S. footprint to its 33rd state.

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Greg and Rachelle Solesbee own CARSTAR of Hayden, an 8,000-square-foot facility that “specializes in duplicating factory repairs” using advanced equipment such as a Car-O-Liner bench rack, GYS NeoPulse welder for aluminum, steel and silica bronze, and a GYS resistance spot welder.

The CARSTAR location offers free collision repair estimates, bumper repair, expert color matching, towing assistance, vehicle pickup and delivery, a nationwide warranty for most repairs, and rental cars through Enterprise, according to the company.

Greg Solesbee got his start in the collision repair industry with his family. His father, Wendell, started repairing vehicles when he was in high school, and continued to work on cars throughout his career as an electrical engineer at Rockwell. Solesbee’s mother, Martha, also did her part to help, even long-blocking cars while pregnant, handling the finances as CFO and raising seven children alongside Wendell.

“My wife and I decided to branch out with our four children and take everything we learned from Mom and Dad to establish our own dream of creating a stellar work environment,” said Solesbee. “Our employee team is like none other and we really enjoy helping bring people’s lives back together one car at a time. We want to put a smile on every customer’s face.

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“Rachelle and myself had originally designed our own business blueprint. As we shared what we were looking to do, we had a friend tell us we should look at CARSTAR. We took their advice and did so. After investigating what they were about I turned to my wife and said, ‘They literally took our business plan and already made it into 500 locations.’”

The technicians at CARSTAR of Hayden are I-CAR- and ASE-certified and trained to work on all makes and models. They participate in ongoing education programs on the latest vehicle technologies and materials.

CARSTAR of Hayden also is involved in giving back to the community. They donated nearly $10,000 in parts to the Auto Body Tech School at NIC (North Idaho College) in Rathdrum, Idaho. They also are working with Sherwin-Williams, NIC and GYS to put on a tech information training night on proper welding.  In addition, they’re involved in the city of Hayden and the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce.

“We are excited to expand the CARSTAR presence in the Northwest with our first location in Idaho and to welcome innovative entrepreneurs like Greg and Rachelle Solesbee to our CARSTAR family,” said Michael Macaluso, president of CARSTAR. “This region is growing quickly, and we are honored to have the Solesbees lead CARSTAR’s entry into Idaho. Their commitment to the highest quality collision repairs and excellent customer service is stellar.”

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