Lacey Blair loves to get a little mud on her (oversized) tires.
STORY BY BARRY WISE SMITH
1) Tell me about growing up. Were you always into working on cars?
I grew up in a really small town in Missouri about an hour south of St. Louis but way more country than St. Louis. You grow up knowing everybody. There were truck and tractor pulls every weekend in the surrounding counties. I would go to them, and I just loved the loud diesel engines. My dad had a diesel work truck, and I loved it. I grew up going to Monster Jam as a kid and watching it on TV, and I just fell in love with trucks at a young age. I was always a mixture of girly girl and tomboy. I was a cheerleader, but I also loved digging in the dirt with the boys.
2) What did you do after high school?
I graduated high school early. My goal was to be an entrepreneur in my hometown—I knew that I wanted to own a business. My high school had a VoTech program, and I was interested in the diesel mechanics program. I went to the open house, but the teacher looked at me in my cheerleader uniform and discouraged me. So I followed my entrepreneurial dreams and went to beauty school while I was finishing high school. I finished and bought a salon by the time I was 20. When I started working and making money, I was able to buy my own truck and started customizing it. Instagram got me into custom trucks and that became my hobby. I also started buying properties in my hometown, and I got a good deal on a commercial building that had been an ambulance services building. My boyfriend at the time worked on cars, so we turned it into an automotive shop.
3) How did trucks go from being your hobby to being your job?
On Instagram, I found and went to truck events. Through networking at the shows, I started working booths for companies and selling t-shirts. All the while, I was still working 80 to 100 hours a week doing hair. Then tragically my salon burned down. I have a lot of faith in God’s plan, and I think that if that hadn’t happened, I never would have done some of the things I’ve done. I started working in the shop more, which made me happy and took my mind off the salon. I found things I could do without being a mechanic, like spraying on bedliners and polishing metal wheels and toolboxes. Then I bought powder coating equipment and that was it. I found a way to work within my passion without having to have all of the mechanical knowledge.
4) How did you end up on (the reality show) Diesel Brothers?
I met them through Instagram and became a brand ambassador for their clothing line. They would always say, ‘you should come out and do an episode,’ but with the salon, the timing was never right. After the fire, I went out to Utah for two weeks to their shop and really liked it. I went home and closed my shop in Missouri and moved. When I first got there, I think they thought I’d mostly do promotion. It was my first week, and we were in a meeting. One of the guys was frustrated about not having a powdercoat process in the shop. I raised my hand and said “that is literally what I do.” So we set up the powdercoating equipment, and I was doing that full time and also doing promotions and whatever else they needed me to do. I learned a lot.
5) How is it being a woman in a very male-dominated field?
It is a daily battle. At the truck shows, I started out as a promotional model so I couldn’t control how people perceived me. But I think I have gained respect because I am very business-minded, and I have a very strong work ethic. I outwork the boys because I really have something to prove.
6) Tell me about LB Motorsports.
LB Motorsports was the name of my shop back in Missouri, so I kept that name. The apparel line, which is big for me right now, came about because I had shop shirts that we all wore, and clients would ask where they could get one, so I started ordering extras and selling them here and there. Then I figured out how to set up a website and set my creative brain to work and started designing more items. Now I have two full-time employees for the apparel line and a website laceyblairco.com. A year ago, I moved down to Texas. We have customers all over the country and a broader audience for the custom trucks. I absolutely love Texas. I also do a lot of social media promotion for companies. It’s grown from a brick-and-mortar shop into a media company and apparel.
7) What are some of your favorite projects you’ve done?
The Escalade I did as my first SEMA show (Specialty Equipment Market Association) build. That was one of the first vehicles we built together back in Missouri. It was 100 percent my vision; I built it for me, but people really liked it. And I’m kind of a redneck, and I like to go mudding, and I knew that it would go wild on the Internet. From building it and making it nice to taking it in the mud was amazing. And pretty much everything I worked on at Diesel Brothers. We did a big Ford with tracks for tires—the teamwork and being a part of that made me very proud.
8) What do you do when you’re not working?
My job is so fun, my work really is my pastime. Even when we’re not doing something for clients, we’re messing around on our own vehicles in the shop. I really enjoy making YouTube videos. I’m happiest when I‘m productive. I like to fish and hunt too, but I don’t always have time. I also love riding the Razors and mudding.
9) Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m starting another clothing company. I believe strongly in women’s empowerment, so I am starting an athleisure line for all body types and sizes with 10 percent of profits going to different women’s charities. We’ll be opening the bigger shop, and I’d like a small used truck dealership where we’ve customized them and then put them for sale. I want more land to have my own space and a place for a rescue shelter for dogs.
10) Do you see yourself as a role model?
I have never really seen myself in that way, but I get messages and parents coming up to me at shows thanking me for being a role model. I still embrace my girly side, but I show that you can be all the best versions of yourself. I am embracing that women can be sexy and powerful at the same time.
11) When did you get your first tattoo and what are your most personally meaningful tattoos?
One of the most meaningful ones is on my forearm, and it says “The World is Yours.”
I had a friend in beauty school who became a motherly figure for me. She was an amazing hairdresser, and she mentored me. I graduated high school while I was at beauty school, and she gave me a graduation card that said the world is yours Lacey Blair. She told me I could do anything I set my mind to and that stuck with me. I also have the wheel from my first SEMA truck on my arm.