EP64: Toni Avery–“I Can’t See Myself Doing Anything Else!”
January 23, 2021
EP 72: Joanie Butler—”Curiosity and Grit Will Go a Long Way”
February 7, 2021

Episode 71: Madison Alexander— “You Have To Respect Yourself!”


[0:00] If you're really in this industry because you want to be in this industry,
you have to respect yourself before you can get respect from somebody else. You're listening to Femcanic Garage the podcast that features women in the automotive and motorsports industries.

[0:20] A community that elevates and.

[0:22] empowers, and evolves by smashing stereotypes and breaking down barriers for women. I'm your host Jayme Blasiman buckle up for the ride Femcanics.

[0:32] Music.

[0:43] Femcanics I want to hear from you and get your feedback text me what your favorite episode is how I could improve the podcast.
Products would you like to see but most importantly I just want to connect with you.
Text me at six one four nine five three six three eight zero again that's 614.
953 6380 I receive each message directly and I'm excited to hear from you.
Go on press pause and save my number six one four nine five three six three eight zero.

[1:28] Madison Alexander is in the driver seat today.
She spent her entire childhood around cars I guess you could say it's in her blood.
She originally wanted to be a mechanic but one day while she was in our high school shop class she wandered over to the auto body side she.
Immediately and never looked back by your senior year she had placed first in the skillsusa competition for the state of Tennessee.

[1:59] Painted the popular all female build Chevy Montage in the 1936 Pontiac that earned them a.
Designation at the Detroit Auto Rama sit back and enjoy the ride.

[2:16] Hello Femcanic this is Jayme B to you and I have Madison Alexander in the driver's seat today how are you doing today medicine.
I'm doing great how about you I'm doing well,
thank you so much for accepting my invitation to be on the show I am constantly in this search to find new and interesting women in the industry,
and you fit the Femcanic Garage profile 280 you are a woman of class so thanks again for being on the show.
Well thank you very much for reaching out means a lot.
Now one thing I like doing even though there's a pre-recorded bio and the folks have an idea of your background I like learning women's stories through their Journey.
That I saw in the information that you provided me that.

[3:08] You grew up around this cars isn't it's in the DNA of your family is that really where it all got started then for you.
Oh yeah absolutely it's funny because I would walk outside you know I would go outside to play on the play set and my dad and my grandfather were outside,
just painting a car under the shade tree you know no big deal and I would go outside to play and they were like no no we're painting a car go back inside I don't want you breathing these fumes you know and,
it was just non-stop something every day I was in a race car by the time I was 12 I think so,
oh yeah big race car family they would flip cars anything and everything that has to do with motor.
They were all about it you know what did Mom think about you being in a race car that young.
Oh my goodness my mom is the most supportive mom ever.

[4:12] So one time I flipped like eight times it was pretty crazy,
what kind of car were you in was it a go cart with a know they call them Hummer,
homework classes let me remind you I was like 13 so I didn't have a super fast car at all,
it's like a little Saturn or something you know enough to flip that many times though yes yes,
oh yeah I flipped a pretty good for sure but I feel like she was more just you know nervous about the whole thing but whenever I flip that one time they had to pick me up an ambulance and I had to go around to the pits,
and all I see is my mom just flight like she just flung the door open and just ran up in there like are you okay I'm like I'm fine I'm just a little dizzy from flipping so many times like going on a Merry-Go-Round yeah.
Yeah but it was a fun time then I turned 16 I was able to drive and then
I didn't really race anymore you know my interest was like going out to the river going over to friends you know those kind of things but that is about where I picked up the auto body side,
how so because I think it's kind of funny how your your your dad and your Grandpa would be like.

[5:29] Get away from here don't don't want you sucking up these fumes and now you've made a career not out of sucking up the fumes but hey,
yeah you know they were more shade tree mechanics and I originally wanted to be a mechanic in high school they have,
we had like a technical building you know so we would have a mechanics class and Auto Body class so whenever I was a freshman,
outdoes the first thing I signed up for was the mechanics class
and I really enjoyed it you know learning all the basics changing brake so this is so fun just anything to do with the car I was all about so.

[6:12] It was I was in the mechanics class and then I kind of snuck my way over to
the auto body side and you know I was I was pretty artistic like I like to draw and I like to paint just on canvas you know I like doing some artsy things so,
whenever I went over to the auto body side you know the first thing that he had me do was fix a body line,
and you know pretty much make a body line out of Bondo,
right and I was like wow this is really cool I get to sculpt this body line out of this stuff
you know and then I get the painted I get to pick a color and create a color for this and paint it this is awesome so,
I was able to,
combined my love for the art so I guess you could say and my loafer cars and,
here we are wow and I'm curious I always ask the women that I interviewed just to have this breadth of.

[7:19] I guess variance and different experiences in those classes were you the only female or were there multiple females in your classes,
there were there other girls in my class you know I guess I was the first one to really,
take it and run with it you know what I mean.
Everybody else was just in there just to have fun you know all this is a chill class so have to sit in a language for English class for an hour and a half you know so.
Well I guess I was the only one that was,
like wow okay well this is something I actually want to do and like I'm taking this seriously you know how were you received in that class and I understand what you're saying some of them were like okay I got to get these credits.
Right but it's clear to anyone that observes even remotely when someone is interested in something.
And from the sounds of it you were definitely interested in it and I imagine you probably started to excel throughout the class the more experience and more knowledge you got ya
so the instructor it was she's pretty much still like a second dad to me you know it was his first year.

[8:36] By us whenever I was in the mechanics class he had just started so like I was his first real student that he really got to train.

[8:48] I mean I think that he he's seen that okay well you know she's pretty serious you know like I'll I'll show her the the tricks and.
And everything and he was he was super supportive like I said he's he's like a second dad to me you know yeah I guess just because he put,
the effort in me because I appreciate it,
and he knew he was planting those seeds you know for me in my future it's like a teacher's dream right there oh yeah.
You become a teacher and it doesn't have to be in a formal classroom that could be mentoring right just mentoring people crave the people who want to do those things,
and I am one of those I love helping the person who is a sponge in who shows this great interest and just soaking it all up it's one of the greatest experiences as a mentor.

[9:46] Oh I didn't know that that's awesome and you saying that as a sponge that kind of sounds like me cuz,
I'm all the time want to learn something okay so like the other day where we're at our friends pizza joint and he just he just opened up this pizza place and he would hand tosses on pizzas and I'm just sitting there watching them,
and he's looking at me like I'm crazy and I'm like it's just really cool you know how you do that and I'm just I just want to learn everything and,
it is amazing how they do that is it yeah.
Yeah I could sit there and probably watch stare and watch them do that for for a hot minute in what I can tell you is I have never in my life,
in-person seen someone toss pizza dough,
I think it would be super cool and and I would do the same thing that you did I would sit there and stare at they would probably think I was creepy or something but I'm yeah I would just be so fascinated by it or it's like yeah it was like you know this guy
yeah he knows what he's doing he's from Chicago so he's the real deal he knows what he's doing for sure,
now you were in this Auto Body class in what you were 16 year in high school.

[11:03] Yeah probably started the class 15 maybe 14 or 15,
now we're there other classes like more advanced classes you could take or is this one of those things once that year has done this kind of wait till you're done with high school when then make a make a decision at that point what direction,
so yeah there was there's definitely more advanced classes with that the first class that you ever take his Transportation Corps,
and that's where I was in the mechanics class,
but I really thought I wanted to be a mechanic so I took that class first and then from there you know there's Advanced mechanic classes brakes suspension electrical you know those things and then in the
Auto Body side there were structural repair non-structural pair paint.

[11:55] I think it was just paint and a bunch of different little stuff like that there may have been he may have done a custom paint cause I'm not for sure but yeah if there was a class,
I was in there and I'll tell you how supportive the teachers were.
Is I don't know if I was done with a quiz or something and like my English class my instructor he would call.
He would call in the classroom like hey can I get Madison out of class like I need her to paint this car so like he would get me out of all kinds of classes just to go paint stuff you know and it was it was awesome
wow so here you are honing the skills at a young age you graduate high school what's that decision point.

[12:47] Well in high school there were competitions,
skillsusa competitions so I went three years in a row and I actually did terrible first year second year I got second place and then my senior year is whenever I want,
I'm going to pause you for a second medicine because not everyone knows what skills USA is at a high level can you help the listeners understand okay so you won skills USA and
what does that mean what is that competition skillsusa is a type of Club,
you know you have like your beta clubs your SFA clubs and you know you can go to competitions for those and earn scholarships and.
It's like it's a it's a great networking event I guess you could say two so I was able to compete in skillsusa.

[13:47] On the state level for the state of Tennessee and so my senior year is when a real one and they said I was the first female to win for the state of Tennessee which I thought was pretty cool.
Wait I'm going to pause you because you're being very modest right now okay.
So I've heard skillsusa.
Is a big big to do in anyone in the automotive industry.
Knows what skillsusa is for for the athletes that's like the.

[14:27] I don't know minor leagues to get into the major leagues type thing where it's kind of the tryouts if you will like it's a big deal
and you're so modest about it I guess I need to build you up here girls like in think about that skillsusa,
let me I'm just curious here I'm going to look this up okay.

[14:51] Because I want to see how long this has been around so we're going to check this out.

[15:01] Okay about looking it up right now.

[15:06] Yeah it says here okay there's 53 State and territorial associations,
13.6 million annual members total since 1965 so this has been around since 1965 there 650 National partners.
More than 19,000 classrooms conducting skillsusa training Nat Nationwide.
Thousands of community service activities each year in 1/4 of the US occupational areas covered by skillsusa curriculum.
So that equates based on their website to a hundred and thirty job categories.

[15:50] So again for you to win the entire state of Tennessee is a big deal.
And what is even cooler and I tip my hat to you medicine you are the first female.
That has ever won it for the state in this in this skillsusa institution has been around since 1965.
Yeah that's cool I guess listen to you let that sink in a moment girl yes pat yourself on the back and if you won't do it I'm going to virtually do it for you
that is impressive and that is a way way cool thing and I imagine your teacher was glowing.
Oh yeah oh and it was Automotive refinish technology,
so there's a collision repair side and then there's the paint side so that's the one that I one was for the paint side oh yeah and I'll tell you crazy story about that year too so I had a dream
the night before we go to the skills competition and it was like my number was.

[16:56] In my dream my number was a RT 106 you know Automotive refinish technology 106 and I had one whenever I got that number so the next day we go up,
register and my number is a RT 106.

[17:12] And I was like okay that is insane pretty cool not gonna freak out so anyway the the you know goes through the competition I thought I completely blew it,
because I had a little sag in my clear and I was so mad,
I was I was like throwing the paint booth door open I'm like I had a sag in my clear and they were like chill out look it's just the sack I'm like it's a suck you know I'm just crying about it
and oh man I thought I completely blew it but the day before the awards ceremony.

[17:51] I had another dream that like they didn't call my name and something got messed up like the something I messed up but I had actually won so then
next day at the award ceremony they call the top three people you know whatever and my name wasn't called
and I immediately I just was bro I just broke down crying you know I'm like duh I know I blew it you know and whenever the people that
were called were up there the first place nobody was even standing in the first place position and I'm like they couldn't even make it to the award ceremony you know and they won
and I was just so mad so I just I started crying I was like we're leaving I'm done with this so anyway we're about an hour away because we just left you know.

[18:43] We're about an hour away and we get a phone call,
I says Hey something happened with the tallies with them tally and everything up and you actually won and,
I'm like okay well I'm an hour away now sorry you know so anyway it was really cool you didn't even get to go up on stage and receive it no,
well I tell you what spoiler alert to those listeners I think everything eventually comes around because you are the one who painted the Chevy montage
for the all girls build in 2017 which was the largest.
Gathering around a reveal encima history at that time.

[19:29] That was that was really cool like I was I was so nervous just standing there with everybody and.
It was an energy it was an energy for sure for sure.

[19:41] Wow and I'm just curious and this is like I said pure curiosity.
Skillsusa when you think about the automotive industry I'm totally making an assumption here because I've never attended one.

[19:56] That for the automotive skills the majority of the contestants there are male.
Is that an accurate assumption correct now I'm just curious because as females we typically are emotional beings.
Like you mentioned that you're like hey didn't even make it up there you're really mad at yourself and you started to cry oh yeah man what was that like I mean because I imagine if it's majority of men that.
A lot of them because men in society are taught not to cry right I don't agree with that but men have feelings too.
But I'm guessing there's a you don't see a lot of that how was that received what what was that like for you.

[20:46] I have always been a crier first of all like I'll cry
watching baby you know I'm that is a very sad cartoon they are mean it's terrible and I watch a Disney movie and,
I'm just like what Disney got do me like that make me cry anyway I'm just,
I don't know I'm a crier so I mean I don't know it was it was something that I was really passionate about and I was just,
I was just really hurt the fact that.

[21:21] You know I'm like man I put my heart and soul into this and the the first place person,
just doesn't even care to show up to the award ceremony could they even announced it they okay I don't know what happened but they announced another name,
for they were in like the college section or something I you know I was in high school so they announce the college person for the high school.
Yes yes so I don't know what happened but.

[21:55] It was a happy ending either way the guy who is over all of skills of Tennessee he actually came out to my high school and we did like this big like award ceremony thing in the library and.
You know whenever at our graduation the principal made a specific announcement and I had to stand up in front of everybody after graduation and he acknowledged me so it wasn't like.
You know whatever like even if you didn't do that I would have been fine righto would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert medicine.
Little bit of both I guess like that center of attention right there.

[22:39] Can you roll with it or was did it make you really uncomfortable I don't I don't like attention you know what I mean I'm not I'm not one of those people that.

[22:49] Crave it seek it out no mmmm now it you said something about being modest earlier I'm like I just like don't draw attention I don't like that you know.
I'm just I'm not a fan of having that kind of attention.
Understood a lot of the good ones are that way so when you so you won skillsusa and what happened after high school what did you decide to do after high school zone.

[23:17] Okay so I went to Nationals.
For skills and I placed 11th which I guess it wasn't all that bad but I was beating myself up about it too because I'm like that I knew what these answers were you know like kind of thing but
I'll connect the dots here in a second but I ended up going to Nashville Auto Diesel College you know Nashville Tennessee.
And it was only two hours away from me I was pretty close to home,
yeah so I went there for the 13th month program I don't know it was just for the Collision Repair program.
Their custom paint glass which is pretty cool so you ended up graduating from there.
Yes and what are you working while you're going to school or just exclusively at school then,
I worked a little bit at O'Reilly's at the paint counter you know makes that pain.

[24:13] Now once you'd mentioned you and I don't mean to digress here but you mentioned you came in 11th place and you knew the answers can you,
kind of bring the listeners and myself along what do you mean by that because when I sit there and think about answers I'm like aren't you just painting cars that's what what's there to answer okay so yeah you have like a,
Prep Station a paint station and then you have a color tinting station and the color changing station is what got me,
because I know my color will you know I'm good,
I don't know what happened I panicked or something and I completely flopped that whole section I've made like a 50 out of it and I you know I scored high and everything else but man I wish like,
you know after that I'm like oh I knew,
I like I knew what those were and you know it's like hey this Hue that Hue you know,
just a color tinning thing they had they do have quizzes you know your SAE type tests you got to take tests for that.
Yeah you just have a little quizzes here and there and gets Point stuff interesting interesting.
So I'm just kind of following along you ended up getting your degree.

[25:37] Do you have a job lined up with right out of right after you graduated,
I did I did and whenever I was at Nationals I had met who I went to work with so there was a production company that.
Dealt with Autobody industry type stuff paint companies 3M you know those those type of people so,
I graduated and I immediately moved to Little Rock Arkansas,
to work there and that was a that was a pretty awesome gig I was able to fly out,
and go to go see Gas Monkey go see Foose you know working all behind the scenes but you know I'm a sponge so,
when you say you flew out and you got to see them went but you're talking about being a sponge did you actually work with them or is it just observation.

[26:38] Okay so the company that I worked for was a production company they handle social media they handled advertising so what,
would happen would be 3M would hire us to go out to Chip Foose has place and Chip Foose will use their products and we would do like demo videos
you know little little videos like that how-to videos and we would come back you know make them into little videos put them on their social medias,
what that is such a cool gig yeah it was pretty cool and that I got to meet a lot of people in that is exactly how I got into contact with bogie and BASF,
and I got a back up just a moment here cuz I'm trying to wrap my mind around this so you met them at skillsusa,
yes they were live streaming the whole competition,
okay and then they approached you to see if you wanted to be like a brand rep am I thinking about that right,
yeah yeah I was doing some like YouTube videos of car stuff you know I was more like the host dish kind of thing.

[27:52] No Kiddin yeah I mean I didn't really like all that.

[27:57] Like I don't really like that part all that much because you know I'm My Own like attention so everybody was like look at me and I would fumble whatever I'm trying to say something and.
I'm like no no this isn't for me so I'm just curious why did they say they chose you as the subject matter expertise because
it's not like you had production experience before then you were really Hands-On and painting.

[28:25] Right so whenever we went to Nationals my mind structor my mentor one thing that he really drilled into my head was,
connections connections connections Network you have to network so that's how I got to know a lot of people,
there and I just kept in contact with that person until I was out of college so
they wanted somebody that knew they wanted somebody that knew about the industry and that's where I came in and you know learning the social media and I don't really do any of the production stuff I'm completely illiterate with
computer stuff so unlike,
just post on Facebook you know post on Instagram and I was kind of I was behind the production of,
hey this is how you're supposed to do this you know make sure the camera guys get this angle of what he's supposed to do don't get that over there because they're not supposed to be doing that.

[29:28] So leveraged your expertise around kind of best practices.
Yes yes yes yes and I will look at TDS sheets with TDS.
The technical data sheets so what is what does that mean even what is that,
um okay so PPG the paint companies they'll have these technical data sheets this says hey you're supposed to use 600 or P600 Appy,
1200 grit sandpaper whenever using this product so.
I would make sure that they are using that specific product you know according to what kind of their products that's you know what I mean yeah like I didn't want to,
okay well you can just use 400 on my no no,
the TDs is you 600 you have to use 600 you know that's what's captured on video you're making sure that what they're actually doing when it's captured is accurate and consistent with the data sheet.
Right exactly got it okay.
Wow it is so you got to like fly all around the country and shoot these like many videos.

[30:44] Wow.

[30:46] What a gig it was pretty cool it was pretty cool but you know you just know sometimes you know it's like this is really cool but this is not where my heart's at you know.
So I got to the point,
I was like I've got to get out of here like I couldn't even stay in the State anymore I was like I've got to go back home to Tennessee you know like I've just I've got to get out of here like I'm I've got to check I've got to go after what I want to do.
You know how long did you end up doing that Madison at the production company.

[31:22] Let's see I was in Little Rock for.

[31:29] For years I think I was doing that maybe a year and a half or two years out of that.
And then I was in a high production shop now explain for myself and for the listeners when you say hi production shop.
I'm making some assumptions what that means but could you explain what that is.
Yeah absolutely haha production shop so I was in one of the largest body shops in the state of Arkansas I'm pretty sure it's what they said.
Of there were five painters including myself and I think they added a sixth one I can't remember,
but oh yeah four five huge booths in the shop and it was just,
knocking a man knocking them out you know really high production.
Getting stuff done kind of shop so it relates to just volume how many they're doing got it yes yeah that's what I assumed but I didn't I wanted to make sure.

[32:35] Yes so you did that if you're there for four years you did the other about to so you were there for about two years on.

[32:44] And then what made you want to leave there.
Okay so I moved to Little Rock for the production company then I was like okay well I'm not doing anything hands on,
you know I'm just like a like I've got it I've got to be in a shop you know so then I went to the.
The collision shop and then I got to the point where I'm like I need to do something more
so I went back to the production company doing kind of a different role and they had expanded at this point so there were more people there,
they actually had a shop in the back and they had a booth back there you know we helped,
we helped build this booze and there was there's a lot more to do at this point than before so so I'm going to pause you for one second because I think there's an underlying message that that you're sharing,
that you don't even know that you're sharing and this is where I want the listeners to maybe you've picked up on it maybe you didn't but.
You worked for the production company the key is is leaving on good terms.

[33:55] Right you did this other job getting back in and Hands-On and painting and the working and.

[34:03] I did that for a minute and because you left the door open with the production company you actually were able to go back.

[34:12] And I think that's key but one caveat I want to put out there.
If that other company that you left was garbage and treated you like garbage.
Don't worry about not going back but it sounds like this production company did right by you and you kept that door open.
Yeah you know everybody's got their ups and downs yeah I mean we it's like like I said you know just stay in contact you know if you have Downs you get over it quick talk it out.
Everything's fine you know that's great that's great the.
So you're with the production company you help them set up this booth it sounds like it was expanding and giving you even more different new experiences.

[34:58] At some point it sounded like he got homesick oh yeah absolutely most four hours away from home.
I did I completely I just got home sick and you know like there was no huge cities around me,
I just I got tired of being away from my family for five years you know so yeah the.
The crowd that was in Little Rock was just awful the car saying was awful I just I couldn't take it anymore I had to get out of there.
I was like I need to go back home I don't care I didn't even have a job lined up whenever I came back home I said I will figure it out and leap of faith leap of faith,
all it often takes now where did you end up meeting your husband so I was working in Martin but you don't know where that is but I was working,
in Morton and it was a hot rod shop a very high-end hot rod shop which.
You know that that's job that I was able to get whenever I move back home which was awesome so I was headed to work it was 6 a.m. so I get pulled over,
because I did drive a manual and it was 6 a.m. nobody was coming so I just casually rolled through a stop sign you know didn't really want to put it in first gear so.

[36:27] Rolled on through it got pulled over so I didn't really talk my way out of it he's like well you rolled that stop sign was like yeah I did sure did.
So anyway he gave me ticket then I had to go to Driving School in this wasn't back back home in Tennessee right yes yes is in Tennessee I had only been home for,
maybe six months at this point and he is an officer in town so I seen them in driving school and didn't really think much about it,
well no I take that back I had to go to court and I seen him in court.

[37:03] And then he gave me a driving school date so this was the day that we went to Detroit Auto Rama,
and we just got back and it was it was a miracle because the flyer fell from my sun visor and I completely forgot about,
robbing school you know and the sometime later the the fire fell from us our advisor I was like oh my goodness like I forgot about driving school hopefully they're not going to arrest me if I'm not there you know I'm freaking out about it so anyway,
go to go to driving school and I'm like the second one to leave and he walks in and
you know he asked me a question he's like oh I see you're Detroit or something at a car show and I was like taking a back was like yeah,
and I'm like how does he know you know right right.
Little did I know like I didn't know that we're friends on Facebook at that time so oh my God anyway.

[38:06] So you didn't connect the dots with any of this then no.

[38:12] So he's like oh yeah it's really cool and I'm kind of like yeah okay creepy yeah
yeah yeah like I don't pay attention to my Facebook enough you know I'm terrible with that.
So yeah so we can chat a little bit and I made up some excuse to walk back in there and talk to him some more and then,
yeah that we've been talking ever since and here we are,
yes talking ever since you're married now yeah yeah have it Mississippi that it that is such a cool and funny story oh no and you know people that know he's officer,
they asked well how do you mean I was like well I got this ticket one day and they look at them they're like I can't believe you would give her a ticket I'm like let me finish.

[39:06] It all worked out it all work out oh goodness is so you let's talk a little bit about the Detroit
Auto Rama because that's that's a big to do you have many feathers in your cap as it relates to painting so
Detroit Auto Rama for The Listener who may or may not know what that is and a summary how would you describe what the Detroit Auto Rama's,
Detroit Auto Rama is the top of the top car shows of the year that is where the Riddler is ground and The Riddler is the most pristine award.
And the industry that and like the America's most beautiful Roadster but I think that the Riddler's the top of the top and I have always said
man I wish I could just paint a riddler that would be awesome yeah so,
you compete for the Riddler and there's eight of them there's eight cars that are crammed grade 8 and then from those eight
Riddler's picked so whenever I move back home I was able to get this job at the heart at this hot rod shop and I was like I said I was
I was only there for like six months and I was able to paint this 36 Pontiac,
and we took it to Detroit.

[40:33] And we got a grade 8 which was awesome just a minor thing I mean just to put this in perspective bring people's timeline along from the time you graduated college to you.

[40:46] Winning the vehicle that one the great eight and you are the painter for it what's that time lapse.
I'm graduating 2012 we got the Riddler 2008 teen six years.
Six years in probably to approximately two of those you weren't even painting cars correct.

[41:09] Wow yes right yeah and if this goes back to me just being a sponge.
You know there's a lot of hard-headed people out there they're like nope it's my way or the highway and.
Like whenever I was out there with Chip Foose with the other guys Gas Monkey all these other people that are way smarter than me every time they would do something I would sit there watch them.

[41:38] I picked up a lot of Trade Secrets I guess you could say little tricks,
and I would apply them I'm like oh well I seen someone so do this I'm going to try this.
And it's never a close-minded thing you know I'm always learning I'm always advancing there trying to advance you know what I mean absolutely.
That's amazing so here you are you're at the shop,
and you guys earned this grade 8 which is like the Pinnacle the only step above that is the Riddler.
Right so who knows maybe that's next in the cards for you Madison it's just working your way up kind of like you did with skillsusa where you know.
You just gradually worked your way up to winning it all so you're at this shop and there came a point where you but you decided to leave the shop.
Okay so it's one of those stories what happened was so we get back from Detroit and everything was cool that was a Monday.

[42:51] Tuesday Wednesday I was off Thursday I go into work just like.

[42:58] Nothing just like everything is fine you know have my work pants on or I'm ready to work so locked in and.
He says Hey and there was a lot of weird stuff going on in the shop just like the vibe you know they work environment was just off it was terrible.
Like there was a lot of stuff going on so anyway a clock in and.

[43:25] I do something and then he's like hey will you meet me out front so I got front and he he just a straight-up hey this isn't working out.
I was like okay you know and I'm like why and he's like I was just not working out why,
you know I'm just keep asking him why he needed a vehicle that's literally what I told him I said I know it's not work performance,
because I was here last week all week till four am trying to get this car to Detroit.
But like I said it's no it's not raining formance it's not that's not an issue what's the deal oh well it's just not working help blah blah blah so he slipped up,
and there was jealousy issues.

[44:16] This is not me speculating or whatever so I was on the cover of this 3M brochure thing for the new 2.0 cups PPS cups,
so anyway
his son I think was in charge of the social media and he shared you know because I posted it because I thought it was pretty cool so he shared it and he said oh you know congrats to one of our own,
doing some cool stuff and whatnot well the boss started to do it right and I'm like okay well that's kind of weird you know you're not proud of somebody you know that was my first red flag,
that's way weird yeah anyway as he's firing me,
he says something he yet this is where he slips up he says you know it took me 10 years to get my first feature in a magazine.
And I look at him and I said what does that have to do with anything.

[45:14] Nothing wow I was like that obviously stemmed from that whole post,
or maybe even did you get attention and Detroit to while you're there oh yes it was it was crazy but apparently people fly off the handle if they know a girl painted something who would have known.
But I didn't know and then you learn the hard way on some stuff at Detroit which is really cool you get a day in advance to set up.
Like you can say ended buff right there on the showroom floor which I thought was pretty cool you know there's a whole roll of cars and people are just cutting and buffing on this stuff.
And I'm like I had no idea we could do this you know I would be sanding and buffing some stuff right now I just thought we were done.
So a new couple guys from Wizards and they had.

[46:11] You know they let me use a buffer they let me use all the stuff right so I'm like okay I got to get this car buffed do something to this car so me buffing on this car.
I didn't know that people were chit-chatting about it but um like the next day I had another friend that was there he owns a shop in Kentucky he just looked at me he was like no no like people know,
that this is the one that the girl painted,
I was like that's cool and all but like there are they saying it it looks good like that's what I'm worried about how do you feel about that Madison I'm just curious because I have heard other stories where,
there is a jealousy Factor where there's some men not all of them but there are some men.
Who feel the recognition that some women get is whether it's in Motorsports.
And maybe it's the sponsors that they get or the attention that they get or.
In automotive any other Automotive space that it's because there are girl what do you think about that when things like that or said.

[47:20] It gets on my nerves so bad I mean.
I think that's that has a lot to do with me not wanting my face on anything you know what I mean I'm more like hey here's my work,
don't look at me look at what I produced you know like that's that's where I'm at.
I've been I've been called every name in the book you know in high school there was stuff written about me on the bathroom stall you know,
in college there was a lot of jealousy with this one girl that was in my class and it was it was it's not like it's funny that I think back about it now but um,
we're in paint class and the instructor was saying.

[48:06] We're talking about candy paint jobs like true candy paint jobs and hear the saying if anybody were to walk out of this classroom,
that could that I had confidence I could do it a true candy paint job it would be Madison and the looks and I got.

[48:22] From these people I was like you know quit look at me you know just out of curiosity medicine because you bring up a good point,
how did you handle those things because you just shared a couple of off-the-cuff examples of some of those kind of uncomfortable.
Unjustified situations that you were put in right how did you handle those if you were talking to other you know young women coming up through the industry.
What tips and tricks would you tell them to help them through their Journey first I'll try to be.

[48:59] As delicate with the situation with this conversation because.
There are some bad apples and I have been denied jobs because of bad apples,
multiple jobs like I can count more than one.
Because I didn't want to female in the shop because their wife is jealous and you know they've had a female in the shop and they've slept with everybody in the shop and in the mechanic shop you know what I mean so,
I think that says it all right there Madison if you're really in this industry.
Because you want to be in this industry you have to respect yourself before you can get respect from somebody else.
And what I mean by that is.
You know I can't be posing in some booty shorts across the hood of a car and be taken seriously you know.

[50:04] We've we've got to present ourselves not your typical stereotype whatever you know,
I'm seeing what you got for me though this is a tough topic right it is it is it's something that I've tried to explain,
because it's the very essence of what Femcanic Garage about,
they're it boils down to me and you can tell me if I'm misrepresenting what you're trying to say in any way it boils down to me I have a my daughter is going to turn 13 years old next week.
And I know she goes online and checks out what Mom does and she probably checks out these women that I'm interviewing as well,
social media you can find tons of different things right internet you can find tons of different things.
In what I ask myself is before I ask anyone to be on the Femcanic Garage show.
I go and research and myself and I ask myself a simple question.
Is this the type of image and female empowerment I want my daughter to uses a role model.

[51:12] If I can answer yes to that that woman is a woman I want on my podcast.
That is very well said and I don't want my daughter's gorgeous she's a beautiful young girl and I don't want her.
Thinking the only way to get attention and to get someplace.
Is through sexualizing herself and don't get me wrong Aye-Aye,

[51:42] I want women to embrace their femininity I love that we can be in a male-dominated industry and still be feminine it's the very essence of the word Femcanic right right let's embrace our feminism,
in female empowerment does not equal mailed this empowerment.

[52:01] And I want to I want to be a role model and I want all these women that in an interview because everything always sounds better when it's not coming from Mom right everyone else is the genius not Mom,
but if through the women that I interview maybe just maybe it'll create this space for teaching young women.
How they can be strong independent.
Intelligent feminine women that Embrace their femininity without sexualizing themselves 100%.
It's tough I've heard multiple things through these interviews where they're when you say One Bad Apple can ruin the whole bunch is that there are women out there who do it more for the attention,
right then For the Love of the skill.
Right where the sport and it's it's more about that for you.

[52:59] Right so to Circle back to it the girls out here that really do have their heart and soul into it you will.

[53:10] The nasty remarks the oh you just do it for the attention and you are where you are because you are a female.
You know those kind of things which has happened to me multiple times I will give one example there's a shop down the road.
This was right whenever I opened up my shop we were able to get a job and we bought a,
a brand new Cody well I say we but um you know customer he wanted a crate coyote in this 68 F100 so.
Anyway I was super excited about it and I posted a selfie it's just kind of like a me and this engine on the crate and like a thumbs up like I'm so excited for this you know and.
This person was like so who's going to put that in I was like we are and he went on to talking about how I'm at I'm where I am because I'm a female and I have,
all these sponsorships that's how I'm able to do what I do.
And you know just a whole lot of crazy talk most of the people that say these kind of things don't know you at all they don't know your story there it's all rooted out of jealousy.

[54:33] Nobody gives me anything I've had a bar everything here nobody gives me anything for free I have no sponsorships this is us working hard building the shop up good for you for standing your ground yeah,
good for you I think this this kind of segues and you kind of mentioned it but you have your own shop now.
Yeah that you were forced into that because of exactly what you just said is around jealousy yeah,
how crazy is it that we were in church Sunday and I was talking to a guy and he was saying oh yeah well you know I heard,
I heard there was a girl that was Peyton here and then he let her go because he was there's jealousy issues and she's over here working on her own shop and I was like,
oh yeah that sounds pretty familiar you know I was like that's pretty that's pretty funny that other people see it too,

[55:33] Was that a different female that happened to her he was just heard about the story and the story was really you yeah yeah that's exactly what it was and he didn't even realize it no didn't even realize it wow.
So how is your business has been up and going for how long.
A little over two years we opened July August dish in 2018.
Well congratulations in you know hey your doors are still open your surviving through covid so kudos to you.

[56:07] Thank you thank you it's been rough on everybody you know I feel for the small businesses in our town that had to shut down.
It was just it was it's just been a weird year you know yes it has this is this has been.

[56:26] One of the most challenging years by far for many reasons and the very thing that I love about this industry.

[56:36] We couldn't have any of those events this year.

[56:39] I know and that's the time that I often get to meet and meet up with the amazing women that I've had an opportunity to talk to virtually,
and sometimes it's the only time I get to see him as during these events because,
women in the industry and men in the industry often times work long hours so taking some time off and just shooting shooting the shit sometimes is.
Isn't always a feasible option especially leading up to those events there's a lot of long hours that are put in oh yeah absolutely.
So do you think your shop will get a car up to the Detroit Auto Rama eventually yeah.

[57:25] There's nothing in mind at the moment I do have one in mind that I would like to take two good guys who which one which good guys.

[57:37] Say Columbus say the Columbus one yeah yeah I mean I don't really know all the details about good guys just whichever one we have to take it to I'm in Columbus Ohio so okay,
come on to Columbus I know the good guys Nationals one of their larger shows as here in Columbus oh yeah goody vent to see some people.
Oh for sure,
and that that's really fun for me I love the good guy shows for sure yeah it's there's so many great cars I mean all of those you talk about Sima good guys I haven't been to Detroit on a rama that is in my bucket list to go but,
imagine you walk around those shows you see amazing,
car after car after car anytime you leave there and you come home to regular cars yes like right right yeah and what's cool about the,
is like upstairs,
is 100% serious like you got judges walking around with like a magnifying glass you know what I mean,
it's intense its high stress,
like I can't I can't even watch them you know they're looking at everything and I know where every flaw is and I'm like oh well they don't feel like don't don't walk over there don't.

[58:54] Don't get out your magnifying glass right there.
Yeah I'm like don't do that so so that's the top floor right and then you go on the bottom floor which has.

[59:07] Bunch of rat rods rockabilly concerts Gene Winfield's down there chopping a,
something you know chopping the top of something like it's just awesome like two completely different environments you know what I mean I want to compare here so.
Sima versus Detroit Auto Rama hmm I don't know that's a good one I really.
Hmm Detroit I don't get out around Detroit you know what I mean like I just I go to the show and that's it but at Seema,
there's a lot of After parties that you know I don't drink or whatever but just the After parties that the the companies,
put on it's just a Gathering Place like Count's Kustoms does a get together every year.
I go to that one you know there's just a lot of stuff to do after the show the cars are cool.

[1:00:12] The you know the gathering places and the hangout you really get to talk to these people just after the show too,
more so at Seema yeah yeah gotcha they both have their perks and benefits,
right and there may be some little competitions at Seema I'm not for sure oh Builder something builder of the year or something.
There's there's some stuff going on at Seema but seems pretty much like a laid-back show off your stuff,
not true judging like what you'd see at the Detroit Auto Rama oh yeah that's stressful there tell you.

[1:00:52] Well I think this is a good time to launch into the red line around Madison what it is is a five rapid-fire questions there's no right or wrong answer to it whatever pops into your heads right answer are you ready all right.
All right who or what has been your inspiration throughout your journey in the industry.

[1:01:12] I know you said rapid fire but I'm like.

[1:01:19] Doo doo doo yeah that I have no clue I mean there's.

[1:01:26] I get my inspiration from so many people so many things know it's hard to really Pin It Down.
Okay you know what my mom your mama yep what is mom's name Tracy Tracy you've done well.
Yes done well Tracy yeah I'm like no what my mom she's been there through thick and thin that is way cool that is way cool.

[1:01:52] You just you just made your mom stay by the way oh yeah she's the best I'm telling you.
Madison where do you go or what resources do you use when you want to learn something new or you get stuck on a job.

[1:02:06] YouTube man everything is on YouTube.
Like you know of course you can go to the TDS sheets you can go to the different things but I go to YouTube a lot like I'm having.
Like on that Cody I'm having a problem trying to get a solid Tech reading and,
I gotta MSD gmr pickup I got this other classic instruments converter thing and you know this is the first time I'm wiring stuff and,
I'm just I'm having a hard time with it so I'm like why didn't I think about this YouTube so oh man there's so much stuff on YouTube.
Absolutely yeah YouTube YouTube YouTube.
There's some good stuff on there absolutely Madison what excites you most about what you do.
The finished product I've seen your finished products but excite me too.
I mean that's really.

[1:03:14] I don't know like whenever I start to see things come together I start to get really excited,
you know of course like I like the painting that's probably my my favorite thing to do but whenever we start,
putting things together and final assembly like okay let's like let's like work double time try to get this thing done you know I'm like like I just I'm pushing through till the finish product like that,
I just I have the end goal in mind you know like that's where I'm shooting for beautiful.
There is something to be said for that so.
It's hard to explain to someone and I'm trying to think of a good analogy and I'm struggling with it but when you put that much time and attention and effort into something like the first time that you hear the engine turn over.
The first time that you drive it it just it's a Feeling.

[1:04:13] Unlike any other it really is it's not a big surprise people are moved to tears when it happens.

[1:04:21] Oh yeah we were we were stuck on that coyote for a while like I just we turn it over it run for two seconds and they have a stop.
You know it would blow a fuse and it would just cut off and,
I don't want to tell you what fixed it because it was it was just so stupid I am
but anyway whenever we fixed it and it started running we are able to drive it take it on test drives I was just like okay let's yeah it's just like an adrenaline boost.
Yeah what is a personal habit or practice that has helped you significantly in the industry when you feel stuck or discouraged.
Hmm walk away you you've got to walk away from the problem for a minute.
You know sit back think you know what did I do did I do anything wrong
because if you just if you just keep working on it and try to fix it and you're just emotionally physically drained you're not helping anything you just hey it's going to be there tomorrow.
Let's take a break walk away Sound Advice that is sound advice and speaking of advice.
What is your parting advice to other Femcanic is finding their way in the skilled trades industry.

[1:05:48] Um number one advice I see a lot of ladies and like the Facebook groups that take a lot of stuff personally with the guys in the shop.
Like these girls were really take the stuffed heart and know it's really hard to not,
really take this stuff seriously so I grew up with a big brother you know one thing that my mom would always tell me it's just like a normal like act like it doesn't bother you and that will bother them more,
and it works so you know even if you say something if somebody says something to you that's that's a little hurtful which it takes practice,
to not be hurt by somebody like that so.
If somebody says something to you hopeful just know that you can.

[1:06:48] You can't control what other people say but you can control how you react to him I love that that is so well said yeah.
Somebody can come up here and start yelling in my face and if I just start yelling back you know what's that going to solve.
But if I just sit here and act like you don't bother me which you know sometimes it may not really and sometimes it may bother me but I'm going to act like doesn't that's gonna affect him a lot more than.
You know firing back on because that's what they want they want,
to poke you and push your buttons and get you all fired up and they just like to antagonize so if you don't play into their little games and just like Hitler.
I'm catching what your throne and I'm throwing it back yeah and I mean they will they will even respect you a little bit more.

[1:07:44] He's got to work with what you got you know people in this industry are going to be crude they're going to be nasty you just better.
Figure out how to deal with it that is Sound Advice in Madison where and how can people connect with you and your company,
I have a Facebook I might not add you for three months but if you just want to add me on Facebook just Madison Alexander my business is on Facebook riveting rides,
I am on Instagram which is Madison underscore Alexander with like two x's,
Riven rides is not Instagram to its ribboning underscore arise I don't wait I know Tick-Tock you know that so.

[1:08:31] Yeah I think your response because I have it on there for people to share that stuff and you put definitely not for tick-tock.

[1:08:41] Yeah no oh that's wonderful Madison thank you so much for being in the driver seat today I so enjoyed.
Walking us through your journey in the NFL.

[1:08:53] You very much my name is Madison Alexander and I'm the owner of riveting ride hot rods and custom in Milan Tennessee and I am a Femcanic.
Joanie Butler is in the driver seat next this small-town girl from Northern California Grace the amateur surfing scene in the early 90s all while pursuing her passion in the trades.
Immediately after high school she entered into the trades Moonlighting as an assistant crew chief on a NASCAR Sportsman team.
Certified in small engine mechanics taught herself how to weld before YouTube was an option,
dabbled in metal art and was a sales representative and metal fabricator for a company that sold direct fit catalytic converters and later was recruited to work for Arc Zone.com.
Be sure to tune in in here from this icon in the industry until next time Femcanic.

[1:09:59] Thanks for listening to the Femcanic Garage podcast you can find us on Instagram Facebook and Twitter at Femcanic Garage.
Check out our website Femcanic Garage.com for swag in the transcribes for each episode if you want to help.
Grow this community do me a favor and subscribe rate review and most importantly share this podcast spread the word.
This is Jayme B signing off. ARE YOU A FEMCANIC?

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