Mechanics have never had the reputation for being the most trustworthy profession – but Shahe Koulloukian, owner of Mazvo Auto Care Center, has made it his personal crusade to change that perception. And for over two decades, he has run his business based on empathy, not the bottom line: the crucial difference that elevates Mazvo above the competition. He sees himself as a consumer advocate, rather than the predatorial mechanic stereotypes are made of. Repairing cars, he says, is the easy part. Empowering customers with knowledge and witnessing their satisfaction is the reward. He doesn’t just want to fix cars; he wants to fix auto repair.
Friends and family describe Koulloukian as “a giver,” and we need look no further than his business for proof. He regularly provides free car care classes at Mazvo to help clients – especially women, who are often unfairly intimidated by auto repair shops – better understand their vehicles and be more confident car owners. Beyond that, he volunteers at local shelters, giving back to the community he loves in every way he can.
Fluent in six languages and having lived on three continents, Koulloukian’s travels have played a big part in shaping his personal style. He defines it the way he defines himself: simple and honest, with a splash of color. His time spent living in France, where he says you can’t help but be “infected by style,” had the most impact. In fact, his favorite phrase regarding fashion is La simplicité est la sophistication supreme, which means “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
The splash of color which elevates that simple style incorporates must-have pieces such as his late father’s silver ring with a tourmaline stone, a beloved keepsake from the four years he spent in Nigeria.
Koulloukian’s wardrobe isn’t the only thing with an international flavor – literally. His varied cultural experiences and deep-seated culinary roots provide the perfect backdrop for his second business, The Flying Pigeon food truck. Cooking, Koulloukian says, is the essence of family and unity, and The Flying Pigeon’s globally inspired cuisine allows him to share that love.
From providing his Mazvo customers with empathy and education to providing his Flying Pigeon customers with a tantalizing taste of faraway cultures, Koulloukian keeps busy; success, in his opinion, is providing value over price so that you can outlast your competition, not beat them.
And though his style is more simplistic than extravagant (it’s like chess, he reasons; you have so many pieces, but it only takes one to checkmate), he does know one thing about luxury.
“Learn to keep luxury as a gift, not an entitlement,” he says. “You will achieve reason and sensibility a lot more quickly.”
This article was originally published in the June 2019 issue of So Scottsdale