Who We Are
When did you start NWV? After traveling in my own van, Little E, for four years, I saw the growing need for unique and well-built, adventure vehicles, not being met by the RV industry. I had long thought about doing van builds professionally, but was having too much fun traveling… until the 2020 lockdown changed all of that.
What do you do at NWV? Everything from answering the phone and chatting with customers, to 3D CAD design, to welding. My favorite jobs consist of coming up with unique ways to solve a problem, or integrating systems and features we haven’t done before.
What else have you done? I’ve worked a few engineering jobs, but my favorite “other thing” was being a part of the UW-Madison Formula SAE Racing team!
Tell me about the worst time you’ve gotten stuck in your van. There are only a few, but the worst was in the Colorado mountains, on a remote forest road, too late in the year. There were patches of drifted snow, and I was keeping my speed up to avoid getting stuck. It was dark and hard to see the road, and I plowed straight into a deeply rutted drift and buried my axle in about two feet of thick packed snow. It took every piece of recovery gear I had to get unstuck, including about two hours of shoveling under the van, but I eventually got out! I try harder to avoid those areas now.
What else do you do for fun? In my free time, I enjoy the typical, outdoor activities: mountain biking, climbing, snowboarding and running top the list. But my favorite pastime is, of course, getting out in my van to explore!
When did you start NWV? Officially 2020, but we have been brainstorming, vanning and designing for many years.
What do you do at NWV? A little bit of everything, but what I enjoy most is woodworking and designing the electrical systems.
What else have you done? Corporate engineering. Startup(s). I am an engineer and UW-Madison graduate.
Tell me about your cats. I am so glad you asked! They rock! Darwin and Newton are 10 years old and still kicking.
What else do you do for fun? In general, exercise. Swim, bike, run. Everything from local to national races.
Anything else? I love building super cool vans that go to super cool places. Legit, I get a kick out of this job and all of our customers!
Paint and Finish
So, Why NWV? I graduated college with a degree in Biology. Not quite sure what to do with it and I wanted another skill set. So, yeah, that's why.
What do you do at NWV? Well, below my name it says "Paint and Finish." So that, but more. If you like your fabric wrap job, that was me!
What else do you do for fun? I love the outdoors. I am currently learning how to run (Who knew that you just don't, like, know how?), bike and swim. Wrong order, I do Tri.
Do you really have three sisters? Yep! Those poor bathroom drains... We are super close and really enjoy hanging out as a family.
When did you start at NWV? I'm kinda new to NWV.
What do you do at NWV? Carpentry and anything else that needs to make a van build happen.
What else have you done? I have been a photographer, rock and ice climbing guide, land surveyor and carpenter.
Tell me about your cats. No Cats. My brother had a cat when we were kids. Our family fostered an orange cat named Ralph.
What else do you do for fun? Mountain biking, hanging out with my family, mountain biking, sitting by a campfire, mountain biking.
Anything else? I have a 2012 sprinter, I also have a 1980 Vanagon that I plan to bring back to life again someday.
Aesthetics / Onboarding
What do you do at NWV? I am the lead aesthetics person, which means that I put all the colors and style choices together for the stock vans. I work with customers to help with their style and color choices too. I also make the custom upholstery for the vans. In my spare time, I help with odds and ends at the shop, build step platforms to get in and out of the vans, buy toilet paper and making meals –kind of like a Shop Mom.
How do you know the owners, Mike and Steve? Mike, Steve and I met in college. I married Mike, so that leaves Steve as a friend. We’ve been adventuring together for almost 10 years, and hopefully many more!
How long have you been sewing? I have been sewing since I was a kid, nearly 30 years ago… I dabble in basic stuff like curtains and pillows, to more advanced projects like clothing and cushions.
What else do you do for fun? Lots of stuff! I am also an engineer, like Mike and Steve, so problem-solving and working with my hands is fun for me. I’m an avid gardener and recently turned my front yard into a veggie and pollinator garden. I’ve got jugs of kombucha brewing at home. I weight-lift regularly and bike as often as I can.