Ex-student goes it alone

A self-confessed petrol head and ex-student of Gateshead College has launched a new vehicle repair business in Sunderland.

Luciana Parker-Jones started the business having completed a motor vehicle body repair and paint refinishing course at Gateshead College.

Based in Roker, Luciana the Lady Painter offers a range of car refurbishment services, from repairs to minor dents and scratches to a full body resprays and polish.

The entrepreneurial 22-year-old has followed in the footsteps of her father Steve Jones, a former vehicle paint technician, and is now busy building a client base of domestic and trade customers.

Luciana hopes her entrance into the industry will encourage more women to forge careers in the automotive fast lane. Luciana said, ‘I’ve always been interested in cars since my dad showed me what he did for a living. As soon as I fell in love with cars, I knew I’d end up running my own automotive business.’

Having worked in a vehicle bodyshop while studying Luciana was then self-employed and as interest grew she saw it as ‘a natural step’ to start her own business.

Katy Malia, automotive tutor at Gateshead College, said, ‘Entrepreneurial thinking is embedded in all of our learning programmes so that students are equipped with the skills and aptitudes required to run their own business. Luciana has shown that women can have a successful career in the automotive sector and we need more females in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related industries so that companies can plug vital skills gaps.’