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Leaders & trailblazers: The Car Mom's Kelly Stumpe

Part of: Women leaders & trailblazers

Growing up in the family business of owning car dealerships, Stumpe has been around the automotive industry her entire life. In 2016, she officially started her career as a client advisor at BMW of West St. Louis and soon Stumpe knew she had found her calling. 

With the arrival of her first child in 2019, Stumpe realized the only job harder than a 65-hour work week in automotive sales was being a stay-at-home mom, a feeling that was amplified when she became pregnant with her second. As she explains, “It was hard enough to take my one child to the grocery store during the pandemic, I can’t imagine moms having to go to a car dealership, too. What if I used my resources and knowledge to review cars for moms so they don’t have to waste time going to every dealership?” 

Stumpe launched The Car Mom as a way to use her industry knowledge to empower other moms and help them save time at the dealership through transparent, informative content. For a glimpse into Stumpe’s expertise, check out her take on VSCs and her top tech picks for your next car.

What are some of the biggest challenges or surprises as a woman in your respective industry? 

Early on in my career, when I was selling cars, I was often disregarded and not taken seriously. However, looking back, this gave me a unique perspective to really understand how women feel when car shopping. The biggest surprise has certainly been how quickly this community has grown. When a group of women come together, there is nothing they can’t do. The support I have received from moms all over the country continues to blow me away!

One lesson that took me too long to learn was to stop comparing my beginning to someone else's middle.

What’s something you wish you knew then that you know now?

One lesson that took me too long to learn was to stop comparing my beginning to someone else's middle. When I first started creating content, I would be so disappointed when comparing it to people with more experience. Instead of giving up, I kept going and improved.

What work are you most proud of?

Absolutely my work surrounding car buying. We have worked hard to provide resources to help women with every stage of their car buying journey. One of the original goals with The Car Mom was to empower moms through the car buying process – and we are very much achieving that. 

What’s been a key money life lesson for you? 

In the realm of car buying – one of the biggest lessons I have learned and try to educate my audience on is to forecast your vehicle needs. I often see people buying a car and taking out a long-term loan without thinking about how your needs may change over the term of the loan. If you try to get out of car loan too early (because your needs have changed) you could potentially be dealing with inequity in your loan. 

What's your advice for young girls and future generations who want to follow in your footsteps?

It’s so important to remember that just because it hasn't been done before doesn’t mean it won’t work. There is comfort in following the footsteps of others but there is also satisfaction in doing something completely authentic to you. I used to think “My content is silly, no one else is doing this” or “I am a car reviewer, I should do what the other car reviewers do” – but had I stayed in that mindset, my brand wouldn’t be what it is today. 

Leading today, inspiring tomorrow

The women featured in this article are a demonstration of how far we’ve come in the last half-century, and a North Star of what’s possible. By continuing to amplify female leaders, we hope to inspire future generations – not just this month but all year round. 

The financial views, information or opinions expressed are solely those of the individuals involved and do not represent those of Ally.

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