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OFF-ROAD MAFIA LLC

The Faces of Jeep interview with Heather & Drew Hyman

Owners of Off-ROAD MAFIA LLC

 

FOJ-Natasha: “Why did you choose Jeep?”

Heather: “I had been a passenger in a Jeep a time or two but never really got into them until I met Drew. We bought our first Jeep together 13 years ago and my love for them has grown since then. The history behind the Jeep is so intriguing and every day I learn something new about them.”

Drew: “My second vehicle was a CJ-7 and I’ve owned 6 since then. It became a passion at an early age that I am currently able to enjoy as an adult.”

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

Heather: “Since I just recently bought my own Jeep, I have only been wheeling about 2 years. With the help of my husband and the guys in our club I’ve learned the tricks and trades of wheeling.”

Drew: “I started wheeling Jeeps around the age of 18 and I have been wheeling ever since.”

FOJ-Natasha: “What modifications have you done and which companies do you recommend?”

Heather: “My Jeep was completely stock when I bough it. I have done a Rusty’s 5” long arm lift, Rusty’s front and rear bumpers, Rusty’s sliders, Rusty’s flare delete kit, Rusty’s inner fenders, Rusty’s spare delete, exterior lighting, Bestop Trektop NX glide, Diabolical Slipstream XLS, Falken Wild Peak MT’s, TIS 540b wheels, HID Projectors, ORO taillights, Bartact seat covers, updated sound system, IDRIVE and slickrock Gear JK pockets. I would recommend any of these companies above.”

Drew: “I have added a Rusty’s 5” long arm lift kit, Rusty’s flare delete kit, ACE inner fenders aftermarket bumpers, Trail Dash 2 programmer, exterior lighting, TIS 540b wheels and Falken Wild Peak MT’s. I would recommend any of the ones listed above and we deal with many other great companies through the shop.”

FOJ-Natasha: “Where have you traveled and where is your favorite place to wheel?”

Heather & Drew: “We have recently been able to travel to Dallas Fort Worth Texas, Daytona Beach Florida, Panama City Beach Florida, Myrtle Beach South Carolina, Sevierville Tennessee and Butler Pennsylvania for Jeep events and shows. Our favorite place to wheel is Coppinger Cove located in Tennessee.”

FOJ-Natasha: “What Jeep events have you attended and which ones are your favorite?”

Heather & Drew: “UOR in Texas, Jeep Beach in Daytona, Jeep Beach Jam in Myrtle Beach, Jeep Beach Jam in Panama City, Jeep Quest in Tennessee and Bantam Jeep Fest in Pennsylvania.”

Heather: “My favorite was Jeep Beach Jam in Myrtle beach because it was my first “real” show and I got to meet some really cool people.”

Drew: “My favorite is Jeep Beach in Daytona because all the vendors are there, lots of people, lots of events and it’s a very well run event.”

FOJ-Natasha: “Tell us about one of your most memorable Jeep adventure moments.”

Heather: “That would have to be the first time I wheeled by myself. Being out there with the guys tends to make me nervous and I was so worried I was going to do something wrong or mess up. Everyone on the trip was so helpful and they made me feel more comfortable and I actually ended up doing a good job at it.”

Drew: “That would have to be the first time I got to watch my wife, Heather, wheel. She rode with me so long, it was like taking the training wheels off and watching her go on her own.”

FOJ-Natasha: “How has Jeep influenced your life and what inspired you to open Off-Road Mafia LLC?”

Heather: “I have learned to become educated in my knowledge of Jeeps and have started to share that with the community of women that I have met. By becoming an ambassador of multiple companies, I have learned to step outside of my comfort zone and become more involved in the Jeep community.”

Drew: “Jeep has enabled me to make a career change from the construction field to the Jeep field in the last 5 years. By owning a company, I’m extremely involved in the community and I deal with some of the best people in this field. I opened Off-Road Mafia because of my love and passion for Jeeps. It started as a side business – Working on Jeeps in my driveway but I realized I could help so many people by opening my own business.”

FOJ-Natasha: “Can you tell us a little about Off-Road Mafia LLC, the services and products you offer?”

Drew: “We are a small, local business that offers full scale Jeep modifications. We offer everything from mild to wild – If you can imagine it, we can build it. We have relationships with over 80% of the Jeep marketplace.”

FOJ-Natasha: “With all the builds that you have done, which one is your favorite?”

Heather & Drew: “We have done so many different types of builds, it’s so hard to choose just one. Every build is different and personal and that’s what makes them so great.”

FOJ-Natasha: “What is your favorite part about being an entrepreneur in the off-road community?”

Drew: “The people – The customers – The Jeepers – The owners – The guys on the road doing the shows. Everyone in the off-road community are good people.”

FOJ-Natasha: “What are some of your greatest accomplishments?”

Heather: “Stepping out of my box and realizing as a women, I can wheel a Jeep and I can reach and help the female Jeep community on my own. I may be a small minority of the Jeep community, but I have a big voice and I can make an impact.”

Drew: “I think accomplishments are the combination of positive and negative events that results in an end goal. I started and continue to run a successful Jeep and 4 x 4 shop. It was a dream of mine that became a reality.”

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

Heather & Drew: “Don’t wheel alone, do your research before buying parts or selecting a shop, don’t ever be afraid to ask questions, always continue to expand your knowledge, go out and meet other Jeepers and remember why you bought the Jeep in the first place. Oh..and ALWAYS wave!”

FOJ-Natasha: “What are your future goals for yourselves and Off-Road Mafia LLC?”

Heather: “To continue to learn and put myself out there. I want to meet as many people in the Jeep community as I can. I would love to one day have a job in the Jeep industry. I will continue to support the business and help it grow in any way possible.”

Drew: “To travel to some new places with our Jeeps and our company, and to grow the company and become more involved in the Jeep industry.”

FOJ-Natasha: “Thank-you Heather & Drew for sharing your journey and passion for Jeeps with us. We enjoy following Off-Road Mafia LLC on social media, and look forward to watching you grow. Keep up the great work you are both doing in the Jeep community and we wish you a wonderful 2018 wheeling season.”

Photo from Heather & Drew Hyman, Questions asked by FOJ-Natasha Kokkinis & Answers from Heather & Drew Hyman

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Halley’s Comet

The Faces of Jeep interview with Halley Williams

 

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

Halley: “My mother always told me since I was 3 years old that she pictured me in a Jeep, all thanks to the movie Terminator. She said that I reminded her of Sarah Connor. I worked at a Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep dealership when I lived in Fairbanks, Alaska. While working there I started to see the true appeal of the build of Jeeps, and I knew that someday I would own one. Sadly, I didn’t get my Jeep until about a year after my mother passed away. She was my inspiration to get something that spoke more of who I am and my character. When I named my Jeep, I wanted to incorporate something that would be in honor of my mother, and be a part of me. I came up with Comet, because my mother named me after Halley’s Comet.”

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

Halley: “I have been wheeling off and on since 2003, before I got my license. But Jeep wheeling has been going on constantly for a little over a year now.”

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

Halley: “So far the only enhancing modifications I’ve done to my Jeep has been a Mopar lift 3.5″ and BFG All Terrain 35″ tires with 18″ wheels. As well as an aftermarket oil pan/transfer skid plate. My 2016 JKU Sahara Back Country Edition came stock with a lot of great off-roading features such as rear lockers, skid plates, rock rails, and steel bumpers. The other modifications I’ve made have been mostly cosmetic or for recovery tools. So far the only company that I can personally say that I recommend from experience is SpiderWebShade.”

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

Halley: “I have traveled all over the country in my Jeep, and I’m currently on a cross-country trip around North America. I’ve also been hitting up many Jeep Badge of Honor trails to try to earn a few badges as I’m traveling. So far I’ve earned 6 on this trip, and hope to earn at least 3-4 more before I return home. I honestly have driven on all types of terrain; mud, rocks, trails, snow, and sand. My favorite kind of terrain is rocks because of how much of a challenge it can be, and how much more technical it is to make it from point A to point B. My favorite kind of wheeling is with my fellow Jeepers, new or old.”

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

Halley: “So far I’ve only attended a few events, Jeepin Beach Jam ’17(Panama City Beach, FL), Jeepin’ with Sheriff Judd ’18 (Bartow, FL), And Deep South Jam ’18 (Georgia). I have skipped quite a few this year to do my trip around the country.”

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

Halley: “To be honest, most of them have been memorable. Each time I overcome an obstacle, where there was question as to whether or not I could do it. But the most I think was my last trail ride, on Firebreak Five in Tillamook OR. The trail is one of the Jeep Badge of Honor trails, and is labeled as a 5-8 difficulty. As I took on that trail by myself, when I came across one of the obstacles, I knew that I could take it on. I know that my confidence was from the Jeepers that I’ve ridden with that have helped me in learning what I needed to make it through. And the feeling I had when I got to the top, I can’t even describe. I was just ecstatic and smiling from ear to ear. My biggest disappointment was that no one was there to enjoy the moment with me.”

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

Halley: “Owning a Jeep has helped me find myself again. I have been through a lot of loss in my life over the last 4 years, from both my parents passing and a divorce. For me having my Jeeps has helped me keep a very positive outlook on things and find a new zest for life. I’m thankful for all of the amazing people that I’ve met in the Jeep community. I’ve made some of the most amazing friends along the way and I wouldn’t change it for anything. The great Jeepers I’ve met have the same passion for life and support each other unlike any other group I’ve ever been a part of.”

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

Halley: “I think the best part is having the element of not just being kick-ass off-road, but being a woman doing it. It causes more of a stir and shows that we can do anything that men can. “We wheel like you, only prettier”. I’ve also found that most women in the off-road community are supportive of each other and do everything they can to uplift and encourage the growth that comes along with being in this lifestyle. I love all my Jeepster Sisters!”

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

Halley: “I think one thing that I’m the most proud of is how much I’ve helped some women in building their courage to take on the trails and show them that they can do it too. I’ve seen a lot of fellow JeepHers out there that want to do more, but are just not quite sure. I love being that extra voice in their head, telling them that they CAN do it. I’ve also volunteered for a Poker Run to help earn funds for the 4 Wheel to Heal nonprofit organization. I fully support any program that helps our nations veterans during their recovery, and integration back into the civilian world. I look forward to helping their organization more and other great Jeep programs.”

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

Halley: “Trail rule #1, never lose sight of the person behind you. Never leave a rig behind. Make sure you always hit the trails with someone experienced, and make sure to have at least the basics in recovery tools. I also would have to say, ride with someone you feel confident following, and always listen to your spotter. They can see things that you cannot, and could be the difference between driving home, and getting towed home. Any modifications that you think you want to do, always make sure that its something that will actually benefit the way you drive your Jeep.”

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

Halley: “I would like to continue learning more about off-roading and find a Jeep program that I want to become a part of to benefit our community.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Thank you for sharing your Jeep journey with us. We wish you save travels through your journey across the USA and an amazing 2018 wheeling season.”

Photo from Halley Williams, Questions asked by FOJ-Natasha Kokkinis & Answers from Halley Williams

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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

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JK Beauty

The Faces of Jeep interview with Samantha Cunningham, Ambassador for Crawlher

 

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

Samantha: “’I’ve always wanted a Jeep since I was in school, I’m not sure where that came from since my family never owned one but I always thought they were cool. I got with my husband right out of high school, he and his family had Jeeps, and it made me want one even more!”

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

Samantha: “I’ve been wheeling with my husband since 2012 and I got my Jeep in 2013. I took her to Rausch Creek a couple months after I got her.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “How many Jeeps do you own?”

Samantha: “We have 3 Jeeps in total! Two 2000 Cherokees and my 2013 Sport JK. It’s definitely awesome to have 2 different kinds of Jeeps and see what they can do on the trails!”

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

Samantha: “I have a 3″ Teraflex lift kit with 37″ Nitto Mud Grapplers. KMC machete beadlocks. Poison Spyder front and rear bumpers. Aries aluminum flat fenders. Poison Spyder front and rear inner fenders. Fox shocks and Currie Enterprises antirock front sway bars. Front and rear Rubicon axles with 5.13 gears, RCV axle shafts, CMM tie rod, Teraflex diff covers and break kits, and Fox ATS steering stabilizer. And finally she’s wrapped in a purple diamond wrap! Of course she has some changes coming soon!”

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

Samantha: “I’ve traveled a lot with my Jeep! Anywhere from Florida, North Carolina, as well as New Jersey, Pennsylvania. I used to love the mud but that led to transmission problems. Now I prefer the rocks and testing out what she can do!”

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

Samantha: “Daytona Jeep Beach is one of my favorite events! But who doesn’t love a Jeep event at the beach?! I also love the Topless For Tatas Charity Wheeling event, having everyone come together for such a great cause is breathtaking!”

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

Samantha: “I’d have to say this year at Daytona Jeep Beach it was amazing. It was my first big event with my Topless For Tatas family! I got to meet some amazing people that I’ve known through social media. It’s crazy to meet people and already feel like you know them!”

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

Samantha: “Ever since I got my Jeep it’s changed my life! It’s a passion both my husband and I share and I wouldn’t change that for the world! We even got married at Rausch Creek Off Road Park! It was the best day of my life to share it with our friends, family, and with Jeeps surrounding us! I’ve met so many amazing people that I can now call family, and I’ll be forever grateful!”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “We know you are a big supporter of Topless for Tatas Charity Wheeling Event, could you tell us a bit about this amazing charity and how you got involved?”

Samantha: “Topless For Tatas is a nonprofit organization, where 100% of the proceeds go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. We are all volunteers and love supporting this amazing cause! I’ve always supported breast cancer awareness because my Aunt passed away 10 years ago from it. She was a big part of my life and I miss her everyday. I dedicate my build to her and anyone else who is going through or passed from this horrible disease. I’ve been supporting Topless For Tatas ever since I bought my Jeep. I love everything Chantelle and Chris do for the organization, and I was beyond grateful to be able to become a volunteer last year! They amaze me, and I’m very thankful to them for letting me become a part of their family!”

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

Samantha: “I’ve only been with Crawlher for a couple months but everyone has been amazing! Everyone is always there for one another and always trying to help you grow! I’m grateful Tiffany and Brittanie asked me to be an ambassador! And very excited to see where it takes me!”

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

Samantha: “Sometimes being a woman in the off-road community can be challenging. You sometimes get looked over or people say do you actually off-road that? I love being able to show the guys a thing or two. My Jeep is obviously girly but she off-road’s like a beast! Jeep girls do it better in my opinion!”

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

Samantha: “My biggest accomplishments are learning how to wheel my Jeep and what I need to do to make her better. My husband has taught me a lot and has definitely built my dream Jeep! It’s amazing to see the difference one upgrade can make!”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Thank you Samantha for sharing your Jeep journey with us. We love watching your journey and all the positive vibes you bring to the Jeep community.We wish you and amazing 2018 wheeling season.”

Photo from Samantha Cunningham, Questions asked by FOJ-Natasha Kokkinis & Answers from Samantha Cunningham

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Black Rose

The Faces of Jeep interview with Brigid Henderson, Ambassador for Crawlher

 

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

Brigid: “When I was younger my dad had a 95 YJ wrangler, one of his 11 Jeeps he’s owned. It was my favorite vehicle. I remember the topless days as a kid and I’d always climb through the back of the Jeep, over the tire to get in because it was way more fun that way. Growing up around Jeeps made me want one more than anything. Unfortunately my dad traded in his 95 YJ so that I could have my first car, a Chrysler 200 since I couldn’t afford a wrangler at the time. After a year of it and almost finished with college, I decided to trade it in on my dream vehicle. I’ve had 2 Jeep wranglers now and haven’t looked back since.”

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

Brigid: “About 2 years now. There aren’t many places by me so, I travel 2 to 4 hours to wheel.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “How many Jeeps have you owned?”

Brigid: “This is my second Jeep. My first Jeep was a 2007 JKU Sahara in red rock named lady crimson. I now have a 2013 JKU Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition in black named Roisin Dubh which is the black rose in Irish.”

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

Brigid: “We’ve put on a 3.5 Rock Krawler lift, Rock Krawler tie rod, Rock Krawler track bar & drag link, 35 inch Toyo open country MT tires, front and rear Crawler Conceptz bumpers, Excessive Industries tire carrier, Skull Krushers gas cover, Aries Automotive fenders, and Oracle head lights. I’m sure I’m missing things but I’ve dealt with a lot of companies and I highly recommend every company on my Jeep! More changes are in store.”

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

Brigid: “I’ve traveled a lot in both my Jeeps. We’ve gone to events in Florida, Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. My favorite kind of wheeling is a little rock and a little mud. I like a happy medium of both 🙂 my favorite place is Rausch Creek! I cannot wait to go back!”

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

Brigid: “Daytona Jeep Beach and Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival for sure! Bantam is close to home so it’s my #1 favorite.”

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

Brigid: “Driving to Daytona and meeting so many awesome people that I never would of met if it wasn’t for the Jeep life. It’s totally something I’ll forever remember. The Jeep community is amazing.”

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

Brigid: “Owning a Jeep honestly has helped me a lot in my life and influenced me in so many ways. Without it I would of never met so many amazing people including my boyfriend. It’s allowed me to have a bond with my dad and I’ve even made best friends out of it. Honestly it’s more than just a vehicle.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Tell us about your ambassadorship with Crawlher?”

Brigid: “I’ve only been a Crawlher ambassador for a week and I can honestly say it’s already been awesome. Tiffany and Brittanie asked me to be an ambassador while we were at Jeep Beach. I was seriously so excited! I think my boyfriend was even just as excited and happy for me! All the people in Crawlher are truly amazing. I’m so happy to be apart of the Crawlher family and I cannot wait to see where it takes me.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What is your favorite part about being a Crawlher ambassador, as well as a woman in the off-road community?”

Brigid: “Empowering other women to get out there and do what you love. A lot of the time it doesn’t seem the norm for a female to own a Jeep, let alone wheel one so I love being able to prove the guys wrong.”

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

Brigid: “The only thing I can say for advice is to not let people in Jeep groups ever put you down. I’ve learned they can be harsh. To enjoy every second of being topless. It’s the best thing about owning a Jeep! I take every opportunity to do so.”

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

Brigid: “My biggest accomplishment is learning how to do a lot of the work on my Jeep. My boyfriend does all the work on my Jeep, but he has taught me so much and it feels good to know how to do it.”

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

Brigid: “I’m not sure what my future goals are or what the future holds for me. But I’m so excited to see what is in store for my Jeep and I! I’m excited for changes coming soon.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Thank you Brigid for sharing your Jeep journey with us. We wish you an awesome 2018 wheeling season.”

Photo from Brigid Henderson, Questions asked by FOJ-Natasha Kokkinis & Answers from Brigid Henderson

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Pretty in Pink

The Faces of Jeep interview with Kiele Felker, Ambassador for Crawlher

 

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

Kiele: “A Jeep was a long time goal of mine. My friend from elementary school, who I am still close with now pointed them out to me. We both always said how cool they are, and how much we wanted them. I never thought I could make it a reality but one day something just clicked, and I was determined to own one.”

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

Kiele: “I bought my Jeep in September of 2017. I haven’t had her long but I’ve learned so much more than I ever thought I could have.”

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

Kiele: “As far as upgrades go; I have Extreme Terrain HD front and rear bumpers, Teraflex 2.5 inch lift, Rough Country inner liners, Jeep People cropped fenders, Xprite 75 Cree LED Headlights, Xprite G2 LED tail lights, Rugged Ridge rear body armor, Rugged Ride big deflector, and Amazon Headlight Bezels and Grille Inserts. I would definitely recommend Teraflex to anyone who is looking for a lift.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Can you tell us about your sponsorship with BF Goodrich?”

Kiele: “I got my sponsorship with BF Goodrich through Crawlher, and I am attending a wheeling trip with them both June 8th & 9th in Texas, and I’m over the moon excited. It’s so hard to put into words when companies believe in you. I’m over the moon with excitement.”

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

Kiele: “So far Michigan is my favorite place. Michigan has always been my love, so much I have a Michigan tattoo on my right shoulder. West side of Michigan, or East side you’ll find beautiful beaches along with friendly people. I think Michigan will always be my favorite place.”

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

Kiele: “I attended my first Wicked Jeeps SEMI meet a week ago and I had a blast. It took me a little bit to get out of my shell, but now that I am, I have three more events planned this month alone.”

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

Kiele: “Honestly my best Jeep adventure was buying one. It was a rocky road, and along with my dad’s help in picking one out, and co-signing so I could afford it, I really owe it all to him.”

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

Kiele: “Jeeping has changed my life. I went through a period in my life that was the hardest I’ve been through yet, and for some reason owning a Jeep was calling to me. It was the best thing I could’ve ever done. I’ve met people who I never would’ve guessed. I have severe anxiety and when I first bought mine, the thought of even attending an event was out of the question. But I found girls who live less than 10 minutes away from me, and they broke me out of my shell. I’m so thankful for them, and now I have the confidence to attend Jeep meets and be able to talk about Jeeps in person.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Tell us about your ambassadorship with Crawlher?”

Kiele: “My ambassadorship with Crawlher has been such an amazing ride. I really owe all of my success to Brittanie and Tiffany. They found me when my Jeep was completely stock, only had a Crawlher banner and some stuff added from Amazon. They’ve taught me so much about the Jeep community and online business. If I ever need anything, I can reach out to them and they reply in minutes. They share so much wisdom between the both of them, and the fact that they are willing to share it is so selfless. Especially with someone like me, who was so brand new at the time. I can still remember telling my dad that I was offered to be an ambassador, he had no idea what that meant at the time, but he is so proud of me now. They’ve taught me that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of your build- YOUR build is YOUR build. They have really taken me under their wings and have showed me things I wouldn’t have ever known. They’ve given me some of the most amazing opportunities. And the most humbling thing of all; is that they believe in me. Knowing that someone believes in you, your build, and what you’re about is such an amazing feeling. I don’t think I will ever be able to put it into words, other than thank you. But I also don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank them enough.”

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

Kiele: “I would say that it has to be the other women. I’ve never seen such a group of women willing to teach, give advice and overall support one another.”

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

Kiele: “Get out there. Don’t be afraid, and don’t let anything hold you back. You’ll regret it!”

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

Kiele: “Some of my biggest accomplishments is being able to say that I am a brand ambassador for Crawlher, and I now have 2 sponsors underneath my belt. I have 2 more in the works.”

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

Kiele: “To get out there as much as I can. To work with as many brands as I can, whether that be sponsorships or just getting to work with them in general. I love the Jeep community and all of the things that come with it.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Thank you Kiele for sharing your Jeep journey with us. It’s so awesome hearing about women empowering women in the off-road community. Wishing you and the Crawlher family a wonderful 2018 wheeling season.”

Photo from Kiele Felker, Questions asked by FOJ-Natasha Kokkinis, Answers from Kiele Felker

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The Offroad Rhino

The Faces of Jeep interview with Gabie & MacLean Smith

Founders of The Offroad Rhino

 

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

Gabie & MacLean: “The Jeep life is the best life! We are adventurous people and we needed a vehicle to take us wherever we wanted to go!”

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

Gabie & MacLean: “Started at a young age on ATV’s! Only a couple years of Jeeping.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “How many Jeeps have you owned?”

Gabie & MacLean: “One and more in the future!”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What are some of your favorite upgrades you have done to your Jeep? Which brands/companies did you go with and why?”

Gabie & MacLean: “The Metalcloak lift with Falcon shocks is our favorite. Both are great companies and are VERY reliable and impressive! Our rooftop tent is Smittybilt and we love that as well.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Where all have you traveled to, and where is your favorite place to wheel?”

Gabie & MacLean: “Moab, little Moab, 5 mile pass and more local trails in Utah. Our favorite by far is Moab, it’s the best!”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Where would you recommend to others for a great wheeling experience?”

Gabie & MacLean: “Moab for sure. We have a YouTube channel to share our trail videos for those to experience as well!”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What is one of your most unforgettable Jeep adventure moments?”

Gabie & MacLean: “When we first got the Jeep we took it out to a local trail to test out our abilities. We were going up a hill and got “stuck” due to a rock. We really weren’t stuck, we just had to push harder on the gas! It was really funny, we were really new to the whole thing.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Which Jeep events have you attended and recommend to others as a must visit?”

Gabie & MacLean: “Easter Jeep Safari by far!”

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

Gabie & MacLean: “We have met amazing people, seen incredible views and grown closer as a couple. It has made us happier people and we love working on it together.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Can you tell us a bit about Offroad Rhino and your goals?”

Gabie & MacLean: “Our names our Gabie and MacLean and we are both behind the wheel in the Rhino. We have Instagram as well as a YouTube channel to share our adventures with others. We have Moab very close to us, so since we are going often anyways we figured we could share our experiences with others so they can be informed if they decide to run that trail. Our goals are to help others through our channel and to help be a support when it comes to new parts/upgrades. We also have an interest in design and marketing and we regularly update our online store with Jeep decals. Our website is www.theoffroadrhino.com Also we love to trade decals with others in the community to show our support.”

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

Gabie & MacLean: “It is so great to support others who share the same interests and hobbies! It’s also so cool so see how helpful and uplifting others can be.”

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

Gabie & MacLean: “We have done most of the work to our Jeep ourselves and our Instagram has been pretty successful in the time that we have had it!”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What advise would you give to a others wanting to get involved in the Jeep life?”

Gabie & MacLean: “Go for it! There are endless opportunities that arise with having a Jeep that you wouldn’t think about. I would also suggest for you to do what you want to YOUR build! Custom it to your wants and needs!”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Thank you Gabie & MacLean for sharing your Jeep journey with us. We enjoy seeing Jeepers helping Jeepers and spreading the love for Jeep in a positive way in the off-road community. Keep up the great work you two. Wishing you both a wonderful 2018 wheeling season.”

Photo from Gabie Smith & MacLean, Questions asked by FOJ-Natasha Kokkinis & Answers from Gabie & MacLean Smith

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Look Pretty, Play Dirty

The Faces of Jeep interview with Morgan Johnson, Ambassador for Crawlher

 

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

Morgan: “I actually didn’t realize what the “Jeep life” was when I bought the Jeep. She was my first vehicle, and I’ve had her for 6 years. We went with Jeep because we wanted something to take to the mountains and for hunting purposes.”

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

Morgan: “I started really getting into the Jeep lifestyle back in 2016, that’s when I started going out to some local areas to wheel. So not too long ago, but I wish I would’ve started sooner.”

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

Morgan: “As far as upgrades go, I haven’t done a whole lot. I run an E-Autogrille front bumper, and a rear one that I’m putting on soon. I have some Truckmall LED Halo Headlights. I just put on a Flowmaster Super 44 muffler, and have a Teraflex steering stabilizer. As well as a rear Dana 44 and a front High Pinion 30. My list of upgrades seems endless.”

 FOJ-[Natasha]: “Where all have you traveled and where is your favorite place to wheel?”

Morgan: “I don’t live anywhere close to Jeep events, so I haven’t traveled much. I take the Jeep down to the lake during the summer. My closest wheeling spot is 30 minutes away. I love wheeling at this dairy; it has some huge sand dunes in the back. It’s a good time, all the Jeeps come out & so do the dirt bikes.”

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

Morgan: “Since I don’t live close to Jeep events, we make our own here. My favorite one so far we have done is the Memorial Ride for “Jeepin On For Jackie”. We met up & eat lunch, and then go wheeling. It was a good time, with good people.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What is one of your most memorable Jeep adventure moments?”

Morgan: “About a year and a half ago, I blew my front differential. Yay me. But that didn’t stop me from wheeling, which obviously isn’t the brightest idea. There were 4 of us, and only two Jeeps. We went out to the sand dunes to wheel and I got stuck instantly because of the lack of 4WD. So my buddy pulled me out, and I was really stuck. All four of my tires were halfway buried. So he pulled me out, removed the strap, and I got stuck. Again. So he pulled me out again. This continued to happen a few more times, he finally told me to hold on and he floored his Jeep down the sand dune and drove me to a hard spot to where I couldn’t get stuck. But of course, with my luck, I got stuck instantly again. Needless to say, I didn’t go back out to the dunes until I got my differential replaced. Wasn’t the brightest idea, but it was definitely a fun memory.”

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

Morgan: “Owning a Jeep has changed my life in so many ways. I didn’t know a vehicle could bring so much joy. It’s taught me different things, and allowed me to meet so many incredible people throughout the years. The Jeep Wave is one of my favorite parts about it.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Tell us about your ambassadorship with Crawlher?”

Morgan: “Crawlher approached me about a year ago about becoming an ambassador. I was so excited. Over the year, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interact with the other ambassadors and create friendships. My social media has grown thanks to Tiffany & Brittanie. It’s definitely an honor to have been asked to be apart of the Crawlher family. I was told that people know my Jeep around town simply because of my Crawlher windshield banner. I’m like a little celebrity around here!”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What is your favorite part about being a woman in the off-road community and what would you say to other women wanting to get involved in the Jeep life?”

Morgan: “My favorite part about being a women in the off-road community is definitely being able to break the “norm”. Growing up, I used to think that Jeeps, cars and trucks etc. were for men. But I realized that’s not the case. I’ve met so many incredible women in the off-roading community, that prove women can do the things that men can. I think if you’re a women who is interested in Jeeps, you should definitely go for it. You learn a lot. The Jeep community is definitely like a huge family; I’m able to ask questions and get advice from so many people without fear of judgment. Plus, you can make awesome friendships with people. I’ve met some of my closest friends on Jeep pages.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “What are some of your biggest accomplishments as a woman in wheeling?”

 Morgan: “A year and a half ago, I noticed there wasn’t a Jeep club in my town. Yeah, there was an off-roading group, but nothing like a “club”. So I started one. For the longest time, I was the only female in the group. That’s where I got the name “Alpha” for my Jeep. My club, Curry County Jeep Junkies, is definitely like my second family. We all go out and wheel together, and have dinner, and just have a good time. We participate in parades, and we do memorial rides and even fundraisers. That, by far, has been my greatest accomplishment.”

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

Morgan: “As far as future goals go, I’m not sure. I’m hoping to be able to travel more, Moab is on my bucket list. I know my TJ isn’t going to last forever, but I plan on getting another Jeep in the future and building that one too! Bigger, and better than ever.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Thank you Morgan for sharing your Jeep journey with us. Wishing you and the Crawlher family an awesome 2018 wheeling season.”

Photo from Morgan Johnson, Questions asked by FOJ-Natasha Kokkinis & Answers from Morgan Johnson

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Krenik’s Garage Blog

The Faces of Jeep interview with Tyler Krenik, Founder of Krenik’s Garage Blog

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

Tyler: “In all honesty it’s because it was only $500. I got my jeep in high school, so I was looking for a good deal and didn’t care what it was. That being said, I grew up around my uncles and his buddies CJs and wranglers, so I wasn’t much into Xj’s at the time. I didn’t know much about them because there were not that many in my area built, but this one fell into my lap for a great deal and that’s where the story starts.”

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

Tyler: “Off and on since I was a kid, but I got my Jeep in 2010. I went wheeling a lot the summer of 2011, but then my group fell apart and I moved out on my own that winter. So my Jeep became my daily driver and I could only do occasional trips.”

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

Tyler: “Rancho 3″ lift (coils,4.5″ shocks, 3″ shackles), 31″ tires, DirtBound armor w/flares, new exhaust(pacesetter header and just a glass pack), Thor cowl intake, Corbeau Baja RS seats, Raptor Lined floors, Led head lights, DIY oil catch can, T&M Door hinge and striker stiffeners(check out my write-up), made the doors removable and 97-2001 front clip. Oh and JCR “mall rated” badges. There is more planned in the coming months, so follow my blog. Most of my work has been fixing the worn out factory components because she has 260k, I’m finally caught up on that. I’m not brand bias by any means; I’m not sponsored or get promo deals (Just saying I’m open to a sponsorship). I recommend anything that you can afford and that gets the job done. I buy my parts by my opinion and not others. I like supporting the smaller company’s like Trail Head Off Road(Thor intake), T&M metal fab and DirtBound. I also like building my own stuff.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Where is your favorite place to wheel and what kind of wheeling do you prefer best?”

Tyler: “I like trail riding, it’s fun just being in the woods surrounded by trees following little road. I live in the perfect area because I live pretty much in the middle of the state and we get a choice on what we want to wheel in. Our flavours are sand, mud, mountains, snow or desert(those two depend on the time of year). My recent favorite place is Horsefall Dunes in North Bend, Oregon. I enjoy the southern part of Oregon Coast. I enjoy those dunes more than Florence because there is a lot more stuff to play on and it’s a new area for me. I would like to start over landing because it’s a road trip, wheeling and camping all in one, it just seems like it would be a great time.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Tell us about one of your favorite Jeep adventure moment?”

Tyler: “HHHMM…..there is a few, probably when I first got my Jeep and my friends and I were cruising around town. Well I found a mud puddle to turn around in, it was pretty deep and the passenger side fell into it. It was so deep and the Jeep was leaning over so far, that the cab started filling with water. It was deep enough to choke the exhaust and it would kill the engine. My friends started freaking out and didn’t like it when I went the rest of the way into the puddle, than let her eat the rest of the way out. I had to wash and vacuum it before I went home because my mom would have been mad.”

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

Tyler: “It has honestly made me pursue a career in mechanics.
One: it is my passion. Two: I need money to build my Jeep.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Tell us about Krenik’s Garage and what inspired you to start it?
I started my blog because I like being creative and I figured maybe my content could inspire others. I want to showcase my career and builds, but Youtube isn’t my style (I’m not ruling it out) and some people enjoy technical articles. My downfall is that I’m not the best writer and it’s something I need practice at. What inspired me was “Bleepin Jeep,” I really enjoy Matt and his content.”

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

Tyler: “I recently completed an Associates Degree in Diesel Technology. Even thought it is a two-year degree, it took a lot of work in and out of schools. School was never my favorite thing, but I really enjoyed college. I was just floating through life from 2011 to 2014 and wasn’t happy with how it was going, so I decided it was time for higher education. The amount of support I got from friends and family was amazing, it really helped me when things got tough.”

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

Tyler: “I have too many goals and it gets overwhelming, I just have to take a deep breath. My main goal is to grow as a mechanic and learn as much as a can. I also would like to grow Krenik’s Garage as much as I can, maybe into some kind of business. Next would be to have my own shop because I’m tired of not having a solid place for working on my projects. I recently joined the local search and rescue group, the team I’m apart of is called the “special vehicles group” and we use our vehicles for different rescue missions. I’m really excited about being involved with this group.”

FOJ-[Natasha]: “Thank you Tyler for sharing your Jeep journey with us. We wish you all the best with Krenik’s Garage blog and a great 2018 wheeling season.”

Photo from Tyler Krenik, Questions asked by FOJ-Natasha Kokkinis & Answers from Tyler Krenik

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