SHERIDAN, Colo. – Less than 1% of small businesses in America are LGBT-certified business enterprises.
A new Colorado company is working to break the stigma around the types of businesses the LGBTQ+ community owns and operates.
For many, cars are a necessity, creating a need for proper repair and maintenance.
It’s something that’s often seen as a man’s job and that stigma scared CC Haug for years.
“I really like seeing things fall into place and then being able to take care of people,” said CC Haug.
“Throughout my life it’s been one of those things, knowing inside that I’d rather transition and kind of live that way, I’ve always had this fear that in this industry , to kind of get kicked out. Not having a comfortable and safe place to work or even a place that I enjoy.
He is a transgender person who has always had a passion for vehicles.
“My whole life has been around cars. My dad grew up and owned a few different car dealerships over the years, my brothers owned a few different stores over the years,” CC Haug said.
Being their true selves while 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 could feel comfortable.
“One of us said it wouldn’t be really good if there was a queer car shop here in town and there isn’t and we were like well, let’s do one,” said said Faith Haug.
“But it’s more about giving them a place where they know they can go for something that has given them anxiety in the past. So it’s one more place where you know you can go and is safe, because you still have a long list of places you need to go that aren’t.
Good Judy Garage opened in December 2021 and the co-owners say their rapid success speaks to the need their business fills.
“I think in the first month we had 215 individual, non-repeating, like individuals, customers using us in the first month,” Faith Haug said.
“There are 10 auto shops on this street, you can find an auto shop on any block to the right. So being just another auto shop but having so many customers in our first month is really telling us something.
The Haugs have also become role models within the community, having an impact far greater than themselves.
“A few people have said this and it strikes me so strangely that I don’t even know how to react to it most of the time,” said CC Haug.
“I hope what we were doing made a positive difference in the world or even, on some level, changed the way people see things or think about things.”