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Balswicks continues 70-year family tradition
Balswicks pic 2
Catherine, Candice, Brett and Cassie Balswick have found a way to not only get work done at their family-owned auto service shop, but have fun while doing so. - photo by ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal

Balswick’s Auto Service has been passed down from father to son, beginning first with Orville Balswick in 1945. Today, however, Orville’s grandson Brett Balswick owns and operates the shop’s Golden State Boulevard location with the help of his three daughters, Candice, Catherine and Cassie Balswick, changing the tune of the family’s history while having a ton of fun along the way.

Brett, a father to five daughters, cherishes everyday he is able to work alongside his family members.

“God blessed me with daughters, and they do a great job with what they do,” he said. “These girls – they’re very professional. They’ve got a very strong work ethic, and I enjoy every day that they’re all three here together.”

Candice, 25, Catherine, 22, and Cassie, 19, all began working at Balswick’s while they were in high school, eager to not only begin their first part time jobs, but to work beside their dad as well. The trio has been employed at Balswick’s for a combined 18 years, and now that all three are out of the house (Candice, married and expecting her first child, Catherine, living on her own while also working as a cosmetologist, and Cassie, entering her sophomore year of college in the fall), their jobs serve as both a source of income as well as a way to spend time with Brett.

“I feel like I’ve gotten closer with him, just being with him and appreciate him more,” said Catherine. “I’ve never had to question anything he says and have always trusted him, and I think that’s helped make work easier. You skip out on a lot of the drama.”

“It’s nice to still see dad every day at work, because we’re all sort of daddy’s girls,” said Candice.

Whether it’s overseeing the shop’s payroll, keeping track of the books or giving customers a ride home while their car is being worked on, Candice, Catherine, Cassie and Brett have found a way to make work fun. It’s not out of the ordinary to see Brett sneaking up on one of the girls, or their coworkers, to slap a tire sticker on their back as the unknowingly go about their work duties, and it’s a typical occurrence to hear a shriek echo throughout the shop as a toy mouse is used to replace a computer mouse on one of the girls’ desks.

“We know what makes each other laugh because we’re family,” said Candice. “We like to throw little jokes in here and there, or scare each other.”

“We mess with each other a lot,” added Cassie.

The jokes shared between the four Balswicks make work fun – something that wasn’t quite the norm until his daughters came along, said Brett.

“I’ve learned not to take things so seriously, and to have fun while you’re at work,” he said. “We have a lot of fun. We joke, we have lunch together. It’s very enjoyable.”

While the three sisters have taught their father plenty in the way of pranks, they’ve also gained some valuable knowledge from him when it comes to running a business.

“Coming to a tire shop, sometimes you have something totally wrong with your car and people aren’t really excited about it,” said Catherine. “He’s taught us that we can make it a better experience for them by just treating them right and being happy, and showing them they matter.”

However, the valuable lessons Brett have shared with his daughters aren’t limited to just the tire shop.

“They’ve all been taught that if they put effort into something, they’re going to be successful at it,” said Brett. “It doesn’t matter what they do in life. As long as they put a good effort into it, they’re going to do just fine.”

Whether or not it’s the family business that the girls continue to put effort into remains to be seen. Cassie, a Business major, loves working in the office she said, and Candice sees herself being a part of the business forever. While Catherine loves both working at Balswick’s and cosmetology, the more she works at the tire shop, the more she loves it. If they want to take over the family business one day, that’s fine by Brett, he said.

“My grandfather, my father and myself have put a lot of pride into what we do,” said Brett. “We try to give our customers the very best service that we can, and I see my girls working with that same pride.”

Although they see him frequently at work, Father’s Day is a day where Candice, Catherine and Cassie can spend time with their dad away from their jobs – a relaxing day that he more than deserves, said Candice.

“He loves you for who you are, and he really appreciates his family,” she said. “It’s hard to get him something for Father’s Day, because really, he just values time with us.”

“We see him work so hard, so it’s nice that on Father’s Day we’ll be able to relax and celebrate him,” said Cassie.