TR Robertson…. TJ Crossman may be the owner of an auto repair shop in Vista, which he is proud of, but he is most proud of the various philanthropic endeavors he, his girls and his workers take part in for the Vista community and organizations. TJ’s Auto Repair, Inc., is located toward the back of a large section of buildings on N. Melrose Dr., address 1330 N. Melrose Dr., Suite F. He has been in the auto repair industry since 1992. TJ shared his business with Tom Kennedy Auto Repair for three years until going on his own in July of 2013.
He moved to Vista from Massachusetts, thinking he would continue working in the carpentry business, but when here he decided to take his love of repairing all sorts of machinery to the next level by opening an auto repair business. His first venture into this field was in 1996 with a small trailer and a red suburban he turned into a mobile auto repair business. With a jack, tools, air compressor and a desire to assist others, TJ would make house calls to repair vehicles, assist people broken down on roadways, anything to get the word out. He would upgrade to an F250 utility truck and by 2006 a Chevy 3500. The word was clearly getting out the TJ Crossman was an auto repairman you could count on. While getting the mobile auto repair business going he worked for 9 years as the manager of B & D Auto Repair and won an award from the Better Business Bureau for outstanding work. In his business office hang numerous certificates from many auto repair, diagnostic tech training and other classes he has taken to stay current on the newest in auto repair. He was recognized by Nana Keek’s Cookies for being a giving, helping person.
TJ is a member of the Vista Chamber of Commerce, Management Success, has participated in the Relay for Life for 2 years and participates in one of his two daughters Girl Scout troops. TJ said he might be the troop leader next year. He has two daughters, ages 8 and 14, both in the Vista Public School system.
The thing that makes TJ stand out is his desire to help people in any way he can. He battled testicular cancer in 2002. This would lead him to develop a new outlook on life and a greater appreciation for what he had in his life as well as a desire to help those that needed help. He volunteered as a shuttle driver for Tri-City Hospital, knitted hats and scarfs for the homeless both here and in Massachusetts (Yes, TJ knits and loves it), donated oil changes for over 30 vehicles owned by the Alpha Project, ran a Thanksgiving food drive to feed 6 families in the Vista/Oceanside cities, gave free oil changes to teachers in the Carlsbad, Vista and Oceanside school districts for teacher appreciation month, built a float for Toys for Tots for a Vista Parade, donated backpacks to New Life Church, donated to the Grace Anglican golf tournament, sponsored a hole at the Semper Fi Foundation golf tournament, donated repair services to a gentlemen who suffered with multiple brain surgeries from a staph infection, donated free lunches on Facebook, helped cheer on ‘Chloe’s Crew’ at the Carlsbad Marathon, gave away lemonade and popsicles with his daughters on the side of the road by his business, he has a Halloween party at his home for all of the neighborhood kids, took part in a 7,000 mile motorcycle ride (San Diego to Washington, D.C.) in support of the Vietnam Vets and the Run for the Wall and the list goes on. TJ even found himself helping out a truck driver who ran out of gas on the Highway 78 overpass above Melrose, only to find out it was a friend of his with a busted gas gauge. He was awarded the KSON Radio Station Manchievement Award for assisting a young mother on a plane flight whose baby had soiled itself so bad that TJ actually gave the young mother the shirt off his back. Luckily, he had a t-shirt in his carry-on. His latest endeavor is organizing a car give away, by repairing a car and running a drawing for a needy family or person. This is part of an organization www.wheelstoprosper.com.
All of this and so much more, TJ does with a huge smile as he says he loves helping people, seeing them smile and know someone out there cares. He loves his clients, saying some have been with him over 20 years. TJ feels he has been able to build a good following and this is partly due to following his mom’s advice, “work hard and everything will work out”. He said, fixing the cars is the easy part of his business, the hard part is balancing getting the word out about his business with paying the bills, marketing and the many other parts of operating your own business. TJ puts out a quarterly newsletter to his customers with helpful hints on car care, called Grease. He also offers complementary shuttle service.
To try and relax, TJ and his daughters like to go water skiing, boating, sledding at Palomar Mountain, and riding his motorcycle. When time allows he likes to take in Urban Pizza, Chinex and Jilberto’s Tacos.
When asked what it would mean for his repair shop to win the Small Business of the Year Award TJ was quick to respond that it would mean he and his two employees are doing a good job and it is a validation that they are doing everything they can to do the right thing for customers. He said life is too short to not do what you can to help someone in any way you can. He said by helping people out he is trying to be a good person and trying to set an example on what it means to him to succeed in life. TJ Crossman’s Auto Repair is so much more than an Auto Repair Shop. www.tjcrossmansautorepair.com (760) 908-3381