Bogi started out as an outsider to the automotive industry. As a young woman first learning to drive, her experiences at repair shops led her to want to learn about her car to feel less vulnerable during the repair process. She surprised everyone when she fell in love with working on cars and the automotive industry as a whole and decided to pursue automotive repair as a career. After attending Universal Technical Institute, Bogi went on to BMW factory training through the BMW STEP program and worked as a dealer technician for 7 years. While she loved working on the line as a technician, she missed customer interaction and had a vision for an auto repair shop that was welcoming to women and offered career opportunities to female technicians beginning their career in the industry. Bogi’s passion for empowering women through auto repair led her to start her first shop 180 Degrees Automotive in her driveway in 2006. She learned everything the hard way and has cultivated those lessons into a wildly successful award-winning, nationally recognized facility. Built on the belief that car care should be easy, this shop is run by women, staffs virtually all women, and offers women-only monthly basic car care classes. Despite the success of 180 Degrees Automotive Bogi strives to stay true to her mission of encouraging the entry of women into the automotive industry, providing learning opportunities, and fostering connections between women of all ages and skill levels within the industry. This passion has led her to open her namesake shop, whose purpose is to provide an environment where newbies and experts can come together, commiserate, contrast, and collaborate in real world, hands-on learning opportunities.
Additionally, Bogi has spoken and taught thousands all over the country, written and been featured in articles for both industry and non-industry publications. Her passion for the industry is difficult to miss and is undoubtedly bringing a fresh perspective to closing the gender gap within the male-dominated automotive industry. Bogi also hosts the Automotive TV show All Girls Garage, is an industry spokesperson, teaches women’s car care classes, and performs shop evaluations for independent repair shops across the country.
By becoming a supporter of Bogi, you are committing to investing in her mission of advocacy, education, and empowerment of women and girls with a desire to enter the auto industry. By supporting her, you are also supporting Girl Gang Garage, and other Bogi led female automotive programs like the Chevy Montage and High-Yellow 56 all-female builds. The Chevy Montage Build attracted 90 women from cities throughout the US, and we hope to double that number with the upcoming Volvo PV544 Build.
Bogi started her love affair with cars when she was sixteen. She bought an old VW Bug and after multiple bad experiences with repair shops she enrolled in her high school’s auto shop so she could work on her own car. With the help of mentors and books, she did a complete restoration of her beloved bug, building her confidence and her passion for working on cars in the process.
Bogi was pushed from an early age to go to college. She attended Oberlin College with a double major in Women’s Studies and Pre-Law and a minor in Politics. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa in just three years. At first she had her sights on Harvard Law school, but after really thinking about what she wanted to do with the rest of her life, she made an about-face and moved to Phoenix to attend Universal Technical Institute to be a mechanic.
After graduating from UTI, Bogi had a difficult time finding someone to hire her and finally found a home with BMW Dealerships. There was a lot about working at the dealership that she found frustrating, and after six years Bogi quit her job and started working on friends cars in her driveway. After eighteen months, her reputation as a topnotch mechanic grew to the point where she couldn’t keep up with the work load. So at the age of twenty nine, she took a huge step and leased a building, hired some employees and officially opened her own shop.
How did Bogi get her name?
Sarah is Bogi’s real name. She lived in Hungary for a year in high school through an exchange program with Rotary International. In Hungarian, Sarah, sounds a little bit like a curse word. As Bogi explains, “My Hungarian friends gave me a new name; Boglarka, which is a type of flower and that turned into Bogi which actually means beetle, and the VW Beetle is the car that got me started down this automotive path. So, it stuck for multiple reasons.”
Does Bogi still have her original WV Bug?
Yes she does. Her beloved bug needs another complete restoration to get it back on the road and is on her list of projects to do with the Montage of women professionals and hobbyists from across the country.