EP64: Toni Avery--“I Can’t See Myself Doing Anything Else!”
[0:00] Can you imagine doing anything else with your life if you have any other things that you can say yeah I mean I could do that I like that and this isn't for you
my problem is I can't see myself doing anything other than what I'm doing right now
always going to meet somebody that's going to suck and it's going to be really rude if you're really meant to do this and this is really your passion and you really can't see yourself doing anything else those people really don't matter those people actually field,
my drive to be in this industry more because I wanted to prove them wrong.
You're listening to Femcanic Garage the podcast that features women in the automotive and Motorsports industry.
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.
[1:02] 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.
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953 6380 I receive each message directly and I'm excited to hear from you,
go on press pause,
and save my number six one four nine five three six three eight zero Toni Avery is in the driver's seat today,
she's the owner of girls dry fast to.com which covers new and vintage car reviews racing schools track days and other industry events.
She's reviewed nearly 70 press cars to date is a high performance in teen safety driving instructor in his.
Her entire career on the racetrack in everything from Miatas to Open Wheel formula cars sit back and enjoy the ride.
Hello Femcanics Jayme B coming to you and I have Toni Avery in the driver's seat today how are you doing today Toni.
[2:26] I'm doing great how are you I am doing well I am excited to get you on here like many of my guests I find my guest for the most part on Instagram and you are no different,
I stumbled across your profile in Instagram and I'm like ooh,
this sounds like someone interesting and someone I would like to meet as with all of my guests I just love how you represent women in the industry so welcome to the show and I am so glad you're on here,
thank you so much for having me it kind of want to start in the beginning give a little bit of background and kind of work our way through your history so I my million-dollar question that I always ask.
Where did it start how do you get into the automotive industry,
well I was pretty much Born Into the industry my dad is a huge car guy he loved to go to car shows and,
do some track work with a vintage cars you mostly had vintage cars when I was growing up and we go to Monterey car week every year since I was 2 years old so I was immersed in that culture as well I'm going to pause you there Toni
because I don't
I don't think everyone knows the magnitude of Monterey and yeah it's.
[3:46] It is not your average car show or experienced by any stretch do you mind kind of bringing the listeners through
a little better understanding of what that show is about yeah absolutely so it encompasses a lot of different events during,
technically it's like a 10-day timeframe but a lot of people go from the main weeks Wednesday to Sunday,
it encompasses most famously the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance very exclusive it's invite only.
[4:19] So if you get invited to show your cargo Beach it is it truly special car there's a lot of other car shows there are a lot of big ones such as quail,
and some smaller ones some newer ones some more new car shows of started up as well in the area but it's really all surrounding vintage cars and another really big event there is the,
Motorsports reunions otherwise known as the historic races at Laguna Seca.
And that's takes over pretty much the whole time as well you have the prehistoric races which is the weekend before it's sort of like the qualifying if you will,
and then the next weekend is all the big racing
and that's honestly my favorite part of the whole weekend but you off some big parties and manufacturers launch cars there as well it's a pretty big deal every Automotive celebrity you can think of will be there at that time
I've seen some highlights from it in that race.
[5:19] Would be so neat to watch and so it's super cool I mean I know you said classic cars but.
Just to put this in perspective because depending on the generation that's listening to this episode
classic May mean 1990s
Maria is that sounds right but we're talking like 50s 60s am I right on that yeah and pre-war all the way up to,
I'd say for the Vintage shows see some 70s cars but for this like the new modern Supercar show it's anything that's.
[6:01] Crazy loud new is going to be there Pebble Beach is older though right.
[6:08] The Pebble Beach Concours been around for a very long time and so have the historic sites in the cars that I've typically seen Pebble Beach they're all older like,
50s 60s is that writer that just happens to be about I see on TV now that's that's correct and some older than that,
so yeah it's like by the end of the week I'm just so exhausted when we talked about that before in it took me a mom like Monterey and like it and then I connected Pebble Beach because I'm used to hearing the Pebble Beach,
and I'm like oh my God that's like one of the most exclusive experiences ever and,
yeah and this is where I want to kind of connect it for the listeners that's what you grew up going to,
hey did this isn't you know down at Steak and Shake or you know what I mean the local pub car show this is like,
multimillion-dollar cars oh yeah strolling up there,
yeah and to me that was just normal that was like how I grew up going to car shows was I went to Monterey every year I loved going
it was if you were going every year you got into the routine of when you checked out of the hotel that year you booked for the next year that's how,
crowded and packed it was every single year and we went up there consistently I think it was till I was about.
[7:35] 15 and then we took a few years Hiatus and then started going back again in my early 20s.
[7:43] And then my last year was in 2016,
and it's such a bummer that I haven't been able to go back since but this year with covid they weren't able to do Monterey at all which is also a bummer right,
I don't know if that's ever happened before yeah I look forward to it every year I really hope I get to go back soon I don't know how you could go to other car shows after that that,
that experience being the norm wow that talk about that setting the high standards out of the gate that's just absolutely amazing you grew up,
around cars in a family that has interest in cars and you went off to college.
And what did you decide to major in I changed my mind a bunch of times oh I feel you did the same thing,
and all I can think of is ching ching ching legs wasted money for credits that I don't get credit for yep I'm luckily I went in undecided but I thought I was going to go the science route,
and then I took a science class like my first semester and was like I don't like this anymore like I loved it in high school but this is not my thing and then,
I thought okay I want to do music because I'd always been a musician but I wanted to do the like the media side of music.
[9:08] Brought me to my second College I transferred twice I was getting enough credits to go to my final School.
And by the time I got to my final school I change my mind for music to English,
or journalism but at that point I was going to be in school for like 6 years because I changed so many times so I went to my advisor and asked what can I do so I'm not in school for another year and she said well,
you taking a lot of kind of random classes you could put it all into a liberal studies major and then just,
add-on English creative writing minor,
so that's what I did what advice would you give younger kids coming up through their going through that experience definitely go in undecided,
unless like you spent your entire life saying I want to be a doctor then you're probably going to end up being a doctor but if you're really unsure of what you want to do I wouldn't advise picking something right off the bat
maybe take your first semester 2 and take a lot of,
gen Ed classes to figure out what you might like and then decide from there because then you can really focus on all those credits that you need.
Take in order to get your degree that's Sound Advice my friend because I did not go in undecided I went in guns blazing for architecture and I ended up switching my major and.
[10:36] There were so many like.
[10:38] Specific classes for architecture that it didn't apply to any other major so it was just like to Ching Ching Jesus said so great advice so you ended up,
going the English route and I grew up around cars.
This is where it starts getting interesting to me in your journey where it's like okay.
[11:04] Now what again I this was 2011 when all this my career really started I was still in college and,
I went up to Maricar week again and that year particular our my dad's 1965 Jaguar E-Type was being used by Jaguar of America as like a display vehicle around,
Monterey that year so we got on to all the cool like parties and events that maybe we wouldn't have normally gotten into because our car was there and that year,
one of the local Jaguar Club Magazine just like hey would you mind writing something about your experience this year with your car being on display.
[11:52] And I said sure didn't really think anything of it wrote something and had it published and.
And then all of a sudden like I was writing all these articles for these little small magazines and getting published like.
Pretty often and I was still in college and as I was taking my English classes and then getting published writing about car stuff I was like could I actually.
Make a career out of this I never really thought to connect cars to a job.
[12:22] Before that besides being like a mechanic or a painter or.
[12:29] But a lot of people when they think of Automotive they instinctively
Right painting cars Collision in and it is so much bigger than that and here you are taking it a journalism route.
I had never thought that that was really something I could do but I sort of started to see where I can go with it I did a lot of writing for free at the beginning probably like my first,
you're in a half of writing with all for free just to get exposure and to get practice as soon as I graduated not too long after I was approached by,
the company that owns Motor Trend they have a bunch of magazines online and print.
It was asked to come interview and I happened to get job as an associate online editor so I gained some experience doing that that was my first actual like paid writing gig.
[13:30] Which lasts a little bit you bring up a great Point here and it's.
Just part of your journey but you said something that I think is really important you said that you spent a year and a half.
Writing articles for free and I and I think that's that's an important call out here because.
[13:53] I think the biggest challenge in the world today is delayed gratification
we want everything now.
Right and we want to make money now we want to have our business up and going now right it's all about the now in get it now.
But there's something to be said about here you did this for a year and a half for free and it was about the experience in the exposure.
And that's the point of that is to build something bigger
yeah but a lot of people if they didn't get paid just wouldn't do it.
[14:34] Yeah and I luckily I was in the position where I was still in school so I could kind of afford to do that on the side while I was getting my school work done again my degree.
But after I graduated I knew I couldn't expect.
To just land some amazing job right away in a field that.
Yes I did have a degree but not you know technically an English major or journalism major I don't really have any real world experience so I figured the more I write the better I get,
someone's going to eventually see it or I'll eventually meet somebody that will.
Help me get there and find you know if it was on Twitter randomly that that message popped up from my first job so.
[15:24] It worked it was a little bit of a struggle obviously but I knew it was going to get me somewhere at some.
All of these things you just kind of fell into organically yeah I mean even the the Motor Trend experience yeah you can't there's not too many more.
[15:45] Premier Automotive Publications out there oh yeah that's no that's one of the biggest right and here you are.
That was your first one out of college yeah
this is my first real job out of college and my first writing job in general like officially paid writing job yeah and around that same time I started my website which at the time was kind of just a Blog
talking about like cars honey I don't mean to stop you I have to ask this because I'm just processing right now like here I am,
a college graduate just graduating.
And I just got a job with Motor Trend what was going through your mind like when they said you have the job I was
surprised I mean I knew I wasn't going to be writing as much directly for Motor Trend as I was the other online Publications on the other side of the building but a few of my articles did get in there trend,
but I was just like okay I guess I have this drop now and I have to.
[16:57] Move and you know do this long commute for a while until I find a place but I was excited I just,
it was a little bit of a surprise to me just because of how knew I was to do like a happy dance or go have cocktails something like that yeah yeah I mean that's wow I don't know,
I'm sitting there thinking like I'd be high five in the family and like you know pinch Pinch Me Yeah there definitely was a lot of that it's a great foot in the door,
wow yeah yeah.
[17:33] So at this same time you started your website the name of your website girls drive fast too.
[17:42] There's the obvious con thoughts around that but I don't I don't want to make any assumptions why did you choose that I don't know I thought it was just kind of catchy.
And it was obviously I'm a female that's writing about cars and my Automotive experience so.
[18:01] I don't know where it came from I just remember I said it to my mom and I'm like what do you think about this she's like I really like it I think that works so from that all that was the name that I went with.
Yeah the website was kind of just like for fun for a while and then.
[18:18] It started to become a little more serious once.
Started reviewing vehicles on the website I made some connections along the way and.
Happened to meet some people that worked at press car agencies or actual manufacturers of vehicles that would.
Said offered to loan the other vehicles and review them for my website.
And at a certain point I was reviewing a new car almost every week like my first year doing it.
And it was very very busy doing it and I did all the in this is for your blog right this was all for your website I'll for my website at the time I turned it in from a Blog to a website,
when I started reviewing cars and I did everything on my own I did all the photography,
all the video all the writing and then all the editing of the video photography and writing so I was pretty busy holy mackerel,
that's like a full-time job just that yeah and considering like sometimes cars that overlap or I'd get one one day and I have to give one back you know a few days later it was it was just constant work.
[19:37] Wow what kind of got you go in that direction because your blog started with just articles right,
or have they always been reviews no it was just like hey I went to his car show today and it was kind of fun and like I post some pictures but it went from that to now I'm getting these cars I'm going to do these,
proper reviews and.
That the reviewing started in late like winter of 2014 so 2015 was like my really really busy year with that and then I started adding in all the events I would go.
And racing schools I would attend and then I started getting invited on press trips from manufacturers to drive cars in different locations or to have these like different experiences,
and I would put those up on the website as well don't let me let me ask you a couple questions about this because this is kind of an elusive thing to me.
[20:38] Conceptually I understand what a review is in can only imagine the amount of work,
in the amount of hours it takes to Just Produce what you produce on your website for one review.
Were you drawn to do reviews or was there something that someone suggested because there's so many different things because you started off with just writing articles,
but this review route has opened up some really neat opportunities for you why reviews yeah when I was working at the magazine company I really wanted to review some cars for them.
Because obviously a company that large they have new cars all the time and their Fleet and sometimes when long-term vehicles and I just like just give me a chance to do one aisle,
do a great job and never got that opportunity when I was there,
so once I was approached I was actually at a motor press Guild meeting and sitting next to this lady and she's like have you heard of our company and I never had and she said well we loan out press cars would you be interested in reviewing something.
obviously I was extremely interested and then from there it just snowballed and then all the manufacturer contacts I had already made and continue to make I would just talk to them about hey do you have any cars like a review and.
I built these really great relationships with all these different manufacturers and it,
again like everything else in my career just sort of snowballed I was reviewing like crazy the reviews are pretty cool what do you what were you hoping to provide that,
[22:22] Blogs companies when they provide reviews what was kind of your Niche or kind of your selling point of what makes yours unique.
I wanted to look at the car in a less.
[22:38] Well I don't want to say less technical way but a lot of the times of these big magazines they get extremely technical on vehicles and not everybody understands the technical side of a car I'm not everybody's mechanic I know a lot of.
You know huge car guys are maybe really into cars but they may not really know how to turn a wrench necessarily and they just want to know what makes the car great.
So I kind of wanted to cater to that audience while still getting you know technical enough that people could understand.
And then also,
you know talking about Aesthetics like is the car designed in a pretty way is could this interior be updated for the next generation of this vehicle
does it make sense as like a daily driver or is this more like a weekend car,
and what I buy it is like the big question that I usually ask myself.
And you know just what did I enjoy about it what did I not enjoy about it I'm I'm pretty honest but I try to be fair in my honesty.
And you know there's something that really didn't work for me I try to talk about it in the most.
Politically correct way I can so I don't piss anybody off have you pissed anyone off before I have yes and I was unable to get cars from them for because like.
[24:06] Two or three years.
[24:09] No kitty yeah but I wouldn't we don't have talked about the brand but what did you say that pissed him off.
[24:19] I just said I thought there were other cars out there for the money that I would.
[24:27] Purchase over that particular car.
[24:30] And I gave the reasons why but I did say positive things I said I really like these pieces of this vehicle and this.
Whatever about the vehicle but this is why I wouldn't necessarily purchase it over something of the same price point.
[24:47] That did not go over well so they really didn't they really didn't want an honest feedback apparently,
I mean that has to kind of be in the back of your mind when you're doing reviews because you're trying to be as transparent and honest and be fair as well.
But does that way in the back of your mind at all when you're writing these like this may piss him off but I'm going to put it out there anyway yes and that's what helps me to be a little less critical,
or as blunt I guess it sort of forces me to.
[25:23] Put it in As Nice a way as possible what I'm trying to say because I feel like if someone's reading my review they obviously are either they just liked the car or they might actually want to buy it.
[25:36] And if you here just amazingly great things about this vehicle and then you go to drive it and your like this isn't really that fun I don't understand why she said that.
The transmission is really awesome when it kind of sucks I don't really want to like misrepresent.
[25:56] Myself or the vehicle when I put anything out there because I'm not being paid to to write these manufacturers don't pay you for your reviews so.
[26:09] I'm I wouldn't say I'm not obligated to give like a positive review but
it makes it easier for me to be more honest.
Have you seen kind of a trend with your audience like I'm curious what the demographics are of your audience for your reviews do you have Emily men ages,
it's like team to like 50s 60s.
But it's mostly men Trisha
did that surprise you.
[26:46] Yes and no I would think I would attract more female readers just because I'm not.
[26:56] A guy you know think girls relate to girls a little bit better but.
[27:03] I don't know I guess I wasn't as surprised as I went along with it over the years that,
because most of the people that actually like reach out to me and say things about my work are all men really I don't get a lot of like female.
People reaching out to me which I don't know it's just different I guess.
Can you share kind of likes maybe some common themes of what they'll reach out to you about,
yeah it's mostly on my social media they don't comment as much on the website it probably did a lot more when I was more consistent with the,
you know sometimes stories are sometimes will be nice comments like or actually I'd say most of the time they're nice comments like oh yeah that was a great article or I really like that car too.
Or are you know you every once in a while you get the.
[27:57] The guy looks like she's a girl know what she's talking about her she she doesn't know actually how to drive a manual and then like in the video I'm driving a manual so okay you obviously didn't watch that.
Yeah it just varies but I'd say like 80% of my audience is really nice 85% that was one of the questions when we spoke before or I was like oh I wonder what her demographic is,
that's interesting I'm with you I would have thought that there would be more females,
yeah that's it yeah that's way cool well your website launched you said in 2015 why I started it in 2011 but it really became like a website website probably like late 14,
you stumbled upon these reviews yeah,
your journey is just cracks me up in the coolest type of way to money where it's like well it just so happened I was sitting next to this person and it just so happened that this person reached out to me and asked me to interview on like
Serendipity at its best man that's what I'm talking about it's funny that you say that because I don't really like realize it until.
[29:17] I think about it like how I got it all the yeah in to be honest the last time we talked I was sitting there,
you know we got done and it just occurred to me afterwards I'm like,
holy shit the like literally all of these were not plant yeah at all leak planning is going like you find a job that you're interested in you go.
Interview for that job you submit your application or your resume and you go interview that.
[29:50] Didn't happen in your career here so far so I just sat down like that is way cool where it's just about riding the wave of life and following your heart's desire yeah,
Yeah as I went along in the writing I kind of wanted to explore other parts of the industry I wanted to see how the pr side worked because I really didn't have.
[30:20] A lot of understanding of.
How how the pr really worked in these Automotive manufacturers or in these like aftermarket companies so I found,
where I was living there is a company that managed all these Automotive accounts.
[30:39] And I got a job there for a while didn't really work out I also wasn't really a fan it wasn't really what I was expecting,
I'm really glad I did it because I got the experience with Billy,
seeing what that's all about and realizing that wasn't for me what was the main thing that you learned there
I did a lot of cold calling,
to sell basically like stories or,
plugs in a way a different Publications so I got really comfortable with cold calling which before I was not that's was not my thing at all.
[31:21] And also being on that's a Priceless skin to have yeah,
I mean it really is but it sucks like that's one of those things it's no one's like I want to learn how to cold call,
no I want to avoid cold calling but when you have a business in what you are what your building
it becomes so critical yeah and also I realized the other side of what I was experiencing when I was at magazine I get these calls from people and going home with you want to post this and I'm like no you got to talk to my boss like I can't really,
publish that without their approval and then I'm the one that's going hey do you want to publish this story and you know and then I got to experience like both sides of that which was kind of cool,
and then I had contacts from when I was working at the magazine too so that helped me to get stories up as well.
But yeah that that.
[32:19] What is kind of short lived and so I moved on to another company that I had found.
And the area that did all kinds of Automotive stuff,
like anything you would really think of and I went down there just to kind of talk to them and see what they're about an interview and they asked would you be interested in.
ride and drive tours with a manufacturer knows like sure I've never done that that sounds cool I don't even know what to do and I was sent on a five-week tour with Toyota just right off the bat,
never having done that before.
And the tour was in on the east coast and two states I had never been to before in my life and it was a really really cool experience working with the general public and that way was really interesting,
and I started developing an interest in learning product and when you talk about product for a vehicle it's like stats and you know this trim level this vehicle has these options that that's really like product,
so I became really burst in that and then I went on another tour with Toyota as well for about it was like 10 days and.
[33:36] Vegas and Like Fresno area and then while I was there I was talking with one of my teammates and he said you should try and interview for this new company that's coming to LA.
They're building an experience Center and it's going to be with Porsha.
I was like I mean that sounds really cool but like that this coaching I'm doing right now is like all the real coaching experience I have like I've driven a lot in my life I attended a ton of racing schools but,
I don't know if that's a good fit you like know you should really try.
And it was from that same company that I got the Toyota job so I figured okay maybe I have a chance if I contact this somebody I already know.
So I contacted him and he's like yeah it's really early in the process we haven't even interviewed anyone yet I was like okay I'll just.
Contact you every few months or something so I just kept emailing and he kept saying it's too early kept emailing finally.
[34:38] I got this position where I had to have a decision made because
I had to move from where I was living by be like the end of the month.
So I contacted the guy and I said you know what I'm moving and I'm either going to stay where I am or I'll move for this job.
So I need to come interview like now and he said okay well you can come down it's super early still really haven't interviewed anyone but you can come down.
[35:08] And I was so nervous and intimidated because I'm meeting with all these like
you know people that.
Have been doing this coaching stuff forever and I haven't done it really and then you know meeting with some people actually from Porsche corporate and I left the interview going well I probably didn't get that job just because I don't have like a lot of.
[35:31] Like that.
[35:34] Coaching experience that there are probably looking for and they have an automotive and all that stuff but Toni when you say coaching what do you mean exactly so coaching I'll just talk about it from,
see what we do at Porsche,
that is sitting right seat with a customer driving and you're talking them through a lap or through an exercise and you're saying okay well,
when you go to correct when the rear end starts to go out on you you gotta,
you know turn towards the rear end and quick hands and feet off the pedals like that kind of stuff we're talking through lap going okay you're going to start breaking here and you're going to look through the corner at your exit point.
And basically you're just coaching them through whatever it is they're doing this sounds like a trust exercise us yeah especially when you're working with the general public it's not like.
You know if you're going to racing school these people
know what they're getting themselves into for the most part they've signed up knowing I'm going for like this cool high-performance thing and I have paid this money too
go really fast and this crazy car and I'm going to wear a helmet this is not that
so it's so these are people that sign up for it off the streets.
[36:53] So very different so I managed to get this job,
and not only did I get this job but I wasn't just offered like hey you can be part-time and maybe work up they said you want a full-time position right away and I was like oh yeah
so I go in as the only full-time female and the only female on the driving Drive team staff.
And it was like a crazy amazing experience because I started at the very very beginning and we had weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks of training before opening day.
So the training was some of the best driving practice you'll ever experience in their life and I learned so much sounds like a blast I drove Porsches all day long sometimes Into the Night.
I learned things I never thought I got to this level of driving that I never thought I could be at
my dad drove with me for the first time he's like you couldn't even talk because we kind of like I always like aspired to be as fast as him.
[38:04] When I was growing up and then he's like you so far.
Exceeded where I could ever be at this point he was just like Blown Away wow yeah and I worked there on a full time basis.
For two and a half years I became the product expert at the facility so I would train every new person that would come in on product and I knew like everything about all the cars,
and then I did all the coaching and I kind of did a like a lot of office work because I'm really organized and I like.
Doing that type of stuff and then in January 2019 I went part-time.
[38:50] There and I started doing a lot of other jobs like kind of.
A bunch of part-time stuff and one of the things I went to was something I actually did before Porsche.
And it was a job with a company called brakes which is 18 Defensive Driving School.
And I did a course there as a coach one day just to see.
If I could make it at Portia I was sort of like a test and I started working there again after I went part-time at Porsche.
And they actually tour around the US and teach teens how to safely drive and they do like the drunk goggle exercise and like ABS braking and a lot of really interesting exercise like skid control and stuff like that,
that all sounds so interesting I mean I don't know about the listeners but.
I'm always Blown Away by how many driving courses and other classes there are yeah there are a lot and.
[39:58] That would just be fun.
My partner editing this podcast hint hint that that would be an experience I'm interesting sorry I'm just dropping something for myself my birthday is coming up so
not that it can happen this year anyway because the stupid moped but I'm supposed to have a Driving Experience for my birthday but all that gets put off.
There's something different about what you're talking about and I find it fascinating where it's one thing to buy.
In experience package where they put you in the driver seat and you go drive it with really no training and.
The experiences that I think I'm understanding that you coach is truly.
[40:44] Learning how to drive high performance cars at Porsche yeah I mean it's something you could apply to any vehicle that you drive really,
obviously we have rear engine for the most part unless you're talking the SUVs or the Panamera
rear-engine rear-wheel-drive sports cars there are some all wheel drives as well but,
anything you really learn their like skid control or how to drive a proper line on the courses something you can apply to anything and that's something we try to.
Have our clients take away.
Sometimes they come in and they're like I have no idea what I'm doing here like this is a present I don't know why I'm here what's going on and then you have the person that says I have an 11:00 I just want to know how to drive it.
And then that's always a fun person to interact with because they have a little bit of better understanding of like what to expect wow yeah it's
that would be a great gift yeah that that's a very common answer when you're like why are you here or
is this your first time and usually it's like yeah I was a present or something like that interesting yeah.
It's been a lot of time there and I dedicated a lot of myself there and I learned a lot and I value what I learned.
[42:08] Very much I just wanted to do some other things.
And that one of which was I wanted to do some other coaching elsewhere and then I wanted to get more into my website again because I had to cut back a lot.
A Porsche just because I didn't have the time
yeah and then as time went on I picked up some other.
Part-time work and one of which was working at my fiance's shop where I assemble.
Kits for their for the vehicles that they build the kits for.
They do sports cars and side-by-sides and there's something else that you do then I was curious on you have reviewed vintage cars yeah I have.
I found that interesting it was that when you were reviewing all of the other cars or they're just kind of sprinkled in throughout your entire career Journey here,
you know I try to think about how it started I think it was.
I knew somebody one of the small car shows my dad I would go to me said yeah if you want to drive my car and maybe do a little story on it you can and.
[43:20] And so I did that and then I realized obviously my dad has some vintage car so I said I'll just review his and then again it started snowballing and I just kind of met all these people that were willing to let me drive there.
[43:35] Valuable vintage cars obviously with them in the passenger seat but yeah it was a different style of reviews more just kind of talking about the feeling of vehicle like what makes it special and why it's Unique and.
Talking about the look and all that.
Imagine some history of it would be sprinkled we are but oh God that'd be nerve-wracking driving other people's baby was especially when one of the owners told me how much it was worth as I was driving it and I was like why would you do that,
so nerve-wracking good Lord oh man.
[44:12] Yeah I'm sitting there thinking because I know I grew up around cars to and how men and women,
who love cars like really love cars and maybe had their car restored like their attachment to it like I couldn't even yeah it's like ahh
and I wouldn't want them to tell me the value of the car until after we got you like wait until we park maybe but
he didn't yeah just that we safely pull in and we're done and I get out the car you can share me that be a great conversation then yeah,
that is outstanding and you attended multiple,
driving schools did you actually review the driving schools or that's just kind of an experience that you wrote about,
I had gone to a lot of racing schools over the years and I really start writing about them until.
[45:13] I was I don't even remember like the first year I did it,
but I had done like a bunch before it ever really reviewed them I started going to racing schools when I was 16,
so I done a bunch by then but yeah I've written about a few of the ones I've gone to and then other like manufacture experiences for example Lexus have a sort of attract experience that they did
were they invited a bunch of women out to Palm Springs and we did a track day with their cars,
type of thing like I would put that on the website so what's next for girls drive fast so what do you what do you see and how do you see that evolving or growing,
that's a good question um heard covid it's been a little hard because no events are really happening right now.
So I'm hoping to attend more events and write them up for the website,
probably reviewing more cars as well this year has been a little Limited in terms of what I could manage to get,
garlic is just growing my social media channels my Facebook got quite a few followers but I'm working on my Instagram my YouTube as well but.
[46:30] I don't know I don't know if I really have like a definitive idea where I want it to go I know I just want to do more with it as soon as things are less restrictive,
right on just out of curiosity because I mean you've been at this.
[46:46] Let's see you said you started next year will be 10 years a decade so crazy.
Chew on that for a moment my friend that's way cool yeah,
do you monetize this at all or is it purely here's all this content and it's all free or somewhat I mean it
I'm selfishly asking because I'm a business owner and I'm just curious how you do you know what I mean that's that's always kind of elusive and.
Interesting to me yeah I mean there's been times where it's made a little bit of money and then there's times words made no money,
the writing isn't really where I make the money it's all my other part-time stuff that I do that's why I do so many part-time things yeah that's that's one of the things that.
[47:32] I've been asked a lot over the years like all of people.
Contact me it's LinkedIn is like the most common where I get to ask this question and I have people saying oh I have this job that is full time and has health benefits and all that but I really like want to start,
writing like you do and I want to quit my job and do that what do you think.
And my like standard response is if you're okay not making money at times.
[48:04] And not knowing when you will.
[48:08] With the writing in particular then sure go ahead and do it but most people.
Can't just not make money because most people like family or those people need to you know live so typically that's not going to work for a lot of people and I say why can't you just do it on the side on the weekends.
[48:29] That's a lot more feasible than just quitting your study,
income for something that may or may not pan out great advice yeah the other the other thing about it is is I asked can you imagine doing anything else with your life.
[48:46] If you have any other things that you can say yeah I mean I could do that I like that then this isn't for you mhm because my problem is I can't see myself doing anything other than what I'm doing right now.
So right it doesn't work for me to try and do something else that's why I just gotta you know keep the part time work strong so I can continue doing my website in the thing with.
What you do and not just what you do but I'd say anything that has to do with entertainment or video or.
Publication with Automotive it seems very glamorous and.
[49:32] Sexy do you know what I mean like it's these amazing cars and.
A lot of times it's cars that a lot of people can't even imagine.
[49:44] Getting themselves you know I mean in some of these Restorations over a hundred thousand dollars you know where it's like oh my god that car is amazing and it's just it's interesting because.
[49:58] What I'm learning from women who are in the industry that rub elbows with the who's who of the automotive industry.
Is that one the majority of the people in it are very down to earth and very basic.
And two is that it's not as glamorous as what it seems it's just people who.
I love cars a lot of times yeah but there's like this glamorous thing about it.
Yeah you know as you were saying that I really started thinking about it and it's almost like there's two.
Sides to it there's the people that does grind and work really hard for their entire career,
and may never get to a point where it seems glamorous but they have some moments of wow this is really cool I can't believe I'm doing this I just met this person or I just interviewed this guy and then there's the people that
managed to land these incredible jobs and they travel all over the world and they drive,
you know McLaren's and Bugattis and they get paid crazy money too.
Do whatever it is their job is and get put up in these five star hotels and then that is glamorous but.
It's like you're either one or the other there's very rarely and in between.
[51:27] Like I and I imagine there's probably less of those positions than there are of,
all the other yeah yeah you know I've Had My Moments of like a manufacturer will send me on a really incredible trip.
[51:44] And I will be in one of those five star hotels driving really great cars and writing about it but those are definitely memories I'll cherish they don't happen on time but.
Yeah I think a lot of the industry is made up of people that just work their butts off forever just to.
Do what they love and may not get the recognition or the financial compensation for really what they do and that's a great call out I think some people just see the glamorous and they don't see the rest of it and,
the Glamorous seems like it'd be you'd be paid well but you got to love this yeah you have to love this to really really,
and stay in it for the long haul yeah and I do have those people on my social media where I'll post something and my for example I was in Dubai last year and it,
you know that appears to be a super glamorous cool thing and it was very cool and very glamorous but as I said I don't get to do that all the time,
there are those people that will comment oh must be nice to like have all this money and like do all these cool things and people give you stuff all the time,
they're so bitter about it but they have no idea like what happens behind the scenes.
[53:02] And how long I've been doing it right and there's ups and downs yeah I imagine with part-time work and finding jobs to you know maintain your lifestyle.
While trying to do the website that it's it's everyone has their challenges.
[53:23] Absolutely I think this is probably a great time to launch into the Red Line Round And what the redline round is is it's just five rapid-fire questions there's no right or wrong answer to it whatever pops into your head is the right answer.
All right it's not painful and promised who or what has been your inspiration throughout your journey in the industry.
My dad really has been a huge inspiration especially early on,
because he's such a big car guy and because he really like pushed me to do a lot of things that seemed really uncomfortable that's way cool what's dad's name.
Ron Ron you did you did good work good job dad,
to where do you go or what resources do you use when you want to learn something new or you get stuck you feel stuck,
what resources do you use I mean obviously like Google's a good one.
[54:33] I don't know it really honestly depends on what I'm stuck on.
If it's like a writing thing that I'll probably go and read a bunch of other articles on that particular vehicle or whatever the subject is from other magazines to see if I can get any ideas maybe things are missing.
I don't know it really does depend on.
What it is I'm doing makes sense to me I may go to someone in the industry or you know a friend and have them help me but yeah just really depends.
[55:08] And I'd say with with your journey it that makes perfect sense because you've had a lot of twists and turns,
where it's different skill sets and probably different people that you'd reach out to,
alright Toni what is a personal habit or practice that has helped you significantly in the industry when you feel stuck
or discouraged a personal habit probably being super organized.
And disciplined in my work being organized just really helps me to keep a better.
Helps me to really know like where I stand with everything you know if I need to find something on my computer I know exactly where it is I don't have to go search around for it and being disciplined to know are you got to get this article done,
today I can't do anything fun until I get this done that's helped me a lot because then I don't put things off and then I don't upset.
People who are waiting on the stories to go up I was diagnosed with ADHD and,
lay even though you have your company and you love your company and I have my company and I love Femcanic Garage there's always aspects that you don't enjoy doing but need done.
[56:24] And with ADHD I would just procrastinate and keep putting those.
Finally what is your parting advice to other Femcanics finding their way in the skilled trades well I'd say for you I would say just the automotive industry in general,
sort of touched on it earlier with the financial aspect,
as my life generally answer to people but especially with like we're talking women in the industry,
I mean you're always going to meet somebody that's going to suck and it's going to be really rude you know I met my fair share of those people but if you're really meant to do this and this is really your passion and you really can't see yourself doing anything else those people really don't matter.
Those people actually filled my drive to be in this industry more because I wanted to prove them wrong.
[57:18] And you know I feel like I did because I accomplish things that I didn't even know I was capable of and yes it's very male-dominated.
For the most part especially in the journalism side and that side of the industry but we're talking like the driving side racing side.
We're very unique in that women are not as common so we sort of have an advantage there.
I think that's pretty awesome that were were a little more recognized as being kind of like special,
in a part of the industry like driving that's should be you know you think of a driver you think of a guy who only think of a girl but it's cool that women are kind of seen as like.
Rare and special on that sponsors I imagine like the idea of that yeah it's a lot more marketable I think because there aren't as many of us,
let's let's be honest historically in the industry,
women in cars go together it's just now it's women in the driver's seat opposed on the hood yeah yeah that's true right.
[58:30] So it's a nice change it's a nice change for sure.
[58:35] Where and how can people connect with you Toni so I have my website girls dry fast to.com and then I'm also on Instagram under girls drive fast too.
As well as Facebook and then YouTube it's where I post all the video versions of my reviews.
And Linkedin if it's more like a professional.
[59:05] Connection but yeah those are basically where I'm at Toni thank you so much for being in the driver's seat today.
Your journey absolutely fascinated me and it's just.
Great Testament to following your heart yeah and how things just attract to you when you're on the right path.
[59:30] Thank you I am Toni Avery and I'm the owner and founder of girls drive fast to.com.
Megan Meyer in the driver's seat next she is an NHRA Top alcohol drag race driver.
She broke the record for the quickest female pass at 5.15 seconds in 2016.
Only to break a 13-year-old record.
In 2020 with a run of five-point zero nine seven seconds topping out at 278 .81 miles per hour.
Not only is she a record-breaking driver she is an amazing graphic designer and entrepreneur.
Be sure to tune in until next time Femcanic.
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 transcribed for each episode.
[1:00:45] If you want to help grow this community do me a favor and subscribe rate review and most importantly share this podcast,
read the word this is Jayme B signing off. ARE YOU A FEMCANIC?