Councils & Networks

#SheIsSEMA Spotlight: Emma Sauve of Mobsteel/Detroit Steel Wheel Co.

SBN Emma Suave

By Ashley Reyes

The SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN) has named Emma Sauve, creative director of Mobsteel/Detroit Steel Wheel Co., as the network's newest #SheIsSEMAspotlight member.  

Get to know Sauve in her interview with SEMA News below.  

SEMA News: How many years have you been with your current company and what do you enjoy most about working there?  

Emma Sauve: Technically 17 because I grew up at the shop helping my dad with his large-scale metal sculptures that he fabbed at Mobsteel. I officially started in 2015 running the @detroitsteelwheelco social platforms while the Mobsteel History Channel show was running. Now, I'm a one-woman show handling all the content-generating, distribution, press releases, brand representation at shows and leading workshops on our marketing techniques. 

SN: What is the most challenging part of your business or job?   

ES: I like to take a step back and remember in the world of social media, a lot of the time it should be judged on quality and not quantity. Sometimes the engagement numbers don't reflect the amount of time and effort put into creating content, but I always take a step back and assess if we are meeting our goals. 

SN: How many years have you been in the industry, and what was your first industry job?   

ES: This is my first industry job, besides helping my dad with our Sauve Art Foundation. Art and Automotive go hand in hand, that's just a fact. What we create is regarded as art, which goes by any definition that invokes a feeling. Let's just put 17 years to appear wise beyond my now 29 years. 

SN: What three qualities got you to where you are today?   

ES: Work ethic, being good to people and never being afraid to learn something new. I'm self-taught for photography and videography/editing. I went to school for advertising and specialized in graphic design, work ethic and being good to people opened me up to lots of invitations and opportunities in school. Having conversations with like-minded individuals always leads to something positive and exciting! 

SN: Being a woman in the industry, what have been your biggest challenges and accomplishments?  

ES: Typically, men talk over me or don't take me seriously. Sometimes men think they can talk to me unprofessionally in my professional settings. Car shows and events that mix with booze don't help, but I'm not afraid to address a situation that makes me uncomfortable or back up my ideas for bettering our industry when they are disregarded. Like I said, being good to people and listening to what they have to say will take you way further than shutting someone down. 

SN: Who are your role models or mentors in the industry?  

ES: My boss Adam Genei for sure; he's always been supportive because he aims to create the highest value in our employees. The lovely ladies of MotorTrend who have supported me: Bogi, Cristy Lee, Amanda Busick, Alex Taylor, Karen Echavarria, Betsy Bennett. There are so many! Karen and Betsy host this incredible networking event during SEMA that is one of my favorite stops. Emily Reeves really set the pace for me in the realm of content creation, her and Aaron have built something special. And of course, Theresa Contreras and Sara Morosan, just trailblazers for women in automotive, and especially on the education side through SEMA. There's a reason why Sara was SEMA Person of the Year! I have to give a huge shout-out to my friend Solomon Lunger too, he is one of the hardest-working people I know and he's built his brands from the ground up. He's just a good person who also always looks for people to connect together to build something amazing, whether it's brands or builds. 

SN: What is the best career advice you have received?   

ES: Never tell someone to do something that you don't know how to do yourself. My boss Adam Genei told me that when I first started working at Mobsteel and Detroit Steel Wheel. I think that really established a level of respect immediately within our workflow, and applying that in my personal life gives me a level of authority without coming off as, well, a phony jerk. 

SN: Have you always wanted to work in the automotive industry? What keeps you here?  

ES: I'd say I've always wanted to create and tell stories. My world opened up when I dove into automotive and aftermarket manufacturing. What keeps me here is there is always something going on, something new, something old that we are revisiting, so many people to meet and partner with, it's all never-ending. I also absolutely love covering shows and repping our brands! 

SN: Who was the most influential person on your career goals?  

ES: My dad; My whole life he's always pushed me to reach out and get involved in anything I was interested in. I'll admit, at times it was annoying, haha he knows that, but it was and is always needed. He's my number-one fan, and I'm his. 

Fill out a #SheIsSEMA spotlight form to submit a self-nomination or nominate a colleague and highlight how you or she is contributing to the specialty-equipment industry. Selected candidates are automatically eligible to be considered for SBN's #SheIsSEMA Woman of the Year award, featured on SBN's social media, SEMA News and recognized on the website.