Cars are a ticket to freedom for many people – open roads, wind in your hair, power and control behind the wheel – but for Chelsea Cunningham, cars represent a different kind of freedom: the chance to be her own boss and revolutionize the automobile industry.
As the founder and CEO of The Title Girl, Cunningham oversees an Addison-based company that leading automotive retailers and manufacturers use to solve their car titling needs. At just 21-years-old, this Illinois-born, Florida-raised girl started her career in the auto industry after a car accident, that left Cunningham without a car.
“My search for a new mode of transportation led me to a car auction where my passion for the industry began,” she explained. She soon established herself as a successful purchaser of cars at auctions, then turned a profit by retailing and wholesaling those cars. “The art of buying and selling cars came naturally to me and then I eventually got a job at a dealership in Dallas selling high end cars,” she said.
Cunningham added, “While working at the dealership, I identified an area of need that was not being addressed in the industry. The car titling process was slow, antiquated, manual and not customer friendly. There was no tracking or technology, and dealerships often upset customers while throwing away money. It is the forgotten and often overlooked part of the sales cycle but so important to the dealer and the customer. So, I decided I was going to start my own company to bring a solution to this area of need in the industry.”
She became an entrepreneur with no financial backing at the age of 24 and quickly scaled her business motivated by pure determination to succeed. She has always been independent and always had a goal of being her own boss, which drove her. “These lessons and traits fueled my entrepreneurial spirit, helped me create a solution mindset and be comfortable taking risks,” she explained.
In 2015, Cunningham founded her company to bring speed, efficiency, expertise and technology to the titling process. Over the last six years, she’s helped re-define the way retailers and consumers title their vehicles for companies like Tesla, Avis and more automotive dealers.
Under her leadership, The Title Girl has assembled a team of consultants, operational experts and creative marketers that understand the opportunity to bring innovation to the auto industry. Although she’s in a typically male-dominated industry, she has never felt a disadvantage being a woman.
“I always viewed myself on an equal playing field,” she said. “It might have helped my business at times, but I don’t feel like being a woman in this industry has ever been a disadvantage. I chose the name The Title Girl because that is unique, it described me, and it was clear what we do. While we have grown significantly, it is always important to continuously celebrate the origin and foundation of your company, and I hope I can influence others to identify a need and take a risk.”
In 2018, The Title Girl was recognized as one of the top 3 fastest growing privately held companies by the U.S. Small Business Chamber of Commerce. Cunningham has also been recognized as one of the Top 100 Leaders in Transportation by the International Transportation and Automotive Summit. She is a board member of the Texas Association of Business and a board member of Children at Risk, a charity that is a catalyst to improve the quality of life for children.
“Our tag line is ‘We don’t drag our heels,’ which is a fun way of saying we pride ourselves in speeding up the titling process, which benefits our clients and their customers,” said Cunningham. “We are true disrupters in the automotive titling business. We maximize proprietary technology, process, speed, and financial efficiency, which brings sophistication and innovation to a very ‘old school’ and slow segment of the industry. More importantly, we believe in being true consultants to our clients. We understand our client’s business and pain points, then create and implement solutions. We feel we have the best and most unique technology platform in the industry that gives our client’s transparency, reporting, scalability and financial efficiencies. And, of course, we pride ourselves in having exceptional customer service.”
The Title Girl’s goal is growth. She said, “We have assembled a replicable model, an awesome and talented team and have a great stable of clients. I feel very fortunate, blessed and I am incredibly excited about the future.”
We feel so lucky to have this awesome woman-led company in Addison!