Sarah Flores had a waitressing job in a dream locale: an upscale beach hotel in downtown Corpus Christi, where the back patio led directly to the sandy Texas Gulf. When her mother passed away, she was devastated — and she withdrew from work. Eventually, she knew she had to pull herself up and start working again. She had positive experiences selling cars to Pull-A-Part car buyer Danny Longoria over the years, so she reached out to see if there were any open positions in the store. As it turned out, someone had left the retail area that very week.
“Two or three weeks into working here,” Flores said, “I asked Danny, ‘Can you just train me on everything?’ He told me, ‘One step at a time’, and started training me at a cash register. Our Car Buy girl had other plans for school, so when she left, I learned her job. Car Buy was my calling.”
Today, Flores’s sister Lina runs Car Buy in Corpus Christi, while Sarah heads up retail operations in the store.
“Our dad was a mechanic and still rebuilds engines,” Flores said. “That’s the only automotive background I had. He would make us help him: ‘You’re gonna change the piston rings. This is what a spark plug looks like when it’s used up.’” Flores hopes to become one of the first female managers of a Pull-A-Part store someday. She reminds new employees to stand their ground when times get tough. “That’s why I stay,” Flores said. “When customers come in and say, ‘Do you know how hard it is to find this part?’ or, ‘Do you know this is an $800 part online?’ Our customers are awesome. They come in here and are genuinely grateful that they get the parts for that price, or that we have the car they need. That’s how we help people.”
The first time I heard about Pull-A-Part, it was actually called “U-Pull-It”. I sold my first vehicle to Danny there. Then, when I sold another vehicle, it was Pull-A-Part.
At first, I really didn’t think working at Pull-A-Part would be as fun as it has been. The biggest surprise for me once I started was how much I was learning so quickly about cars. I think this job helps people everyday because we offer very reasonable prices. The one thing that I hear most from our customers is they couldn’t find their part anywhere else. It makes me so happy when I hear them say that: to know that they came here and they found what they were looking for and they were not spending an outrageous amount for it.
I’m a single mother. My daughter is four, and all my time spent at home is really with my daughter. As soon as I get off work, I look forward to picking her up and making dinner, or watching a little TV. On my days off, I usually go to the park or to the pool.
I would say my favorite vehicle that I’ve ever owned is my 1993 Chevy Silverado. I’m a Chevy girl. I still have that truck, and I work on it still and keep it going today!