EP63: Elana Scherr–“The Secret to Success: Stay in it, assess, adjust your approach!”January 23, 2021
EP64: Toni Avery–“I Can’t See Myself Doing Anything Else!”January 23, 2021
EP.70—Heather Holler: “…Never Sacrifice Your Femininity to Be a Badass!”
[0:00] You should never have to sacrifice your femininity to be a bad.
[0:05] You're listening to Femcanic Garage the podcast that features women in the automotive and Motorsports industry.
[0:12] Community that elevates empowers and evolves by mmashing stereotypes and breaking down barriers for women I'm your host Jayme Blasiman buckle up for the ride Femcanics.
[0:36] Femcanics I want to hear from you and get your feedback text me what your favorite episode is how I could improve the podcast.
Products would you like to see but most importantly I just want to connect with you,
text me at six one four nine five three six three eight zero again that's 614.
953 6380 I receive each message directly and I'm excited to hear from you.
Go on press pause,
in save my number six one four nine five three six three eight zero Heather Holler in the driver's seat today.
She's a freelance rally in rallycross technician most of her work is in the motorsports Department of the dirtfish rally School.
She didn't grow up working on cars.
As a matter of fact she had Barbies in a horse and thought she was going to be a soccer star bait had different plans for Heather.
Sit back and enjoy the ride.
[1:51] Hello Femcanics this is Jayme B coming to you and I have Heather Holler in the hot seat or the driver seat today how are you doing today Heather.
Doing good thanks how about yourself I'm doing well you got to do a little bit of traveling lately dead help out the folks which can be a lot of fun so it sounds like they got a little bit of a project on their hands.
Oh yeah they have lots of equipment out there that apparently needs help getting running to so it's time to dig back into my my diesel knowledge which I'll be honest is not very extensive.
[2:23] Hey hey it's helped it's an extra set of hands to help and I'm sure they appreciate it now without even trying you get into a little bit of your background there but we actually connected a while ago in,
life happens sometimes and there's a lot of craziness that happens and,
we finally are able to connect here so thanks for taking the time to sit down and share your story with the Femcanic community,
yeah sorry it took so long no worries I trust me I understand life happens in throws a wild curve balls at us kind of like the entire year of 2020.
[3:02] Or bash Ray but what I'd like to do is take us back
on kind of a journey like I love doing learning about my guests and sharing your story
but it all starts somewhere so for Heather Holler where did it start what what got you into this when did the passion,
so my dad always told me I knew,
what I wanted to do when it gave me the Goosebumps and would maybe even bring a tear to your eye and so I kind of spent the lot like two or three years out of high school just kind of spinning my wheels not really knowing what to do my boyfriend at the time was a mechanic,
he had a fairly newer WRX of the time and we had a friend introduced us to what,
called autocross so we both went to our first event together I drove his car and I beat him in his own car sold my SUV two weeks later and bought my little Subaru,
this is awesome so you caught the bug in high school then.
[4:02] Just after just after high school now when I was chatting with you before you have an interesting story and that that's the automotive version but.
[4:12] You started off in high school thinking he had a pretty strong path going down this soccer path right.
Yeah yeah I.
I I did get a couple offers for scholarships to play but I was pretty hell-bent on going to the Bay area so I played.
Down there after high school but my dad's business partner he is based in Germany and so I,
like I said I didn't really know what I was doing at this point in my life and I decided to go over to Germany I played with a local girls team and I was scouted by someone from the woman's Nuremberg team but.
Soccer ended and the rest is history history as they say now and bring that up for a couple of reasons.
It's a simple story that.
Will articulates how even the best and well thought-out plans don't always go the way that you think they would.
[5:21] Oh my gosh I don't think I've had any plan that goes the way I want it and I imagine when you're in high school like a you lived breathed and you know when you're a top athlete that takes up a lot of your time and
High School oh yeah oh yeah this year round especially if you're going to go to college and play right,
and you have these big plans and what a really cool opportunity to go over to Germany and then to be scouted.
Only two you know the the biggest nightmare for an athlete is injuries and injury yeah right a little devastating yeah it but what's cool about it is is how you you pivot.
From that right and just about how you stayed open to it and it's like Serendipity happens,
you know just open yourself up to it and it'll come,
and that sounds like how you ended up in the automotive industry that's how it happened I had no desire for whatsoever I played with Barbies and rode horses and.
[6:24] That was something the boys did right right that's got that's we cool so.
Here you are you you caught the bug you actually entered into a race in autocross and not all listeners,
May understand exactly what autocross is
there's there's rally and there's all these different things and I think a lot of folks don't realize how many different facets there really are to the skilled trades automotive and Motorsports industry.
Can you add a high-level explain what Motocross is.
[7:00] So in layman's terms I guess you would simply put it as parking lot racing so it's pretty much just a giant open area with a lot of the times if we can't find a track to go to.
[7:14] We'll use like Airport parking lots and so it's just a cone course and it's quick short tight turns you don't really ever reach a max speed of over 60 and that's pretty fast for an autocross course but.
I don't know I honestly couldn't think that it's a pretty good easy thing to get into especially for young drivers because it really helps you learn the limits of your cars in a controlled environment.
Illegal controlled environment that sounds are safer open it up in the wide-open road right it's his mom in the car now.
[7:51] Mom's here did you hear the car door I did hi Mom I don't know if she can hear me says hi she says hi she knows she's supposed to be quiet,
hi Mom you did good Mom thanks good oh goodness so you got an autocross how long did you do that and kind of where did that lead you to,
so with my Subaru there that's that's was a whole point of me buying that car so I could play and.
Did that honestly off and on for about 6 or 7 years I never got to really do a full season because I was off.
Doing all kinds of whatever who knows what skiing snowboarding trying to find some Privateer rally teams to go crew for and stuff like that but.
That's basically kind of a the purpose of my to build my car really just kind of if I'm understanding you right like DIY,
you're in there and yeah because the boyfriend they're in high school we had broken up and my car
was I didn't know I bought the car with a blown motor because at this point I didn't even know how to change my oil and so I add a necessity was forced to learn I learned how to swap a motor and after six months of having my car was back on the road,
hold on I got to pause you for a second there Heather.
[9:12] Because I want to put this in perspective for people and maybe they caught it maybe they didn't but just in case,
you bought the Subaru and what year Subaru was it it is a MM 2.5 RS it's a two-door okay.
[9:30] It had a blown motor.
[9:32] And at this point you would never worked on a car before am I understanding that right I held like a flashlight,
get outta help out it's it's a start so yeah you've observed other people working on a car but you had never worked on a car,
yeah I correct I can read the numbers on the wrenches and the sockets you know and probably hand them as needed but that yeah that's that was pretty much the extent of it.
[10:02] And then literally you ended up swapping the motor by by yourself.
Well like I said we started with the boyfriend there and luckily we got it to a pretty good point where I was able and what I learned at that point I could finish it up and stuff
but I mean there was a point where I was in the middle of winter up in Tahoe underneath to Giant pine trees outside of a shop because I didn't want to take up shop space trying to swap my car wiring harnesses and everything.
So do what you gotta do it is right it is an inn you know I'm,
I don't mean to belabor the point here but it.
[10:47] It's just goes to show you that anyone can do this with some elbow grease and some determination.
I mean yeah really is I mean you just got a little how to read some manuals and maybe use Google yeah yeah that is way cool so so you,
you swap the motor in it then you started doing some of your own rallycross racing,
I didn't actually do any rallycross but it was autocross across sorry but living so close to the desert there it was not uncommon for us to take our cars out in the desert in the dirt and go rib around beds for sure.
Wow wow that sounds like so much fun.
It really was so what did you do after that here you just kind of dabbled in it it was kind of like that next phase what made you want to go to that next level.
[11:37] I just really got a kick out of it and and like I said like when I would go to those races I would get the Goosebumps and I'm like oh my gosh like I think this is what Dad was talking about so I,
wanted to go to Tech school and the funny thing about that I had a recruiter come the first recruiter I talk to you actually tried to talk me out of going to tech school.
Like he didn't think for whatever reason I would be a good candidate so did he ever share with you why he thought you would be a good candidate.
I think it was just a little bit of because I didn't have any really I don't know if you just.
I didn't think that I would have I had enough interest because I didn't have much of a background and.
Going to that school I mean you're going to school 8 hours a day for five days a week and you know so you do need the financial help of basically surviving even though,
yes you can get another job but it only has only so many hours in the day,
so Mom and Dad were a little hesitant they weren't she serious about this so I think that he saw the combination of those and just was like I don't know.
I don't know so but I ended up saying screw it and I went to school and I graduated two years later.
[12:53] And during school I got an apprenticeship working for a Subaru dealership so I.
Work for a Subaru dealership for about 7 years and I want to back up a little bit what was your school experience like and I'm just curious I mean were there a bunch of females in the class where you often times,
you know one of two type deal or.
So I started out and I never had another female in class there were honestly when I started I'd say maybe about a half a dozen girls I think there was about two thousand boys for every one girl at that school was a little scary.
Wow wild time I graduated I think there was at least two or three girls in almost every one of my last classes so that was kind of cool absolutely,
how are you received at school was it ever awkward or weird or absolutely I was terrified it's so scary luckily I knew one person that went to school there,
but other than that I mean I was absolutely terrified what did you do and how did you work through that because this you're not the first person that I've heard that from and for women who are you know thinking about this,
as a career path or just a passion path right how what would you tell them and what how did you work through that what worked for you.
[14:18] I'm kind of one of those people were once I know what I want like good luck stopping me like.
[14:26] I just need that's what I had to do there's literally no other choice like I had no other choice,
that's what I wanted to do so I just suck it up and honestly it only took about it a couple weeks just to kind of get used to it and people warmed up to you pretty quickly and,
it was all fine after that,
thin as you moved through the courses did you see kind of a transition with the men around you and how you were received when they saw how serious you are.
[14:55] Yeah so I noticed that you know there's a lot of kids that they still obligated to go to college right out of high school so there were a lot of kids there that really didn't really they weren't completely passionate about it and so.
I noticed that I would all I don't know the answer I'll go ask Heather and and I think it was just I applied myself maybe a little bit more giving that impression that I might,
no more than other kids so I mean by the time I graduated I was I mean I know I got student of the course I think in about two or three classes and,
it's just really about applying yourself man really no make sense that keep your eye on the prize right,
so you got the apprenticeship with a Subaru dealership.
What was that what did you do there you said for seven years you were there.
So I was at that specific dealership for about two years I was with them after I graduated and everything but I started literally just.
I was put next to the shop foreman and I grabbed work orders just like everybody else did luckily while I was in school I was hourly so obviously my my work
took a little bit longer than it was supposed to but I was learning I was practicing what I was learning in school which I think is really important.
But I was at a very small dealership which I think was very important because people I thought were more obligated to help each other.
[16:19] So I think I got very lucky.
I only work with two other technicians there were three of us total now did you get placed or did you were you recruited how did that work.
[16:32] I had it was a word of mouth I had a.
Friend that I was going to school with he worked at the dealership next door he's like I heard that the Subaru dealerships looking specifically for an apprentice.
So once the I heard that I went and applied and basically use my car is a resume and got the job who that's a great,
that is what did that conversation go when you say you used your car is a resume how did that go,
well because I didn't have any actual experience you know and you know as an apprentice they're looking for someone who's capable of learning and I feel that my car was a very good example of that especially because I swapped the car basically before I went to school,
I think that was a very very big part of why I got the job.
[17:18] That's a brilliant idea that's the first time that I've ever heard not that no one's ever done it before but the first time I've ever heard someone actually
say that that's a brilliant idea Heather thanks I mean think about it when you think about this industry,
versus like pure business like a marketing role or something right,
a lot of that's paper type things not literally but you get what I'm saying.
I can't think of a better resume than hey here's the car you think about the industry I mean if you're a welder hey here's my actual work,
hey ya in,
that speaks volumes I think that's absolutely brilliant specially just coming out of school and you don't have a you know quote-unquote a lot of experience shown on your resume.
I think that's absolutely brilliant well thanks you're welcome.
[18:18] In the other thing that I think is interesting about this that you you call out is working for a smaller dealership and you feel that there's a lot more benefits to that versus working at a larger one,
yeah it's a bit more of a dog-eat-dog world by the time I left the dealership industry I was working in a shop.
With about 15 or 20 other technicians luckily at that point I had a good grasp on what I was doing and I just have anything needed help lifting something but but I think it was a little bit more of a familial environment in a smaller shop.
Yeah yeah that's a great perspective around that.
[18:57] You were there for two years where did you go next where you recruited somewhere where you looking for something different or,
well I decided to go back home to Reno I did work for an independent shop for a little tiny bit but long story short the whole shop ended up going under so I that same day I went to the Subaru dealership here in Reno and,
started I think the next day well so at that point it had been about,
three years working in the industry so I had a decent resume but yeah I spent about three years at that dealership,
until I decided to get the gumption to apply for the Subaru rally team of USA.
[19:43] Talk a little bit about that experience leading up to it like you decide one day hey I'm going to do this
did it just pop into your head or what had always thought it was cool I learned about rally naturally because that's pretty much what the Subarus is known for in the Motorsport world and I always thought it was really neat,
and I just kind of at this point was trying to find something better quote unquote I guess you know I had already completed so many
dealership training classes and I I just wanted the excitement I thought it was cool so I went for it
how does that process work Heather did I mean do you just apply online or what do you literally just as easy as applying online or finding a to contact information for a race team and sending them your resume like it's literally that,
easy I have people all the time asking how do you get into Motorsport how did you get that job and it's like.
[20:39] Apply like that's all you do,
isn't that interesting because it's almost like as humans we tend to overcomplicate things or think that it's incredibly difficult before we even try.
Yeah you just you just gotta go for I mean I guess in all fairness,
when I was working for that first dealership I did email the owner of the business and he actually emailed me back just looking to see what I could do to get my foot in the industry and basically he's just like get experience so I spent the next five years doing that,
emailed me back and said that they would be interested in an interview I spent the next couple of months like I said finding Privateer teams to go crew for because I wouldn't be able to meet them they're based in Vermont I was in Tahoe across the country.
So they had a race in Los Angeles and I drove all the way down to LA.
And had an interview with the human resources guy and 10 o'clock at night in a bar standing there's a couple things I want to call out here and you know,
I'm sitting here thinking people often ask me Jamie why do you ask the questions that you asked or,
is there a predetermined set of questions the answer is no.
[22:01] I don't have any predetermined it's literally you and I kind of sitting down having a conversation and shooting the shit right so the best ones and I'm genuinely interested in how to do this and a lot of times when I say this stuff out loud Heather,
I'm saying it out loud so I can hear it,
all right make sense where it's like you know what these are great reminders and I learn so much in so many different things from
all the amazing women in the industry and in your no no different
you're one of the amazing women in the industry and that's why you're on the show but it's one of these things where it's,
wow just listening to you it's like we are our own worst enemies we get in our own way oh yeah and all you literally did was send an email to ask information,
they gave you feedback and an idea of hey,
do this get experience would you do you simply went and got experience you put in the time you learned.
[23:07] When you hit that next point where what did you do,
rocket science here you applied online I need they had a job position opening they mean some teams will have an actual category there we can go on their website and they will have careers other times like I said if they don't just send him an email,
easy peasy wow so simple and then you did mention in there how you reached out to local,
rally teams private local rally teams what just shoot them an email so with one of the guys that I autocross with he did do rally as well and so he kind of helped put the word out into the rally community.
[23:46] Send him over a little resume their and and so luckily there were a couple people there that brought me on they paid for my hotel and and I got to play on some Privateer rally cars.
Just by asking you're never going to get a yes if you never asked it's an absolute now,
even if they say no like all right you're still on the same spot you were before you asked so who else can I ask what do you have to lose,
yeah right over the next nothing to lose so you got experience doing that,
and then you literally got the interview if you will with the HR person at a bar at ten o'clock at night in LA and it doesn't sound terrible no it wasn't no it was not terrible it's actually really cool interview.
[24:38] They said that they were interested in hiring me.
But as is with Motorsports you have a yearly budget they weren't sure what their budget was like and they did say that it would be a lot easier to bring me on if I lived in Vermont so,
three weeks later my mom and I packed up all my crap and we drove across the country and I moved to Vermont with my dog,
well what kind of dog was it is the doggy still alive no no he left us a couple years ago he was a chocolate lab yeah it's okay though.
[25:14] They're like best friends man oh man I got him when I was 18 yep,
family for sure oh yeah what would your doggy's name his name was Milton after Milton Hershey of the chocolate bar,
nice to you and Milton packed up and moved clear across the country yeah me and Mom Milton packed a two-seater Penske truck and headed out east,
outstanding so you're out east and now you are a part of this,
team I did actually work at the local dealership there for about three months three or four months during those months I harassed.
The Subaru team they're went in for a second interview,
and before I even got back from my lunch break they offered me the job that is outstanding and I noticed you said her ass and what did that look like so basically the day I showed up I was like I'm here.
[26:18] And then I let him go for about two or three weeks maybe a month and then I was like can I can I come and check out the shop so they let me come and check out the shop and then another month later I'm like.
So you're trying to hire me or what and then that is awesome.
And I didn't get a response right away and there was kind of so there's a little bit of back and forth and then they finally let me into for the interview.
Nice nice so what did you do for them exactly.
So I worked I thought it was going to do the rally stage rally program but they ended up actually putting me in the rallycross program and I was on the left rear corner.
Of Severa isaacson's car he's Norwegian or Swedish anyways and then when I was in the shop not a traces I was working on.
Pro Skater there is Bucky lasek scar wow that is way cool so what's his season lasts for how long is this season.
[27:24] Rallycross doesn't usually start until about April plus or minus 2 months and then they go in till about October okay.
In a non covid season in eight yeah three covid and post covid will call you know normal situations yeah.
Oh man so you are with them for how long I was with them for a full year.
By the end of my time with them I was actually assigned to build a couple they're called super car lights cars.
And that is kind of like the farm league for the super cars in rallycross so I was assigned to build two brand new cars for a company called dirt fish.
And they have a rally school out in Snoqualmie Washington
some internal political.
[28:22] Differences and I say political not actual like democrat-republican just the inner workings.
Personal issues kind of had a rise and I had expressed to dirtfish just to let them know that I would no longer be crewing for them on and building Andre prepping their cars.
And that's when I learned about freelance mechanics I didn't know that there are mechanics that literally,
are private contractors and they hang out with different teams and go to different kinds of races and they just they work at events and in the shop sometimes and they get to work for whoever they want.
So I worked for dirtfish.
Or about or three or four seasons in that was like freelance contractor type or because that brings,
yeah so I got to stay at home in Vermont I did have a couple little side jobs you know in between races and stuff just to keep money coming in and,
let's see I think in 2018 my husband and I decided to open up a shop and dirt fish actually reached out and asked if I would re prep and basically take care of their fleet of cars they had four.
[29:35] For the season because all the races were on the east coast and they're based on the west coast oh wow.
Yeah so it wouldn't allowed more time to fix the cars in between events if they stayed on the East Coast with us oh wow yeah.
I'm just processing this so I don't want to misinterpret here and because of.
Political situations that came on you decided to leave the Subaru as a like full-time type mechanic.
Yes yes I and then then you started freelancing at that point I had no idea that you could do like freelancing like that.
[30:19] I mean I just never occurred to me and yeah reason why you couldn't but it just never occurred to me yeah so in the time I've been a freelancer I've gotten to go to a Baja race in Mexico.
[30:31] I did mostly like I said just for the dirt fish but I am currently now freelancing for a drift team Vaughn Gittin jr. Motorsports so playing with Jeff cardinal,
[47:40] put your head down do your work and have pride in yourself and be humble about it.
just spreading the love around yeah now I'm curious to get your perspective because you've experienced being what we would refer to as the FTE or full-time employee,
and then you're you're now experiencing and you have experienced the contract or freelance work,
can you kind of share some of from your perspective some of the pros and cons of both aspects so.
[31:12] I like I mentioned before with the you know the issues the some issues that can arise working you know full time in a shot,
you are not involved as a freelancer especially if you're limited to just events to a lot of the inner workings in the dramas that happen which is really nice you can make your own schedule you don't have to
work until three o'clock in the morning five days a week making sure that the car is meet the deadline to get to the event so that was really nice.
[31:47] Working in a shop full-time kind of allows you to get really familiar with the cars more so than you would just go into races.
Like I mentioned I'm working with the drift team there I actually even though I am a contractor I do work full-time in the shop with them so,
I do miss it,
but being just an event mechanic you know my family lives 3,000 miles away so I had a lot of time to be able to go see them and actually get some good quality time in whereas working in a Shop full time you're not as free to do that kind of stuff.
Yeah it didn't I guess some of the logistics then are there some benefits to like in essence you're running your own business right you're a business owner,
yeah the tax the way you get tax on it though it's a little scarier it's got a kind of for the birds,
yeah so I mean you have the potential to make a lot of money but you also.
[32:47] You get your more text than if I was like because I'm technically just.
[32:54] I don't even know if I would be an LLC but I'm kind of tax like an LLC or sole proprietor whereas if I had a business like an S corp.
Or if I was just straight a W-2 employee its attacks part is just a pain in the yeah yeah it can be confusing,
touching base with the accountant I would strongly recommend yeah when my accountant lady she's like okay what do you do I'm like oh God here we go,
go ahead sit down let's let's have a conversation yeah cuz that's probably not the norm for sure.
So you've been doing your freelance or contract work now for.
Five years yeah five years I think I think it's the older you get the time just kind of disappears it doesn't it yeah it and you recently got married yep we got married in September of.
Congratulations thank you yeah we sold our house in Vermont and then moved down to North Carolina.
[33:58] Covid happened just a lot has happened so it's a little nice I I unfortunately did lose my job with the drifting because I started working for them when I first moved down there but ever since things are picking a little bit back up they gave me a call and.
Hanging out with those boys until.
I might be moving to Germany again again and it comes full circle yep it's very ironic with all that work so I am was one of those situations where I was laid off,
and my husband you know well what do you want to do what are your dreams when your goals and had really thought about it and I was like you know what.
Working in the world rallycross to it would be really cool and Hyundai Motor Sport had a position for a car mechanic I applied.
I got a callback I did to zoom meetings and I was offered the position so.
The only hurdles like I said is just dealing with covid I have to get permission from the government to enter so I really don't know how long it will be until I actually get to get there.
Wow what did you do when you found that out I cried.
[35:10] I was working doing some temp work at a mill with some friends they knew I needed some work so I was literally working at a mill.
In like hardhat clothing with a bunch of these random dudes welding all over the place and I got the email and I just I cried.
[35:28] See your dad's feedback here dad's great advice it's popping back up right gives you Goose Bumps or makes you cry yep there you go you're on the right track Heather you're on the right track I hope so.
[35:43] So that's kind of where you're at right now right trying to figure that out and,
I love your story because there's so many turns to it right and it's just it's a great Testament in a great story around you can reinvent yourself multiple times,
absolutely yeah and even though it there's an underlying common theme that you're working on cars right.
[36:11] But there's all these different Avenues and paths you can take in how you're just kind of exploring them all I mean I've gotten some crazy opportunities I mean I've gotten to be on TV a couple times.
[36:24] I was on an overhaul an episode with a Subaru that was pretty cool
the share with the listeners about that yes oh so apparently Overhaulin was doing a super episode they didn't really know the direction because you know they always do the American Muscle hot rods so they reached out to dirtfish and they actually
The production company for Overhaulin my information so I think I did about three trips out west to go overhaul a WRX.
[36:54] And then my last season with dirtfish my driver was Brad to birdie and him and his dad have a TV show a couple twin turbos and school and up with the ghiberti's and so I've got my little cameos in and out,
their TV show as well so that was that was pretty cool and I have had a couple other companies reach out about some TV shows but,
based on what the descriptions of these shows don't think it was necessarily something I wanted to take on because I am a freelancer I get my work by Word of Mouth.
And I can't afford to maybe have maybe a bad impression on my abilities so I,
respectfully declined and you don't have to go into details or network or anything like that I guess what was the biggest thing where you're like mmmm not for me,
a lot of the times like with bees.
[37:50] I mean you ask almost anyone in the industry you watch these TV shows where they just do the quick flips of the cars just to sell it and make the profit there's a lot of Corners that are cut and in Motorsport you can't do that like there's no way,
and I just don't want to have any possible misrepresentation of my.
My thoroughness my detail-oriented work methods basically so they wanted to if I'm understanding this right make a show out of what you do.
[38:17] I don't know if it was what I do know they were it was more of just like a.
I would just be a mechanic working in the shop flipping cars with like about five other people and and that's not really what I do so yeah.
Yep want to compromise that at all I have to give you the virtual high five because there's a lot of people just at the idea of being able to be on TV.
Still compromise their values yeah don't do that you know what I mean because it's but it happens all the time where they they let a lot of those things slide.
And they shouldn't but there's this very alluring sexy thing about hey I'm on TV right,
well and I think I was lucky I mean I got my couple 15 minutes of fame you know and even before TV I mean apparently it was a big deal with the Subaru team,
I was in a Subaru documentary that they filmed where I learned I was like the first female for the Subaru rally team and.
So that was in the documentary and then I did photo shoots with Subaru to be in the Subaru gear catalog for one year so like I had my 15 minutes of fame I Had My feel-good Moments and so I,
it was okay it was easier I think it was easier for me to pass those up yeah.
[39:39] Yeah huh the for overhaul and what was that experience like for you gosh.
[39:48] That was one of the coolest,
experiences because it wasn't like I was asked to like oh we're looking for a female mechanic for this scene or the set or whatever it was like we need a mechanic we need a specialist,
and they reached out to me and like so I mean and then you're working next to Chip Foose and actually Bucky lasek whose car I worked on
was on that episode 2 so like I had a buddy there with me and then meeting Chris Jacobs and Adrian it was just,
it was a really cool moment in my life for sure
especially because my husband's a body guy and he likes to play with metal and he paints cars and he likes to do custom stuff so Chip Foose is his Idol
so when I got to go work with Chip Foose he's my husband thought that was just the coolest thing ever it's like I officially have the coolest wife ever Yeah we actually needed some help with some
a front-end conversion and I don't do metalworking or body work and stuff like that and apparently my husband has done this multiple times so Garrett actually got to,
give some advice to Chip Foose on how to go about doing this project on the phone so that was pretty cool for him was he doing like a happy dance when he hung up oh I'm sure he had to have been.
[41:06] Wow and I gotta ask the question think I know the answer already but I know people are like is Chip really as nice as what he seems on TV yes.
[41:17] Yes absolutely Chip Foose is just like he is on TV.
[41:23] I don't know because I might be a little bit numb to the celebrities in the superstars you know like on lunch break so I would just you know whatever keep my distance let people do their thing and he took the time to like I'm chip,
thanks for coming like you know like.
It was just really cool he actually you know that he cares and is very passionate about everything he does yeah and in that shines through I think a lot of people.
Always hope for that and then sometimes as viewers or fans folks get disappointed when they're like.
That's not who they really are Meet Your Heroes sometimes it's not what you expect.
And I'll tell you what the the feedback that I've that has been absolutely consistent around chip is what an amazing human being he is yeah he really is.
[42:18] Actually honestly everyone on set was so it was really cool I've heard that as well I've heard that as well I love how you put.
How do you put it where they weren't looking for a female they were looking for an expert.
I love that and you were the expert and had nothing to do with gender it was super cool you know someone asked me they're like you know what what do you hope for when they ask me about Femcanic Garage I said honestly.
[42:46] I would love the the idea of it's not a male or a female it's where co-workers and where people working together.
Doing something that we both love to do and it is that's where it starts and stops.
Right yeah well that's what was really special about the getting the job with the drift team it was all over the phone there was no face to face interaction because sometimes I feel like it can be detrimental why do you feel that way,
I think you know if your girl that works on cars you have the people that stereotypically think that.
You I don't know I'm at this is going to sound awful but that you're a lesbian or things supposed to,
look more like a boy or just you know,
you're not allowed to wear the heels and the makeup and and I mean I actually was asked to start doing a little bit of modeling when I started working on cars because I guess I didn't fall under that category I don't know and so yeah.
[43:50] I'd like not having face-to-face interviews the best because there's no physical judgment yeah,
now that's a great call I'll Heather and that's the Genesis behind why I named my company what I did Femcanic Garage because I love the idea of.
Loving this quote-unquote boy hobby right even though it's not it's just you can love,
this industry regardless of gender.
But the automotive industry in the femininity can coexist they as a female you can go get greasy and dirty and.
Do all of those things and still dress up and completely embrace your femininity and I love that about it you should never have to sacrifice your femininity to be a badass there's no reason oh.
Oh my God that I think I think that maybe the hook
that may just be the hook heatherh awesome oh my goodness so you may be going to Germany that's where you're at today but you also applied to a couple scholarships
yes I decided to go back to school Charlotte there in North Carolina has a,
mechanical engineering degree with a focus in Motorsport so you going for it.
[45:13] You go girl thanks me you go on.
Beautiful well I tell you what I think this is a good time to launch into the Red Line Round And what the redline round is is just five rapid-fire questions there's no right or wrong answer to them whatever pops into your head first so right answer are you ready all right,
all right number one who or what has been your inspiration throughout your journey in the industry Jessi Combs,
I worked at the golf course and I would watch the Xtreme 4x4 TV show and I thought that was just the coolest thing ever and if she could do it why not.
[45:48] Absolutely where do you go or what resources do you use when you want to learn something new or you get stuck on a job.
[45:58] YouTube and specifically there's a channel engineering explained.
And he's got some really cool really stuff and it's mostly Motorsport specific that YouTube channel is YouTube channel yep in what was that again engineering explained.
Engineering explained that sounds interesting I haven't heard that one yet let's go least check it out I'm totally gonna check it out and Heather what excites you most about what you do.
I like having to basically fix a car under pressure I love the adrenaline rush you have to think on your toes you have to think clearly and I honestly think that,
as part of my job that's where I excel I think very well and level-headed under pressure,
beautiful and what is a personal habit or practice that has helped you significantly in this industry when you feel stuck.
Unsupported or discouraged a personal.
[46:59] This is gonna sound kind of terrible but one thing that keeps me motivated is knowing that there are some awful mechanics out there and I'm doing just fine.
[47:10] Down the street can do it I can do it I'm doing it yeah,
it's brilliant and then finally what is your parting advice to other Femcanic is finding their way in the skilled trades in Motorsports industry.
[47:31] You are going to be judged you will have things that will be said to you that will make you feel icky and gross,
The biggest thing is just knowing that you're going to have some some people that can give you a rough time and that's just their weakness it's their insecurities projecting onto you and don't give into it would be totally fine well said my friend well said.
[48:03] Heatherh where and how can people connect.
[48:06] Best place I try to keep my Facebook a little bit more personal but the best place honestly is Instagram my handle is at miss shift Mis.
Underscore shift and then I'm also on LinkedIn if you want to find me on LinkedIn you can do that too but an Instagram is pretty much the number one go.
[48:27] Outstanding Heather thank you so much for being in the driver seat today I so appreciate you taking the time to sit down and have a little chat.
Hell yeah dude thanks for having me this is really fun absolutely it's been my pleasure awesome Jamie will have a good night.
My name is Heather holler I am a freelance Motorsport mechanic and I am a Femcanic.
Madison Alexander is in the driver's seat next she spent her whole childhood around cars I guess you could say it is in her blood.
She originally wanted to be a mechanic but one day while in her High School shop class she wandered over to the auto body side.
She never looked back and she was.
[49:19] By her senior year she placed first in the state of Tennessee in the skillsusa competition,
she painted the Chevy Montage the featured Seema all female built in 2017.
She also painted a 36 Pontiac that earned the prestigious great 8 designation at the Detroit Auto Rama show.
Be sure to tune in next week until next time Femcanic.
[49:47] Thanks for listening to the Femcanic Garage podcast you can find us on Instagram Facebook and Twitter at Femcanic garage.
Check out our website Femcanic Garage.com for swag in the transcribes for each episode if you want to help.
Grow this community do me a favor and subscribe rate review and most importantly share this podcast spread the word.
This is Jayme B signing off. ARE YOU A FEMCANIC?