Raised In The Rocks

The Faces of Jeep interview with Michaela Mathis, Ambassador for Crawlher


FOJ-[Natasha]: “Why did you chose Jeep?”

Michaela: “I chose Jeep because I grew up in an off-road family. For most of my life my parents have always had Jeeps, starting when I was six with my dad’s old Cherokee. I fell in love with that Cherokee, and always wanted one. I got my first Cherokee when I was 15. Now three years later, I am driving my second Cherokee, Necro.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “How long have you been wheeling?”

Michaela: “My family has been wheeling since I was six, so for twelve years. I learned how when I was thirteen in my mom’s JK.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What modifications have you done, and which companies would you suggest to others?”

Michaela: “My Cherokee, Necro, is on 35″ Goodyear Wrangler MXT Kevlars, with 4.5″ Rustys leaf spring packs, and JKS shocks. I have the Rustys steering gearbox brace, and track bar brace. I’ve got a Rough Country track bar and mount. I have JCR Crusader side steps and rocker armor, and the JCR DIY rear bumper. I have a Nates 4×4 front winch bumper. I also have a custom made long arm set up. I have a front mechanical locker, and welded spider gears in the rear axle. I’ll be changing the welded gears to a trac-loc soon.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Where all have you traveled and what kind of wheeling do you prefer best?”

Michaela: “I have traveled all over Michigan to wheel, my favorite spot is Drummond Island. I love rock crawling, and mud was something I got over when I was younger when my mom lost a u joint while driving home on Christmas, a month after we had last gone wheeling.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What are some of your favorite Jeep events you have attended?”

Michaela: “Some of my favorites’ are Cadillac Jeepers Jeep Blessing, Snofari, and Toledo Jeep Fest. Snofari is my favorite because it’s wheeling in Michigan in the winter time.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Tell us about your most memorable Jeep adventure moment?”

Michaela: “The most memorable adventure moment would be my first time rock crawling in my Jeep. My dad spotted me over a rock pile, one that a lot of people struggle over.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “How has Jeep influenced your life?”

Michaela: “I wouldn’t be myself without it. I grew up in a Jeep family. Jeep has lead me to following my passion of being a DNR conservation officer. I’m doing a course to become an ORV instructor. I met my boyfriend because of off-roading.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Can you tell us about your ambassadorship with Crawlher and how this opportunity has inspired you?”

Michaela: “I have only been a full ambassador for a few days now, but it’s awesome. Everyone I have met has been so welcoming and supportive. The opportunity to work with Britt and Tiff, and all of the other ambassadors is something I am so grateful for. Crawlher was a company my mom found and showed me because it had a skull in the logo. I bought a lot of stickers from there at first, and then started buying shirts. This opportunity has inspired me to learn even more, so I can inspire others. Crawlher has become my tribe.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What is the best part about being a woman in the off-road community?”

Michaela: “The best part? Being able to be myself. I was always kind of an outsider in school due to like “guy things” and in the off-road community I’m accepted. Off-roading has let me blossom into a confident young woman who can do anything. I don’t feel alone anymore.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What are some of your biggest accomplishments?”

Michaela: “Getting my Jeep, Necro, on the road. My parents bought a shell with a lift and lockers to replace my old Cherokee that had frame damage. The shell and the drivetrain they later bought were my graduation present. I had to put the two together, as my Jeep had 37s and an ls before my parents bought the shell. It was a year later when Necro finally started, and a couple weeks after that when I drove it for the first time to pick my sister up from band practice.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What tips would you suggest to a new Jeeper?”

Michaela: ‘Wheel it before you build it. Learn how capable the stock Jeep is before adding modifications to it. This teaches you how to wheel before you end up with a built rig and no clue how to wheel. I know it doesn’t sound as cool, but in doing so you can learn what you want to do.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What are your future goals for yourself?”

Michaela: “My future goals are to inspire more little girls, so they don’t feel as alone, to become a great ambassador for a great company. I want to build my Jeep and travel the country to wheel in different places, and go to different events. My career goal is to become a DNR conservation officer.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: ” Thank you Michaela for sharing your Jeep Journey with us. Wishing you an awesome 2018 wheeling season.”

Photo from Michaela Mathis, Questions asked by FOJ-Natasha Kokkinis & Answers from Michaela Mathis

Permission from sender to use this content

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