And that's what I try and tell people all the time when they're stuck in a shop and it's awful and they feel like if they can't make this shop work then they're leaving the industry,
and unless you're from a small town Bill and there is no shops within a hundred miles you're not stuck you're not stuck think of that shop,
as a relationship eventually you will find one that's the perfect fit for you that you will be able to grow
that you'll be able to be comfortable with and succeed but you got to go through all the crappy ones first to even appreciate the good one when you do find it.
You're listening to Femcanic Garage the podcast app features women in the automotive and Motorsports Industries a community that elevates and Powers
and evolves by smashing stereotypes and breaking down barriers for women I'm your host Jayme Blasiman buckle up for the ride Femcanic.
Dez Ferell in the driver's seat today she owns Nessy's Customs a shop where she specializes in custom paint and Restorations.
She was recently a featured contestant on Motor Trends bitching bootcamp.
Dez brings us along her career journey and gives us a behind-the-scenes experience on bitch and bootcamp.
Sit back and enjoy the ride.
emcanic this is Jayme B to you and I have Dez Ferell in the hot seat today or the driver's seat depending on who you're talking to how are you doing today does.
I'm doing great how are you I am doing very well and I'm super excited to finally connect.
You have been a very busy woman so I've waited patiently and I was persistent and we finally are able to connect and I've been following you for quite some time I first discovered you on Instagram.
And I'm like this is a pretty cool lady so thank you so much for being on here and being willing to share your story with the community.
Why don't we get started in the beginning
what got you in to this industry what was kind of your early beginnings
on how you dove into this and you shared a little bit in the pre-interview with me but why don't we bring the guests along with the journey
so I didn't get into cars until I was out of high school I did all the crappy retail jobs and hated life.
And then I had gotten a little Honda Accord just to drive around,
I got in a wreck and I had found out that it was cheaper to get customized body kits than it was for OEM parts and once I realized
that I can make something unique and mine and I was able to do it myself,
like I just kind of fell in love with it and then you know the whole
now that I got a fixed up cars like oh did your boyfriend do it or who what shop did you take it to his life
why is that your first response to when you see me with a car like why can't it be me you don't ask the guy next to me about his like who did this car.
And so you know I enrolled into tech school I'm chuckling over here Des because I literally just worked with a graphic designer to design a sticker that says to avoid injury,
don't ask me if it's my husband's car
and I'm chuckling it's like the same thing I should make one you know to avoid injury don't ask me if it's my boyfriend's car
and just Encompass both of them and I find that the ladies really have an appreciation for that simple message,
yeah and I think that's the same as like when I go and I meet men in the industry you know you go and your with you know your other,
colleagues are your guy friends or at a car show or even see militia say you're shaking hands doing business talk and they'll shake the guy's hands within they'll come and hug you like,
I don't understand like just shake my hand like you just choked his hand but like why is that like such a appropriate approach to someone you know that you're in a business setting like just shake my hand
yeah no I'm with you I'm you know.
Growing up my family is not an overly affectionate family at all like my grandma and grandpa were but we just.
Like my brother and I don't hug when we say bye yeah it's like say a man you know we're just we're we're just not in there's some people in business that are huggers.
I'm with you it's like,
shake my hand but I don't know you that well get it to shake hands that's interesting so they would always lean in for the hug.
Yeah it's just like and it's always like that you know I've learned to.
Control my facial expressions and happens far used very standoffish.
Play you know I I had to take a step back and kind of realize you know like most of them are older generation and you know one thing we work
in the industry for them growing up to know like maybe we don't like hugs and you know so they think of us as their daughters or you know just the man's girlfriend you know like just whatever it may be so
them shaking her hand doesn't come natural like it does for us right we are there too.
Because we were there to meet them on a professional level we have to work twice as hard to be seen that way so tell us it comes natural,
then probably not right yeah that is interesting it's just it's just a simple thing,
but sometimes we just don't even think about it so you you had this Honda you kind of got bit by the car bug.
And you ended up going to school for it right yes I you know it was right when the first Fast and the Furious movie came out
it's not the second one the first one that's series turned a lot of people into car Buffs it was it was something I had it hot Peak and it was metal flake sparkly oh my gosh I loved it but
don't get me wrong it was a hot pink card.
I want a lot of awards with it you know and I think that just kind of fueled me to get better do more and you know from that moment
I learned that I was always being watched like no matter where I went people knew that was me driving that car and that was my my business card essentially you know that's my work,
was this an Idaho says oh wow now you you'd mention that you were from a small town,
yeah small town with a hot sparkly pink car yeah oh man it was looking back like it's,
it's funny because I used to get so mags I would get pulled over for everything like my blinker blunt too fast my license plate was angle
too much it was just whatever they could find they would pull me over why do you think that is,
um you know like now that I look back on it during those times where it wasn't very common for people to have fixed up cars yet A lot of it was illegal still in Idaho,
and you know like there was ways to budget around it and which I would.
But it was just a new thing for them to you know pick on me and being young like,
I probably gave him every reason to you know they got like
it wasn't driving like a grandma my hot pink are yeah you know I didn't really care at that point like I didn't get any tickets luckily but you know it was just
standing out all the time like it was there's no getting around the cop.
Would be yeah like ten cops in the whole town so you could only not get in trouble so much right right they recognize you or they would talk to each other like oh so you know girl in the pink car if you see her pull her over because,
she needs paperwork or whatever maybe that's funny,
so you had your hot pink business card in Idaho now where did you go to school,
so I'm from Twin Falls Idaho so it's Southern Idaho and there's a list a local community college there it's a two-year College
and they have automotive and auto body and Welding you know they had it an associate degree so it's two-year program to learn it all,
and you know it was super simple to go because it was just right there around the corner from my house and,
I just fell in love with it I was you know like I said I was 24 25 when I started college so I was in class and 18 year olds you know that are still living at their mamas house
and at the time I was married and I had three kids under 5 which I don't even know how I did school full-time and worked seriously,
but just pause and take that in a moment does you are going to school full-time.
With three kids under the age of five seriously I women out there and work just pause and take that in.
That's that's amazing does it look like it just hit you when you said it.
Damn wow I had three kids under 5 and I was going to school full-time I'm badass.
You know I definitely didn't know how I how I did it like I said like I don't really remember those two years a lot
because it was just non-stop I was a cocktail server in the evening so I would work until 1 a.m. and then I'd be in class by 7:30 a.m.
Five days a week and you know at the time though like I love class so much I love doing what I was doing that.
It was easy like it wasn't a chore it was you know everything I learned I soaked up like a sponge because I wanted to be there.
And you know the kids that were there that you know their parents are making them go to school or you know they just were kind of like me.
They struggles and you know and it showed and.
I've taught my kids that I'm like for only I'm not paying for your college you can figure that out just like I had to like but don't go if you don't know what you want to do like I'm not going to force you to do something because that,
life that you have to deal with your whole life not me I don't care you're going to move a help right.
But if something you like and go with it but I'm not going to tell you what you can and can't do because why doesn't affect me at all.
You had mentioned that you use past tense so I'm making an assumption here that you were married your you're not married now I'm not married now okay.
You're okay so there was a period of time where you are a single mom then and in the industry yes now I'm just curious about that because there's a lot of women out there that.
One either they don't have kids now and they wonder if they can have kids and be in this industry.
To there may be single moms out there as well that are in this industry and they may be struggling figuring this all out too because what I have noticed about this industry is that it can have very long hours.
Right particularly when you're talking about custom work and in doing some of those things or having your own shop and having kids.
What would you say to those maybe to be moms or single moms out there.
About what you did and maybe maybe share some of the struggles that you had and how you navigated them and I definitely think
I'm a hundred percent glad that I had kids prior to getting in the industry for one thing I was able to enjoy them being babies and I have to worry about the chemical aspect of it all nor you know,
trying to work in a shopping pregnant like that sounds awful to be like I don't know how this pregnant ones do do it but if if they don't love it,
then they're never going to make it,
pregnant single mom none of that because it is like you said there it's not a nine-to-five you
when you have daycare you have to have it for you know all day and possibly pay for that extra poor hours that you're going to stay after work you know because the car has to leave tomorrow and
you know or come in on your weekends to finish a project to get it done by Monday,
how did you do it this what did you do if you look back at what you did.
Because let's be honest you successfully moved through it and it doesn't mean it was a smooth ride right but you're here.
You're here now and you kept on keeping on right what did you do how did you work through it I was lucky that I had my parents locally.
During that time so they helped a lot watching the kids and helping me through through it so having a support system whoever it may be as definitely I mean if I didn't have that I don't know how,
I would have done it there's times like.
Like I want to give up and then I remember missing out on so my youngest daughter is when I went to school she was about eight months old when I started going to school and so for two years her first,
two and a half years of life I literally missed out on and you know even met her brothers you know I missed out on their life.
And I feel like I don't feel guilty about it but I feel like I owe myself and I owe them,
a I don't even have it's like I have 260 now to show that it was worth the sacrifice back then like I didn't I didn't sacrifice time for them,
to do something I thought I would like and give up on it because I lost everything and you know my kids didn't get to have me as a mom during those times so
definitely pushes me like there's times where I would
you know what think about like well maybe I'll be a hairdresser or you know something completely different and it's just like well why why did I miss two years of their life in school.
For nothing then hmm and like that push me through enough to overcome whatever it was during that and then you know even.
Even though it like I think it was about guys six years ago I was working at a collision shop and I was lead painter and you know it was not an extremely busy collision shop but it was a busy collision shop.
And I was there for a few years and in those few years my kids didn't see a doctor wants I never made it to any of their school events,
you know getting vacation was like,
it's ridiculous to get vacation in the first place but I missed out on a lot of their I think they're in middle school at that time or,
Elementary you know going in that transition and you know I missed a lot during that time to and.
At that time they're old enough to understand I'm working my butt off for a greater good but if I give up.
Then you know what am I teaching them what am i showing them that their time with me growing up.
Worst me taking time off for them because in the end I'm not doing what I said I was going to do I don't know like that's my motive to.
Who is you know I didn't miss all that for nothing like I only get 18 years with these kids and you know I've missed you a lot of it.
To get to where I'm at.
And to a point where you know I can show them in life hard work is what's going to be demanded of them to be what they want to do
but you know that it's worth at some point it's going to be worth it whether you know it's right away and you're lucky and you just hit the jackpot on your skills yeah board,
brine for 15-20 years until you finally get to a spot where you're like all right,
I can relax a little bit you know in listening to you share your story I'm hearing like a couple things don't be afraid to ask for help.
Because we all need help at some point and that's okay yeah and it's like on social media you see end results.
Right but oftentimes not not the journey up to it what people see on social media is the destination.
But there is a journey and in that Journey there's hard work their struggle there's triumphs as well along the way.
You know in listening to it as.
You're teaching your kids something pretty amazing and that's the value of hard work and that's the thing with kids is I find that.
I love this saying more is caught than taught and as parents we can sit there and say so many things but what's way more powerful is what they watch us do.
You're a hard worker and they're seeing their mom be a hard worker go after it and get what she wants.
And there's a lot of value in that yeah like you said knowing that it's okay to ask for help,
you know knowing that there's more support now than there ever was but one of my biggest,
things that I've been working on with other people in the industry is fighting for the rights for women for like
pregnancy and it's a very touchy subject I have found you know it's almost like are you Republican or Democrat like it's really a tough subject that people don't want to talk about but you know on in my
industry that auto body and the paint you know there's chemicals or stuff sore so much bad and a daily environment but at the same time
you know the younger generation they're starting their families they didn't you know I came in afterwards and so trying to find a safe way to keep them not ideally in the shop but still working
safely and promoting you know Safety First and not have the
the shop owner be afraid to hire these young women because they're like well they're just going to be popping out babies soon what happens when she gets pregnant I'm going to be out a painter I'm going to be out a mechanic you know so I'm going to just.
Hire the guy because I know he'll be here yeah you know it's and it's the sad truth but it really is as the shop owner
that's things that you consider like oh are you planning to have a family anytime soon because that really does affect.
Workflow it's a tough conversation because here you are a business owner shop owner does in we're in your shop owner had those are probably things that you have to consider because at the end of the day you still have.
Jobs that need completed it is an interesting conversation to have but we need to have the conversation.
So that we can continue to evolve this in helped create plans for the industry I'm so glad you're having these conversations and they don't have to end up being.
Touchy or touchy conversations sometimes it's just about hey can we brainstormed together this isn't about attacking and saying you're discriminating against women because you won't hire a female because of this it's.