MKE Influencers: Milwaukee car educator with 605K TikTok fans writes new book

MKE Influencers: Milwaukee car educator with 605K TikTok fans writes new book

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – A Milwaukee woman is using her knowledge of car care and life in general, as a platform for education and empowerment.

In CBS 58's continued look at local influencers with global reach, Jenna Wells meets a mechanic with a message designed to make the automotive industry more accepting and accessible.

I'm somebody who spent my career jumping around. Go to one place, learn as much as I can, as quickly as I can, then move on to the next place," said Chaya Milchtein, the creator behind the brand Mechanic Shop Femme.

After 10 years working with cars, Milchtein has made a name for herself in the auto industry.

"I quickly grew to like working with car owners and really helping them understand what was going on with their vehicle," she said.

Milchtein began her automotive career at Sears in Glendale, and worked at several shops in Milwaukee, New York, and Illinois.

Over the years, her popular blog Mechanic Shop Femme has morphed into a full brand, complete with virtual classes, social media content, and nationally published articles.

"I wanted to focus on helping the average car owner. The regular parent that gets up in the morning, the teenager that just got their first car, the older woman who recently got divorced, folks that needed basic car information - how to buy a car, how to sell a car, how to maintain a car," Milchtein said.

With more exposure, Chaya's passion keeps revving forward, and she wants to share it with as many people as possible.

"Empowerment through education. If you learn about your car, if you learn all these different, simple, straightforward elements, then you'll be a more educated consumer. You'll be able to go into a shop and be less scared," she said.

Her newest project is another way to make car knowledge accessible.

"If you take everything I've done the whole 10 years of my work and you put it into a book, that's what Mechanic Shop Femme's Guide to Car Ownership is," Milchtein explained.

Last year, her book Mechanic Shop Femme's Guide to Car Ownership was picked up by a publisher.

The book is a comprehensive look at the most important things to know about cars.

"It goes through the whole life cycle of car ownership, to really be this one-stop guide that will help you be a better car owner, save you lots of money as a car owner, and understand what you're getting into when you walk into the shop," Milchtein said. "It's made so you can stick it in your glovebox. You can read it from start to finish, or you can read the chapters that best suit whatever situation you're in."

Much of Mechanic Shop Femme's content caters to women and LGBTQ+ folks - groups often socially isolated from the auto industry. The book was written with them in mind, but Chaya says it's for everyone.

The front cover reads: "Uncomplicating Cars for All of Us."

"This is the book that will help you tell your dad when your dad is wrong about things on their car, because it happens a lot," Milchtein laughed.

The official release date is April 9, 2024. The book is a milestone for Mechanic Shop Femme, and Chaya isn't stopping here.

Her mission is to make the automotive industry more accepting and accessible, and there's plenty of work to be done.

"If we made our shops better for women and queer people, we would have enough people to fix our cars, which is quickly becoming a very big problem, and we'd have places we want to take our car to and be respected," Milchtein said.

Website: Car Classes and Advice for LGBT People and Women (

TikTok: @mechanicshopfemme

Facebook: Mechanic Shop Femme

Instagram: @mechanicshopfemme

X: @MechanicFemme

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