New Team Member Feature: Rose Varah
Roses typically grow in warm climates, and flower in the summer months, but some roses can grow where winter temperatures drop as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit. Our new hire, Rose Varah, is like the latter, one hardy rose that is able to adapt to her surroundings and flourish beautifully. When her resume appeared in our inbox it peaked our interest. Though we were not currently hiring for a paint and body tech at the time, she stood out in our minds when it was time to fill an opening. How could it not? A female paint and body technician, graduate of Wyotech, that recently moved to Huntington Beach, CA from Alaska? That’s a pretty memorable applicant! Rose was working at European Collision in Downey as their production, CSR, quality control person at the time but was interested in making a move because hot rods are her first love. Rose obtained her diplomas in Collision & Refinishing, Specialized Technology, and Motorsports Chassis Fabrication from Wyotech. Additionally, she also has over 6 years of hands on work experience with restoration, paint prep, body work, priming painting and polishing, and even some metal and fiber glass body repair.
Our new team member Rose Varah is the real deal. She was born and raised in Alaska to a long line of hot rodders, both on her mother and her father’s side. Rose’s mother is just as car crazy as her daughter and even has the words “hot rod” with flames tattooed on her forearm. She described her daughter as, “Fearless, from a young age.” According to mom, “Rose’s favorite toys as a child were a little blue motorcycle and a hot wheel, probably left over from her brother who is 10 years older,” she said.
Rose’s great uncle on her mom’s side had a body shop in Palmer, Alaska. He had six brothers, who were all into cars, one of which is the Hot Rod Hall of Fame painter & customizer, Bill Reasoner, who wildly enough began painting cars with a bug sprayer! When Rose was 5 years old her uncle Bill was hired by John D’Agostino to build the 1940 Mercury Stardust and has built numerous well known cars over the years. Rose’s dad, aptly named Rod, is a gear head that knows everything there is to know about engines. He watched his father rebuild motors right in their kitchen! Rose spent hours on end with her dad in the garage.
“I was into cars right out of the gate,” Rose tells us. “My favorite car is an Olds 442 because it is a family car but it is still a hot rod. Plus, my dad has one that is in need of restoration. I am looking forward to restoring it with him. I went into paint and body to bring something new to the table, contribute to the hot rod family. It is fun being able to teach my dad a thing or two now when it comes to cars.”
Another fun fact: It is shocking how many people can not operate manual cars right? Well, Rose was driving stick shift at the ripe old age of 7, and a ’78 Firebird at that! Growing up Rose was told that she was allowed to drive anything if she could start it.
“Daddy wasn’t too happy when I started up his Chevelle!”, Rose exclaimed. “I had to learn to drive really young. I drove a bull dozer to clear trees in the drive way. Growing up in Alaska was rough. My chores were shoveling snow and stacking firewood. We used to have to haul water and get our electricity from a generator. In Alaska, you learn to live off the land and you have to know how to drive in the snow. When I bought my ’79 Camaro at age 18 I drove that for two winters in a row!”
Adventurous and explorative Rose eventually decided to pack her paint suit & make moose tracks. She was heading for Surf City USA to take the hot rod world by storm! As she made her southern migration equipped with the knowledge that she had learned from Wyotech, plus the experience that she had gained working for a variety of automotive shops in Alaska, she chanted her mantra: I am here to rebuild American muscle!
Additional fun facts about Rose: She is an avid reader, she enjoys snowboarding, traveling and tattoos. She describes herself as spontaneous, while at the same time loyal. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have this passionate wild Rose as a part of our extended automotive family! In just the 3 months that she has been here she has already been an instrumental help in our paint department. We are looking forward to getting to know her better and seeing beautiful automobiles built at the hands of Rose in the future!