Episode 71: Madison Alexander— “You Have To Respect Yourself!”
February 4, 2021
EP. 62-Theresa Contreras—“Girls Can Totally Do This Shit!”
February 9, 2021

EP 72: Joanie Butler—”Curiosity and Grit Will Go a Long Way”

EP 72: Joanie Butler—"Curiosity and Grit Will Go a Long Way”


[0:00] Everyday is a school day I'm still figuring it out I still make mistakes it's how you navigate through it it's how you adjust your attitude on the Fly you don't always know things.
You know it's about asking hey how would you approach this you can learn so much from that.

[0:17] You're listening to Femcanic Garage the podcast that 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 Femcanics.

[0:35] Music.

[0:47] 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 614.
953 6380 again that's 614.
953 6380 I receive each message directly and I'm excited to hear from you.
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[1:32] Joey Butler is in the driver seat today this small town girl from Northern California started dabbling in the trades as a teenager.

[1:42] Grace the amateur surfing scene in the early 90s in immediately after high school she moonlighted as an assistant crew chief on a mask.
It's minty she went on to work as a certified small engine mechanic and then became a top sales rep and fabricator for a company that sold directly.
Catalytic converters as if that wasn't enough Joanie taught herself how to weld which led her to her own business in metal artwork.
And eventually to working for Arc zone.com where she is today.
Sit back and enjoy the ride.

[2:33] Super fantabulous thank you you're on the west coast right.
I am I'm in San Diego California I have a friend that lives in San Diego and for years she's trying to get me to come out there and it's crazy how life just happens and next thing you know a decades gone.

[2:51] It happens just like that so I encourage you to get out here you know I heard it is beautiful and,
my partner and I have this goal to buy an RV and literally drive all over the United States and.
Hang out with some of the women that I have interviewed so that they can really show me their world and went out I got a place you can park.
Front there we go there we go so.
What I love doing is really jumping in and kind of doing a time capsule throwback if you will.
And I love learning how the guests got into what they're doing what started it.
All those years ago so I guess let's back up a little bit Joni and how did you end up in this career.
Wow um you know it was something very when I was very very young I'm talking like 4 or 5 years old I just knew that I was going to be working with my hands I was always intrigued with trying to you know pull things apart and put them back together.

[4:01] I didn't like dolls or anything like that I like
different old radios I liked old tools I like that equipment anything that I could you know kind of get out and get my hands on from a very very young age and it was just a very natural occurrence so
I'm curious Johny that was the same way growing up like I had no interest in dolls I was way more interested in like working with my hands with stuff,
how did your parents I guess maybe cultivate that or.

[4:31] Did they or did they have any reaction to it well I've always been referred to as the wild child and I've
come to realize now it's because I was just so curious that they definitely they didn't want to stop me I guess I somewhat threw a fit so
through that they just kind of let me go basically I had all the freedom in the world to explore whatever it was that I needed to explore I didn't have a lot of direct parenting.
I don't think I've ever really had,
pad that to be very honest with you I had parents but again they were very much taking care of themselves and trying to figure out their own worlds they made sure that I had you know certain
safety nets
but I still got from a young age I mean I remember waking up and thunderstorms down pouring rain grabbing a the wash bucket for your dishes and running up the hill to slide down it and I just remember my dad just kind of grabbing me and go once I got to the bottom of course
but once I got to the bottom of the hill just and you know elated him literally just picking me up and
yeah bringing me inside but I was ever really reprimanded for any of that it was just one of those things and what she's at it again so I think that really did kind of,
allow me just to be who I am.

[5:55] I'm very grateful for that to be honest absolutely so it's kind of something you've always done.
So you kind of fast forward to maybe High School how did that kind of evolve and Blossom once you got older.

[6:11] Oh I had again I had all the freedom in the world so a lot of my friends were
we're the boys a lot of them you know growing up in such a rural environment a lot of the older guys you know they all have their offroad trucks they all had their quads or motorcycles are always fixing or beating up on something and
one thing about the culture where I'm from is you know there's a lot of off-roading so as soon as I you know got.
Behind the wheel and I'll be honest I was driving around 13 years old you know,
illegally to none of us have ever done that but again there's a lot of dirt roads in my area,
a lot of you know Old Logging roads that you know pretty much deserted at those times so they're a great shortcuts Great Adventure roads to be very honest with you so I definitely took advantage of
all of those you know so I was encouraged by the guys as well and,
you know as soon as I got my very first vehicle which was my my dad's hand-me-down truck which was an 84 Nissan with the Nazi motor if you don't know what that is it's got to,
plugs per cylinder very very very rad little four-cylinder motor that's the way cool by the way.

[7:30] It's just it was one of the things that
I would take that truck where all the four-wheelers would go you know they were all up there and four-wheel driving here I would come just I don't care about I don't care what the truck look like
I was going to drive that dang thing up that hill rutzen all you know and you know the guys encouraged me to get to the top so that was
another reason why I just kept going with it challenge accepted
challenge accepted absolutely and I you know they're always kind of go out of that Joanie who I don't know if anyone ever really understood.
My my energy I was just going for it so when you are in high school did you know that you wanted to go to college or did you.
Was that even a thought or did you know exactly what you want to do.

[8:17] It was something that again I didn't I come from a very small town and the you know the high school counselors were you know the I think that they were very much.
Looking at certain test scores and I was never wanted necessarily score high on testing it was something that.
I didn't get the best guidance I mean if anyone.
Looked at me and really kind of like would pay attention to what I was saying to them I would have hoped that they would have guided
you know someone into something into the trades it was you know gay get your grades up you got to get into a JC that's the only way you're going to get into a four-year college to get yourself a degree
what am I going to study while you got you know you score very high in.

[9:11] Okay what does that mean.

[9:15] And they never they didn't encourage any options they you know they really weren't very helpful and that was very discouraging
and it got to the point where I literally had both middle fingers up at them and said okay screw you I'm going to figure out my own I'm going to show you how to do it
if your answer was adamant about making it without going to college I knew that that wasn't the role for me I didn't have financial support in any way shape or form
I was always somewhat on survival mode going up through high school so
my grades necessarily weren't the best site I love to play sports so I made sure that I had you know just the basics to get biting you know to make sure I could play
for my team my team meant everything to me is that when you started surfing Joni I started surfing I really fell in love with the ocean at a very young age I was very very fortunate to have my grandparents had 11 acres of Oceanfront
so I spent a lot of time there I taught myself how to surf when I was about 10 years old,
she's very very long drawn-out process where I had hypothermia more times and I never like to admit holy mackerel,
I didn't have money for a wetsuit but I had to go out there so
every low tide I would go down and walk the water line you know I walk the beach and I would pick up.

[10:39] Remnants of wetsuits of any type of neoprene or any type of thick rubber that I thought might hold on some heat and I literally duct tape my first wetsuit together.

[10:49] Wow Rajan what some of the older you know kids were saying about me.
They had no idea what in the world is she doing she's not you know she's not a surfer what is she you know I definitely got called all of the names didn't care.
I just got going and just kept going now I know the Femcanic Garage podcast is about automotive and Motorsport skilled trades.
But this is fascinating me because going down the surfing path.

[11:20] Is also kind of what led you are solidified the direction that you went in the trades so I want to spend a little bit of time and surfing you started this and you fell in love with it at a young age.
But it wasn't a hobby I mean it was but you got pretty serious about it as well as you got older right.
Absolutely yeah it was definitely a lifestyle it was something again being born and raised on the ocean it's just something,
may you fall asleep at night listening to the rhythm of how the waves come in you hear the tone change when a swells coming in from different directions.
It's something like all of a sudden you're you know.
Here weatherman you know you're you're looking at you're trying to navigate and figure out when these storms are going to come in and push in different masses so you can see what that ocean is going to produce yeah it was something that again.

[12:14] Very very very core element of my life
I would go down to the beach you know at a very young age my my nana would take me down there every morning and we would basically catch her food for the day so you know again there's a very deep deep connection
but I just kept going with as well it was something that you just it for me it was always my Fountain of Youth I just had to keep going I wanted to travel so I traveled I want a different ways I want a different,
I would just live it I want to feel it and you mention traveling but you were a semi pro Surfer so this is Way Beyond Hobby.
It will it was something that I was more I did not want to do any of the contest so I definitely stayed on the side I would encourage them as more of a mentor.

[13:08] But at the same time I still was you know I just kept going just kept going,
it was more of my choice to be what they would call a Soul Surfer and not going to competitions and it was during a time that
you know to be a lady or to be a woman Surfer I mean you really had to make some sacrifices to get in there and I wasn't willing to go down those roads,
what do you mean by sacrifices I mean I understand the definition of sacrifice but you know I can see a lot of women would just give up rights to the body straight up you know they would do things that to me I would be like wow I would never go
sleeping with my shaper you know I'll pay my shaper to shape my boards I am not going to give sex to get to get a ride basically and also just to level up and get different sponsorships
at that time there was just a lot of just.
Just things going on that just yeah kind of like selling your soul in a way so I was totally selling your soul but again a lot of the girls didn't see it that way because it was never explained to them.

[14:09] Wanted absolutely nothing to do with that now.
You are an excellent Surfer but something happened that made you kind of shift gears do you care if we kind of dive into.
Your accident absolutely no worries it was one of those things being a surfer and also being someone who loves motorcycles I had,
deep deep deep love for anything on two wheels and at the time this was back gosh like 2003 it was when there was a big old fat of what they call the fat 50s and that was the little Honda 50s that they would kind of build up with different bars and different pegs and
you know they put a little card get on a bigger pipe and you know basically make it,
so an adult body could kind of write it and a little bit more aggressive
so it was something that I had to have one went out and got one and.

[15:04] It was not not the brightest one evening and Joe's to get on it and
you know share my new little bike with this young lady that I was mentoring actually so again double whammy just
just two negatives all at once and I basically I clipped garbage can do as I say not as I do,
oh I was saying that for weeks after that I couldn't tell you I still do actually occasionally but yeah I basically unfortunately I clipped a garbage can and
ended up you know what those 50s are,
have a very very small wheel on them so with such a short wheelbase as well it literally thrown me straight up and straight down onto my head
I wasn't necessarily going fast but it didn't matter I still basically.
Had complete tunnel vision I must have gone out because I went completely black for a little bit but then I'll something came to and I was on my feet and.

[16:07] I basically reached over and had bones literally not popping through the skin but there's a whole bunch of real sharp points in that so I knew at that point that life was going to be a little bit different now that was your shoulder.
It was my shoulder it was my clavicle that actually you know went through the completely shattered.
Gosh and it completely separated the shoulder from the collar and you shared I think an interesting perspective with me when we talked before and I think it's a great lesson to everyone is that.
You knew something was wrong but the doctors.
Kind of blowing you off for surgeries right yeah absolutely you know it's one thing when your.

[16:53] When you're an athlete you you understand your body your body was really kind of telling you things all the time.
It's either you need to eat this or don't eat that or all man you need to see a chiropractor you know it's,
if you listen it's going to tell you things and I knew through the prognosis you do and they're you know looking at an x-ray
and you have literally almost an inch and a half of shattered bone going in all different directions you can't tell me that that's going to fuse together.

[17:23] And they continuously for four months you know said they don't don't go anywhere don't get off the couch don't walk around the block sit still it's going to fuse it's going to fuse.

[17:36] To the point to where I just was literally going crazy just I was seriously losing it my mental health was probably the weakest ever my friends were beside themselves
I learned all about projection what that is because I was spitting nails to everyone around me
and then I finally just took all that energy and I directed it at at Kaiser and said hey take care of me.

[18:04] I think there's an important lesson that you're talking about right there Joanie.
In this instance do you mind talking a little more about when you say I learned about projecting.
And at the end it seems like it was.
Directed at the right place but if I'm interpreting what you're saying there was a time where it was misdirected towards friends.

[18:28] Well absolutely for me to figure it out I think whenever you're in pain you go through different cycles of pain.
You know there's some that you just you can't manage and when it does it when you are in continuous pain I really feel for people that have continuous Pain by the way you know when there's something that you just cannot shut that off,
you you're looking for anything and and another thing on a side note as I would not.

[18:55] Take the prescribed drugs because they were trying to give me Oxycotin the
800 milligrams of Vicodin and I do not do well with those types of drugs you know they just really just throw me mentally into a whole different zones so I knew physically that I had to,
push to get taken care of and so again it was it was more if I didn't do this you know if I didn't fight to get what I needed.
And I was very I'm very grateful I had a very dear friend Greg Hungerford who was a chiropractor of mine who literally you know he came here,
basically mentored me through that because he could tell how much I was hurting and he was so empathetic it was able to you know say Hey you know
so here's ask for this so if I didn't have that type of mentorship as well to guide me through that and to help me figure out what I was going through,
that would yeah again it would have been a whole different
turn around a whole different turn of events but it was through that whole process and it is again it's a process of going through pain and figuring out and realizing that you know you can get better.

[20:09] No matter how much you hurt you can get better physically and mentally when that happened.
Obviously you had some decisions to make around.
Surfing and something that you love to do now where you working at that time.
I actually I was unable to work so no but luckily my employer was amazing and you know they basically kept my position open they still paid all of my Healthcare throughout it.
In what were you doing prior to your injury as far as work I was working for a company called Miller catalyzer so I was basically.
Selling aftermarket and direct fit and rebuilding you know on the fabrication that I would rebuild.
We I'm calendar converters and I would be Distributing them to different automotive repair shops dealerships throughout.

[21:04] All Southern California and.
Arizona and other states now I'm just in my head I'm putting together a kind of the timeline now when you finished high school.
Did you go directly into a trade school then I did none so you just went directly into working I went directly into working.

[21:25] And I I took small little workshops and courses and certifying courses.
Basically through each one of my employers I learned some tricks basically for you know if you're really passionate about something you find work place that you want to be a part of.
And I became employed and then I would prove myself to them and they would provide new training.
So I think that's a brilliant thing Joni and I'll tell you what.
I hope this younger generation opens their ears and here's that.
Because I know growing up I felt like the only option was you go to college.

[22:05] And I don't regret anything that I've done it's made me the person I am today but I didn't really see that as a true option.

[22:14] That's why I think it's a beautiful thing and I think it's brilliant especially without having to have all this student loan debt that so many people have.
It worked for me I mean I again I have always been in a Solutions minded mindset so it was something that I had to figure it out.
So it worked and I think there's a little luck thrown in there.

[22:39] Obviously a little bit of grit will get you through as well because you do have to keep pushing for what you want to do.
Right now where did you work then as soon as you are out of high school.

[22:51] Oh my goodness you making me really go back right out of high school basically I.
Straight up got engaged and moved out and moved down to San Diego and I thought was one of my first jobs I believe one of my very first jobs is Pep Boys so I basically that was another thing I started off.
Through this is a CSR rep and ended up as a CSR manager and then basically they figured out that I knew the parts better than they did.

[23:25] And at that point I was pretty much already set of leaving and relocating a back up to Northern California so and that's when I got into small engine repair.
Nice and you had mentioned doing a little bit of Moonlighting then as an assistant crew chief on a NASCAR yes yeah that's when I was still down here in San Diego my fiance at the time again working at,
boys you know it's especially out in East County San Diego you would see a lot you know and we also had El Cajon Speedway up,
so it was one of those guys in certain nights of the week.

[24:07] Every every Friday or Saturday night excuse me they'd go and destroy the cars and so the rest of the week they're having to put them back together so they can go race again.
Where did they go they want the bad boys so I met a lot of you know up-and-coming drivers and just happen to be of the age that Jimmie Johnson and his dad for we're out there and just a couple pits down from us.
So you know basically through working at Pep Boys.
Basically I introduced myself to one of these guys that came in one night I could tell that he had a car didn't know exactly what type of car he had but long story short had a NASCAR Sportsman and.
Can you educate me I've learned quite a bit of NASCAR stuff from Liz Cristela but I'm still learning not NASCAR NASCAR it's just more just the you know
the model of the car
so it's best this fiberglass chassis and a33 55 blown up GM basically you get nothing overly special
still sounds fun to me it was amazing oh my God you know absolutely amazing don't get me wrong but again it,
and nothing to do with actual NASCAR so you got engaged you moved to San Diego.

[25:23] You were at Pep Boys you knew that you wanted to leave Pep Boys what was next for Joanie
I actually wanted to leave all you know I wanted to head back up north I was you know again I was,
18 19 years old I was very young and I was just trying to figure it out and I had come from a very very small town and went directly into,
just said it was intense and when I was you know there's a lot of culture shock that I had to deal with I just it wasn't rubbing me the right way at that time in my life so.

[25:56] My fiance and I decided to basically go back up north and luckily my my grandparents house was available and I moved in there and had 11 acres Oceanfront again for you know,
only just a few months I didn't last very long and then I came right back down here so it was one of those things I think it was a just
stepping stone sometimes you go
you back step before you jump to great way of putting it in there's no shame or any harm in doing that sometimes it's the best thing you can do.

[26:29] Absolutely you got to take care of yourself and you don't know all the time so nurturing yourself and just kind of following whatever it is you feel excuse me whatever you allow yourself to feel you know.
I think there's quite a lot to be said but just rolling with it so you decide to head back down the San Diego what did you do when you got back to San Diego then.

[26:55] That's when I was kind of I really enjoyed working at the at the small engine you know at the.
They call it close friends up up in my hometown basically it's where there's a little rental company where they rented out you know all different types of equipment
I really enjoyed that type of atmosphere because there was always a shop in the back that was always fixing or modifying some of the equipment especially when you have so many if you have rental equipment it's going to get beat up so it was always interesting in that environment to see how the guys would fix it
and and what came back and what shape it was in so that was always a you know real interesting experience and then it was also being exposed to
Parts lookup and at that day I'm really giving away my age and and at that time I was literally looking up parts for Briggs and Stratton and different Hitachi and different
smaller engines all microfiche wow I got to pause for a moment I haven't heard that in a hot minute.

[27:55] In in Johnny you and I are not huge a do you mind me asking how old are you Johnny.
I just turned 46 okay I'm 42 years old so we're just four years apart but it has been.
A moment since I've heard microfiche and part of me wants to explain to people because I have some young listeners and they're probably like what is that are we eating,
what is microfiche are they little fish.
It just reminds me I don't know if anyone's ever watch those Ellen Clips where,
she puts like a rotary phone and front of a young person he's like dial your phone number they won t it's been so long.
I guess just a quick snippet if we can say what microfiche actually is and it doesn't have to be like a formal definition but.
Oh my goodness I don't even know what a good definition is microfiche is when they would have it's like a.
An x-ray maybe every person I don't even know if I'm saying it right you are singing it right I'm actually looking it up right now.
So a few it's microfiche and it's spelled micr o fic aichi.
But this was you know what was used before the extreme digital.

[29:23] Wav came through and what it is it's a flat and I'm reading this from a definition a flat piece of film containing micro photographs.

[29:33] Of the pages of like a newspaper or a catalog or magazine.
And then literally you put it in this like machine that kind of blows it up.

[29:46] To make it bigger so you can read it yeah that's insane it's almost like a microchip it's like a microscope for these like smaller documents on this little film.

[29:59] Wow sorry you took me down memory lane there I'm sorry.
It was always intriguing because I had always laughing oh really yeah well it's interesting you know.
Like I said we're only 4 years apart but when you talk about our lifetime and the generation that we're in.
Were the only generation that truly straddled pre-digital world and post right so we're kind of in that middle Ware,
I remember the corded phones you only went so far away from the base of the phone because you are attached to the wall.
Is that a real if you got a really long cord and then then the good old.
Cordless phones but that did not mean you could leave your house that just meant you didn't have a long cord but oh of course you would try.
Oh yes yes absolutely we have all tried like I'm gonna hop in the car and just see how far this really works.
Sorry going down memory lane here but you were saying microfiche.

[31:07] So basically you know yeah I would you know just looking up stuff on microfiche and just the whole process of trying to find the right parts for things just fixing things just being able to do the research and you know,
in research then was a lot more difficult than it is now.

[31:28] Absolutely was specially on you'd have to go out to the motor and try to find serial numbers and model numbers or anything on it just anything to identify couldn't pop that into Google and it pull up stuff
that's that's where the whole microfiche thing comes in you went to a library or a parts store.

[31:46] Right and and you are also forced to communicate because if you you can only get so far with that so you were forced to call the Dealer's you know you're forced call the manufacturer and being a young lady you,
you needed to know exactly how to ask for what you wanted
you know so that was something that I am very very grateful for those around me and that time because the bosses were always kind of like okay make sure you pay attention asked for it like this and they'd only have to say that a couple times and I caught on going on ah
technical be as technical as possible don't
act like you're dumb girl they would never say that to me but man boy rang clear just like you need to speak this language and you will get through the door basically so once I figured that out it was like oh okay got you
and that still works with a lot of the like Briggs & Stratton small engine now how long did you do that.
Not long enough I actually really really enjoyed it I probably ended up doing maybe about three years got it and then what kind of pulled you away from that.

[32:54] It was more just.
Wasn't paying the bills wanted was hungry I was hungry for something else and so I basically started to look through different newspaper ads,
trying to find different classified ads back in those days because we still didn't have a Google's.
You know I was always you always kept my eyes open I was you know I was never necessarily thinking the grass is greener over here mentality but I just I knew that
these were certain stepping stones and I had had enough experience and then enough working experience that I could only go so far at certain places so once I gain that experience and
you know it was.

[33:39] Just again just hungry and kept kind of you know in the pursuit of finding what's next for me will you and your 20s at this time Johnny yeah I was a prize while about 20K yes really young
yeah and then basically I answered an ad a classified ad and made a phone call and.

[34:03] Basically set up an interview for this company that sold catalytic converters didn't really know don't think what they're trying to do
showed up to the interview unfortunately about 20 minutes late because in San Diego especially in the beach areas they have streets and boulevards and you can always get them very much confused
and of course they're on opposite ends of certain Beach areas and to get from one side of the beach to the other is always 20 minutes so I ended up at the wrong location figured it out
and at that time I was using a Thomas guide to navigate me through and basically ended up walking in on.
On another guy that was interviewing for the same job and the guy looks up you know the the gentleman who was doing the interview just said hey why don't you just sit down,
understand kill two birds with one stone type you know response and I was like okay and.
You know and basically start asking me certain questions and asked me you know as far as what type of mechanic background and asked me if I knew how to weld,
and and I did now where did you pick up welding at along your journey because at this time you're about 23 years old.

[35:19] I picked up welding basically when I was back up in Northern California working in the rental yard my fiance also was,
actually what's really ironic as I actually bought him
I know Lincoln actually it was a brand new Lincoln MIG machine before I'd even ever welded or even thought about welding I had purchased that machine for him because he begged and begged and begged and we're also building a derby car at the time for me
did you end up driving that derby car and beat the living crap out of this outstanding.
Super Rad.
But again it was something that I really I didn't know when I was with him it was more of I learned.

[36:09] Right before I left him actually I went into the shop one night and they had an old buzz box in the back of Chris Frantz and I was determined to teach myself how to weld,
and I'd always watch the guys you know weld on all the old,
lawn mower decks and blades and stuff like that to sharpen them and
so I went back there and was just fascinated after the first couple arcs first off that I got the machine to work and second off that I was actually able to weld things so when you talk about self-taught.
Yeah I mean you don't get any more self-taught than that and again have to remind people this is pre YouTube,
so just put absolutely just putting this in perspective here and hopefully but by me bringing that up Joanie the antennas and because when I say it out loud I'm like God I'm old it's not to make you feel old at all it's just
sometimes we have to put things in perspective I feel.
Like growing up the era that we grew up in there was a lot more Hands-On learning and what I mean by that is.
It seems like a lot of people will go to YouTube first.
Then go do some Hands-On work whereas then that wasn't an option.
A lot of times you didn't even have books you didn't even have thanks it was literally you pick it up and you figure it out.

[37:36] Absolutely yeah no I again I still am I still to this day rarely go to YouTube people look at me like what I'm like no I really don't go to YouTube.
And I it fascinates me when I do go and I see all you know all of the different content out there it's like oh my goodness and people make you know comments like University of YouTube and I'm like.
Where was this I know could you imagine you know I'm great I'm grateful I'm grateful for all the steps I'm grateful for my loyalty to the craft you know I really wanted to
to work with my hands I wanted to figure it out and I still have a lot you know every day's a school day I'm still figuring it out
I still make mistakes you know it's how you navigate through it it's how you adjust your attitude on the Fly you don't always know things
you know it's about asking that that newbie hey how would you approach this you can learn so much from that.
You'd have to be a little bit different you went in for the interview you got the job.

[38:43] Yeah that poor other dude he got he got sent away that is all right no you were with them for quite some time though right.
Yeah I was with him for about 17 years I basically started up a what they call an incubator Warehouse it's more just a pop up
because they're just kind of testing testing the market I proved them that it was a valid Marketplace Within.
But since it's put it this way within three years of me being there because usually they would give them
only honestly they would usually only give about nine months to test a market to see if it's going to work they gave me three years by myself before they let me hire my first employee.
Why do you think that is because I was one efficient machine I made them a lot of money and I also by doing that by showing that I can do it.
I really kind of.

[39:43] I liked up I literally was able to go from making at that time you know 22 to 25 thousand to within a few years I was up to 50,000.
And it was all because of my determination and Grit,
I'm just going okay well I'm going to prove to them I'm going to show them that I can you know create a market I'm going to show them that I could sell their product
and then I'm going to show them that I can make their product and save them even more money instead of all the shipping stuff and shipping me stuff that doesn't fit because I was dealing with direct fit exhaust.
You know components so
you know and they were after market they were built off of a jig and then I was delivering them to different automotive repair shops it didn't have the cutting and Welding you know tooling there so that's why they were spending the extra money to buy these Direct Fit
you know components and here's you know this young lady showing up to deliver the part if it didn't fit and I get a phone call back by the time I'm back in the shop then I'm going okay well I got a chop saw here where's the local muffler shop so I can go cut that redirect that been get it there fix it
and go back there and get it on that car so I was doing that for the first.

[41:00] Year and a half I was literally telling them what I was doing and they were just Fabric and I'm selling my bosses basically because you know basically I had.
A whole warehouse at that time is 11:11 hundred square foot Warehouse to myself
and my closest boss was up in Hayward California because that's what the corporate office was so it wasn't like I had someone coming how far away is that just to put in perspective 600 miles.
Driving time it's 8 hours flying time to hours and that would your closest got it got it,
yep so a lot of it was you know I was able to figure things out I was able to problem-solve.
My numbers the cash that I was putting in the bank room they were just dumbfounded and the owner was just
smitten with me let's put it that way he just couldn't believe what I was able to accomplish
I'm to the point to where I had never met him also to be very honest with you until that three-year Mark he showed up.
At my location I had had a record sales for that month and for the year and he literally showed up gave me,
huge increase in pay and a new company vehicle gas card I mean every perk that you could think of.

[42:21] And said whatever you need and the very next week I had,
two new Miller welding machines hypertherm plasma cutter I had all the tools they showed up all the equipment it was fabulous so you would have been like in your later 20s then.

[42:38] When this happened because you were with him for 17 years but this happen within your first few years there exactly this was happening probably when I was about 25 were you just like.
Lasix I mean I'm sitting there thinking like if I was a 25 year old.
And that happened to me you get a company car you get all all the tools you need in a huge pay raise where you just like over the moon.

[43:05] Definitely I think the ago kicked in for sure.
But I'm I was very grateful for about that same time in my life I literally with with my job I was in and out of just about every single automotive repair shop in San Diego County
in San Diego proper I really met some phenomenal people I mean just really amazing people
one of the humans that I ran into happened to be someone that I he basically put me under his wing and mentored me
for over 20 years he recently passed away about a year and a half ago but it was more of me going out there and throwing myself out there and getting the feedback from the people
from the guys out there that wanted me to be successful that were able to say hey Joni see that chip on your shoulder
tone it down a little bit you don't you don't need act like that you know I mean I'm sitting here thinking like now that you're kind of painting that picture in your in.
The shops and everything how were you received for the most part the majority of the time it was always it was definitely.

[44:20] I'm a very confident woman so they did not necessarily know how to.

[44:27] They didn't know how to turn me away let's put it that way in a very nice way so when I was going in you know approaching them and starting to talk my talk and you know talk about those services that are provided they were just
I couldn't believe that it was me to the point where there's like you know if I need this I'm going to call you because I just
I just don't know that this is real so I got that quite a bit
and all depended on the age group there's some guys that just flat-out wouldn't even talk to me it was the younger men that would come up and just say hey what's going on how can I help you I'm like a is there a parts manager or someone I can talk to oh he's busy right now he told me to come talk to you,
I'm like okay so you know a lot of it was me learning how to communicate and how.
Get where I needed to go so again a lot of the guys were very.

[45:21] You know they were very respectable not all of them I mean there's definitely times that I was extremely verbal and straight out you know like.
Screw you did
you know and gone take the part and leave I had to do that a couple times just because of you know comments about my ass or something like that which I was just like okay that's it done
I just want to accept it I just there's no reason to sit there and think that.
That you have to tolerate that and my bosses were very supportive of it if I if I came back and I lost it
and some of these sales I'm you know they were like twelve hundred dollar sales that I would literally walk away from you know to be honest the owner of the shop would wonder why they weren't able to complete a job and then the whole then that,
guys story usually would get exposed and so again it was a different way of working through challenges back then and it was really all how you dealt with it
I just I didn't let it bug me because you're going to deal with that doesn't matter it's just really on on how you chose to just keep going,
and just move through it now you are with some for 17 years what ultimately pulled you away from from there.

[46:35] Unfortunately the 2008/2009 when the Auto industry took the huge hit that's when the owner of the company who was failing health and the family really wanted to you know probably keep some of the
financial support coming in some way they chose to close all locations
so it was one of those things that they literally dissolved a corporation which,
I was completely shocked and never saw that coming wow that's.
I mean give me some perspective here on the size of company it was like how many employees did they have at that time I would say.
They were Incorporated wasn't like they were huge amount of employees but we had a lot of different locations that they had to dissolve very quickly mine was,
mine was actually in honestly one of the third phases of it it wasn't in any of the initial cutbacks,
I was just shocked that mine cuz I was just a cash cow I was shocked at you know that they close that.

[47:37] Wow that would have caught me off guard for sure so what did you do when that happens.
I basically flat out said you know I'm taking the equipment this is my my Severance will be me taking the equipment and I'll dissolve everything else and and I never spoke to them again.
And you know honestly that there was a conversation and I was extremely professional I closed out everything I emptied their warehouses,
I made sure that their guys from their corporate office came down and took all of the equipment that I wasn't going to take I made sure that I swept out the warehouse claimed it and handed the keys back to the property manager
food literally looked at me said I cannot believe that you're here handing me this key thank you so much and it was a lot of that was my own integrity.
It was I put so much into that business for them it was a reflection of me and I was not going to let my name get you know get dug in any dirt because of someone else's decision so wow urn oh yeah.

[48:46] So you're unemployed would what do you do do you take some time off.
You know I had already been doing my metal art on the side for years so that was always an income stream I was always something
on the side that treated me well to be quite honest with you and I'd love to be creative I love the thought of me diving in and doing my metal art full time so I love myself to do that for about a year and a half,
with the equipment that I absorbed I basically created to work spaces one here in San Diego and one up in Fort Bragg California and I basically travelled in between and made a lot of art sold a lot of Art
and then I realized when you know this is great but,
I want to do something different I would didn't I enjoyed the chase I really did but I knew
I knew I wanted something different I needed to go further technology was also just ramping up and I felt if I if I just stayed out in the middle room basically I was going to miss something as far as technology.

[49:55] I didn't realize it at that time of what at the level that I was going to dive into,
to be honest with you but I knew that I had to be attentive if it was I didn't know if it was going to be a community you know a community college taking night courses on Excel or something I knew that
it was going to be really interesting just just in a few years time of me not being in from
2008 to 2010 basically
just the interview process of getting a job changed so much and the fact that I had had one job where I didn't have a lot of experience interviewing and chasing down jobs because I was focused I was career-minded so,
it was one of those things that I was I was going to reaching out was dabbling I was kind of just looking for different opportunities and lo and behold Arc Zone had.
They have an ad I believe on Craigslist but there was also another HR rep that they were using that basically is he.

[50:58] I don't know for some reason he got my information and.
Between me responding to an ad and him contacting me I knew that Arc Zone was probably.
The best direction for me to go an arc Zone was a company that was basically I think they're their tagline was help us build the best welding supply company in the world
and that just rang to me that was just like mmm you know what every welding supply company that I've gone to they're freakin idiots.
Let me see if I can help these guys let me see if my experience you know can help them communicate that through and sure enough,
it was one of those things I interviewed and pretty much got the job and within two weeks three weeks there I was already getting increases in wage and the owner was just like oh okay I think you know he realized what he did get
he also knew that I took a incredible huge pay cut to come work for him.
So establishing My True Value it was something for me that I needed to show very quickly so I can get back up into the ranks you know as fast as fast as possible and also to see what type of training Technical Training,
was available so I could really make this worth my while because if and take a pay cut I best be in learning something it's great.
Great philosophy to had it just works again you do take sacrifices with that.

[52:28] Again while I was doing my metal art I was completely debt-free to the point where I did have a little bit of a savings.
So it wasn't crippling me to take that pay cut I just knew that I had to increase that as quickly as possible.

[52:42] So we just went into Joni mode 9 years later still with them.
Still with them and still you know basically building new positions for them all the time that's been the beauty of arc's on is I've worn so many hats I've written so many different working positions for them it's.

[53:02] It's awesome it's been it's been quite quite a ride you know everything from warehouse manager procurement customer service technical sales,
now I'm in distributor sales it's just it's been a lot of fun that is fun that is fun.
And then also on the side I get a great the arcs on pro-partnership which I've basically been able to align.
How many of us five different amazing Fabricators metal workers Across the Nation and including myself.
And we all get a basically share our tips and tricks and stuff through social media and through other different platforms and,
I've been able to grow a whole different side family through Arc song with that as well which is just another amazing feet basically absolutely.
So what's next for Joanie what do you see on your horizon,
I'm right I'm just going to keep on going I've got a couple you know side projects I'm always doing our time building bigger art now which is you know something I've always wanted to do I've always wanted to get more into public art so it's
I'm I still haven't gotten that public you know featured piece yet but I also haven't necessarily discipline myself to go get it.

[54:21] Once I can probably figure out exactly
where I want to go and I think there's a part of my lifestyle that's allowed a little bit of openness I do like my freedom I do like options
I do like to do a little bit of everything so I like to have side projects and I also extremely loyal so
with arcs on being so loyal to me it's something that
I enjoy kind of partnering up with partners of arc's own to do certain things so I see some partnership coming with with Twix tools here soon and hopefully we can you know,
build something with our Pro partnership so we can't really say anything out loud yet but you know I've got some really cool stuff that you know we're trying to brainstorm so I can keep
being Hands-On still building still creating and slowly being able to you know
also teach you know I definitely like to go out and and travel obviously this year has been a little bit challenging to go out and do different workshops and stuff like that but I'm trying to,
make it so next year and one things do kind of get get rolling that I can be aligned with certain Partners to make it you know
hit the ground running exactly you know I'm just trying to align everything and make sure that that we're all going to be there as well.
So it's creating those networks and.

[55:46] Just cultivating them and you know making sure we all have what we need so we can get that absolutely and Joni I think this is a good time to launch into the Red Line Round.

[55:56] What the redline round is it's just five rapid-fire questions there's no right or wrong answer to them whatever pops into your heads the right answer.

[56:04] Are you ready let's do this alrighty who or what has been your inspiration throughout your journey in the industry The Craft.
It's more the craft that I'm interested within the industry it's as long as much as I possibly can it's really not one person sorry I know it's supposed to be one more no no it's that I love it I think that's brilliant.

[56:28] Now where do you go or what resources do you use when you want to learn something new or you get stuck on a job.

[56:35] Like I was discussing earlier probably the pro-partnership my network basically Joanie what excites you most about what you do.

[56:45] The people I know isn't it I'm just sitting here I'm like the people it's so true it's so simple.

[56:54] What's a personal habit or practice that has helped you significantly in the industry when you feel stuck unsupported or discouraged.

[57:05] I just breathe.

[57:07] And I keep going yeah sometimes we all tend to overcomplicate things right.
Yeah and I died again there's certain things that I just I just stopped I stop and breathe I love it.

[57:23] I'm finally what is your parting advice to other Femcanic is finding their way in the skilled trades industry.

[57:30] Don't get discouraged you're going to get a lot of negativity thrown at you with just turn it into positivity said like a true mentor.

[57:40] Joanie where and how can people connect with you.
You can connect with me on Instagram at Joni Butler Facebook as well Johnny Butler metal designs also you can reach me at ARC Zone.
Parks on.com you can my email through them is Jay Butler at ARC - zone.com.
Joanie thank you so much for being in the driver's seat today and just peeling back the curtain just a little bit so we can get behind the scenes and get to know who Johnny Butler is thank you.
Thank you for the opportunity I enjoy sharing it with you absolutely.

[58:17] Joanie Butler distributor sales at ARC Zone and I'm a Femcanic.

[58:30] Kate Cook is in the driver seat next she's the artist and owner of asphalt canvas custom art LLC.
She creates custom art inspired by her clients ideas in automotive enamels ink and watercolor and graphite.
She was born into a family who enjoyed cross country road trips restoring muscle cars in all things Americana.
She started selling her heart at a very young age and use this money to buy her first car.
A 1966 Jeepster Commando.
With the help of her dad and brother she restored it with her own money in the work ethic she learned from building it later became the inspiration for her Studio name.
And the artwork she produces today.
Be sure to tune in next week to hear the dynamic story of this amazing artist until next time Femcanic.

[59:32] 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.

[59:48] If you want to help grow this community do me a favor and subscribe rate review and most importantly share this.

[59:58] Spread the word this is Jayme B signing off. ARE YOU A FEMCANIC?

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