I recently had the privilege to sit down with Heather Storm who is currently the host of Velocity‘s hit show, “Garage Squad“. Heather is truly an inspiration, from being a successful business woman growing up in Montana to a marketing guru specializing in hospitality, fine wine, spirits, and cuisine. I was honored to talk with Heather and learn a little more about the woman behind the success.
Heather, thank you for taking the time to talk with Torqued Magazine.
TM: You grew up in Montana, which is truly one of my favorite places. What was that like for you?
HS: I moved from the big city of Philadelphia to small town Montana when I was a child and went from having a small yard and being paranoid about strangers to having land with horses and never locking our doors. In the middle of winter, when there were 6 foot snow drifts, everyone would leave their car running in the parking lot while they went into the grocery store. There was a sense of community that took some adjustment at the time, but I appreciate very much now.
Growing up, what kinds of things did you enjoy doing?
When I was little, I played in the creek for hours with my little brother and our dogs, catching salamanders and crawfish. When we got older we’d inner tube down the creek. I also rode horses and performed gymnastics.
Now, you have a degree in Environmental Science, is that something you still utilize today?
I am passionate about keeping the earth’s environment clean and inhabitable, and although I don’t work in the field directly, it’s a way of life. I make choices to reduce my impact and share eco-conscious living information on my blog.
It seems you are quite the natural in front of the camera, what made you realize being in front of the camera is something you wanted to do and has it always been that way?
When I was 11 years old, my friend and I saw a fashion show at the mall and I tracked down the head of the show, found out the agent’s information and begged my parents to let me do it. They said no. While in college I got my toes wet in the industry, then once I didn’t have any reason to stay, I drove to Cali for the elusive dream I was determined to realize.
Your current project as host on the hit series “Garage Squad,” what is that like and just how did that come about?
The producers were looking for a woman who knows her way around a toolbox, isn’t afraid to get dirty and can have fun hanging with the guys. That’s me. In the show, myself and the rest of the squad set up in the home garage of a chosen person and fix their classic car. We work as a team to get the job done and the chemistry of the cast is really fun. We are currently airing season 4 on Velocity TV.
Congratulations on the success of the show, and I hope there are many more seasons yet to film!
Have you always been a car girl?
I’ve always liked cars more than the average girl and let’s just say I have a certain driving style.
What is your dream ride?
1950 Ferrari California Spyder
What is your current ride?
Silver Blue 1965 Mustang Coupe
A true great American classic,
What has been your favorite build on “Garage Squad”?
That’s a tough one. Each build and family tells a unique story and I’ve felt proud and humbled to be a part of all them. The 1950 Ford F3 truck that we rescued this season really stands out to me because the history behind the truck was so deeply rooted in Paul’s family and I was able to go out and see the farm his late grandfather owned.
Do you have any embarrassing moments from the set you can tell us about?
Falling down while torquing the head bolts on the Duster engine was pretty embarrassing.
Do you ever get used to being a celebrity?
I’ve never felt like a celebrity. It’s just me.
With all of your traveling, what have been some of your favorite places to visit?
Italy for wine and food, Tulum, Mexico for unparalleled beaches and Myanmar for absolute wonder
I know you split your time between Chicago and Los Angeles but which one do you prefer?
It’s an unfair question because I know LA so much better and have so many favorites places. Chicago really surprised me, each year I spend there I find more reasons to fall in love, the beautiful parks, the architecture, the tasty restaurants; of course I haven’t had to spend the winter there, so again, not a fair question.
There is no doubt you have an extremely busy schedule, but let’s say you have a few moments to sit back and relax, what do you do?
I really enjoy hiking or wine tasting, depending how relaxed I want to be; being outside is key.
If I heard correctly, you are also a SCUBA Rescue Diver, tell me a little about that?
I became certified while in college and did some SCUBA dive research in the Caribbean. Exploring the ocean and swimming with fish in blue water is my happy place.
And you’re a certified fitness trainer? How did that come about?
I’ve always been active and ran track and cross country. After college I wanted a good job that would be flexible, I was fitness modeling at the time and of course wanted to stay in shape so it all worked together nicely.
Going along with fitness, what kind of music do you listen to, and since we talked cars already love, what is playing in your car right now?
My music taste spans many genres… rock, indie rock, experimental rock, jazz, blues, trip hop, downtempo, ambient. It all depends on the scene and my mood. Been on a Tom Petty kick lately since he passed.
What is your favorite film?
The Princess Bride is one of my all time favorites.
It sounds like you’re not too afraid of new things but what is your biggest/weirdest fear?
Snakes. Just thinking about them makes me cringe.
All you had to say was snakes! I am with you on that one.
If you had to pick: Asian, Mexican or a good old fashioned Cheeseburger?
Nachos sound delicious right now.
I must admit, I make a pretty mean plate of nacho’s!
Halloween is coming up, what are you dressing up as?
We will both be surprised. I really don’t know yet.
It should be fun since we will both be attending SEMA during Halloween this year.
What would be your one super power?
Can you tell me a little more about your Black Lab project?
Black LAB is an eco-friendly event company I started 6 years ago and we specialize in fresh cocktails and specialized bars. I work with luxury brands, high-end retailers, celebrities and tech companies to curate prestigious events and experiences.
I have to say, I am extremely impressed with all the things you have done with your life. Who has been the most inspirational to you through all of this?
My parents, I still want to make my dad proud.
What words of advice would you give someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Make sure you have thick skin and yet can maintain a sensitive heart because the road is longer and more confusing than anyone said and you will need both. Develop your talents, work hard and become really good at what you are good at. Put yourself out into the world and meet people who are doing things. Cultivate your inner voice and learn to lean on that voice when decisions are tough. Integrity is your best friend.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them” Albert Einstein
Heather, thank you again for taking the time to talk with me.
Photo Credit Miguel Amodio