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  • Writer's pictureBeth Waterman

Its A Man's World | Deana - High Performance Automotive | Indiana Portrait Photographer

Being a woman in this day and age is tough, tougher than most think. We are expected to look amazing at all times, be a friend, a spouse, a parent, and still manage to run our own businesses and hold down full time jobs. Being a woman who works in a male dominated field? Even harder!

One of the hardest challenges I have had to overcome personally is being in a world that is dominated by men. No, I don't mean photography believe it or not, I actually mean the automotive world. I have been involved in the custom truck scene since the 90's and its never been easy to gain respect.

So my goal for 2020 was to highlight as many women who are kicking butt in a male driven world right along with me. I sure hope you enjoy this series as much as I have enjoyed creating it!

Today I wanted to introduce you to Deana. Deana's field is one I sort of share, I say sort of because she is in the world of high performance automotive, and I am in the field of custom automotive. Its really truly male driven, BUT women are starting to appear more and more commonly and I couldn't be happier! I hope you enjoy meeting Deana as much as I did!

Tell me about how did you get started in this field Deana?

"As a child, I was always a daddy’s girl. My favorite thing to do was be out in the garage with him, either watching or assisting him with whatever vehicle he was working on at that time. He worked on different cars, mainly family and friends, but my favorite memories, are of his race car. He had a 1964 Ford Falcon Sedan Delivery. We would go drag racing, almost, every weekend. I was always intrigued by how his car sounded, how fast it was and my all time favorite, how he could launch his car and have the front end off of the ground. He put his car on hold for a time, to build my sister and I Jr. Dragsters. So we could experience everything he was doing, just in cars that were our size."

What Challenges do you face in this field as a woman?

"Sometimes people don’t take me seriously in my role with the company just because I like to look nice. I may be a total gear head, but I LOVE wearing makeup and doing my hair, regardless of the fact that there is a 99.999% chance I will be covered in grease later. Just because I wear make-up, doesn't mean I don't know anything about cars. Being rude to me, because I am a woman, doesn't mean I can't and/or won't come up for air. Anything a man can do, I can do as well."

How long have you been in the high performance world?

"Professionally or for fun? Since helping my dad when I was young up until the present, 20 years give or take. My husband and I own our High Performance Automotive Shop in Southwest Tennessee. So, it went from being a hobby to a full time gig, and I couldn't be more excited about what the future holds!"

Where do you find your inspiration & motivation?

"Inspiration and Motivation, both, hands down my dad and my husband. If it weren't for my dad introducing me to cars, I honestly can't say where I would have been the night I met my husband which was at the dragstrip. It's two different worlds though, Ford (my dad) and my Husband (Brent; Chevy). They both have the knowledge and patience to deal with me when I start to get frustrated."

As a little girl, did you see yourself in this field?

"As a little girl, I definitely saw this field, somewhere, in my future. Blessed to be able to do something I love as my job, with my best friend and husband. Definitely a dream come true."

Who do you look up to in the industry, and why?

"I grew up watching Angelle Sampey (ProStock Motorcycle), Melanie Troxel (Top Fuel), Shirley Muldowney (the first woman licensed to drive a Top Fuel dragster in 1973.) All of these women and so many more kick ass in a male dominated industry."

If you could pass on any words of wisdom to other women who are interested in the tattoo industry, what would you say?

"Don't let anyone ever tell you that you can not do something. You want to know how a combustible engine works? You go tear it down! Don't let a little dirt and grease bother you!"

Portait Photographer: Beth Waterman Photography

Hair & Makeup: Simply Blue

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