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flying sparks garage emily reeves

Meet the #PEAKSquad: Flying Sparks Garage, aka, Emily Reeves

  • PEAK Squad
  • PEAK
  • June 27, 2024

We had the privilege of sitting down with #PEAKSquad member, Emily Reeves, to talk all things cars and content creation.

We’re excited to launch a new series where we profile members of the #PEAKSquad — starting with fan favorite, Emily Reeves. She’s a full-time car enthusiast, content creator, occasional model, and maybe the most bubbly person online. 


Emily has built a huge following online by sharing her daily life working with her husband, Aaron, at Flying Sparks Garage. People are drawn in by their exciting car builds, but they stay for the couple’s down-to-earth, genuine dynamic — and Emily’s endearingly upbeat personality. 


PEAK has the privilege of collaborating with Emily on several of her projects, and we got the chance to sit down with her to dish about all things cars and content creation. 


Finding Her Passion

Most couples would probably experience a bit of friction working together every day, but not these two. Instead, Emily and Aaron get to celebrate their shared accomplishments together, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. But that’s not too surprising, given the couple’s history. 


Emily’s love of cars parallels her long, loving relationship with Aaron. It all started when Aaron introduced a 14-year old Emily to the world of cars, and she hasn’t looked back since. They built their first engine together the following year, working on a 1969 Camaro that Aaron had been saving his money to rebuild. Aaron wanted her to be part of it, and insisted that she help.

“He installed one head and I did the other… I finished and said, ‘Are you ready to check my work?’ and was shocked when he said no. He trusted me and didn’t want to take away from my feeling of satisfaction when we cranked the engine for the first time.”


When the engine cranked and they took the Camaro for a drive, she knew he was right. And that amazing feeling of accomplishment would drive her career for the next 20 years.


Overcoming Intimidation 

Emily’s outgoing energy is infectious, so you might be surprised to know that she still gets intimidated in the shop. But she’s also learned that the mistakes and obstacles are the most rewarding parts of her job. 


“When I don't know what I'm doing, or I run up against something where I need to do research or figure it out by trial and error, that’s the best part, because I know on the other side of that struggle is a giant sense of accomplishment. I don’t know if many people get to experience that day to day,” says Emily.


Beyond being a woman in the male-dominated world of cars, there’s also a lot of bravery that goes into putting yourself out there online. Well aware that she’s opening herself up to critique, Emily insists on sharing content that includes all of the mistakes along the way — and her audience loves it. She learned early on that her community appreciates honesty and humility, and can relate on a deeper level because she’s showing the reality of working on tough jobs.


“When I flip the camera on, I know that thousands or even millions of people are going to watch it and potentially judge me. Not only do I have my own sense of apprehension and intimidation, but I’m processing all the potential judgments from others. The most challenging thing is to push past that and go ahead and publish, even when we mess up.”


Building Community Online 

Since her first build back in 2001, Emily’s growing passion and skills have allowed her to build a community of her own. When she got her first car in 2005, there weren’t as many online communities where girls like Emily could connect. She didn’t know any other girls who worked on cars, so instead she poured over issues of Hot Rod Magazine or posted to Pontiac GTO forums. 


As social media evolved, Emily saw an opportunity to turn her love of cars into a fulfilling career. In the early days of her YouTube channel, she would reach out directly to big car accounts to pitch them content, in hopes they would post it. The quality of her content opened doors from the beginning.

Now, Emily has 136,000 followers on Instagram, nearly 300,000 YouTube subscribers, and you can find her featured in her beloved Hot Rod magazine. She finds that being an influencer allows her to entertain, inform, and inspire her audience — but more importantly, it allows her to build real, meaningful relationships. And she hopes that her channel can play a small part to inspire other women to push past their fears and get under the hood. 


Success with Flying Sparks Garage 

Emily and Aaron’s success has opened the door to so many opportunities for the couple — including their ability to find and fix up more cars. Now, the pair owns over 20 cars (including both of their first cars), and they continue to expand their cast of car characters. 


“Each vehicle has a story. We put blood, sweat, and tears into each of the builds. We have gotten rid of some along the way, but we've kept a lot of them because they become like family members. And when we started the YouTube channel, they became like cast members on our show — and you can’t go killing off everyone’s favorite characters!”


At first, Aaron was a little camera shy and preferred to let Emily shine while he stayed behind the scenes, but she wasn’t having that. She wanted it known that Aaron introduced her to this world and that he was a major part of her success. Slowly but surely, he got more comfortable in front of the camera, and their audience fell in love with his dry sense of humor and their “opposites attract” dynamic. 


For Emily, the best part of running the Flying Sparks garage and sharing her work online is seeing other people get inspired. “It’s affirmation that what we’re doing means a whole lot more than just working on cars,” she says.

She especially loves hearing about little girls who get introduced to the auto world through her channel, and families who team up to work on builds. Even her own family has come closer through her work, with four generations of women joining Emily in the shop for a recent episode


Being Selective

Emily now has a lot of opportunities knocking at her door, and she’s brutally honest that she isn’t balancing all of her different careers equally. Instead, she’s focusing on doing what she loves and working with people who share the same values. 


Modeling has been on the backburner since 2020, when the whole world changed thanks to the pandemic. During that time, she put all of her focus into content creation and found her true passion. Her genuine enthusiasm and high quality content has driven her success, and these days Emily has her pick among brands that are clamoring to partner with her. We’re thrilled that PEAK is one of Emily’s top collaborators, and she even gets our sense of humor!  


“I think their love for the motorsports industry communicates well in everything PEAK does, because it’s so much more than selling something. They post funny memes and interact with the audience, so they feel like part of the community. When you genuinely like what a brand stands for, you’re going to choose them when you have to grab some coolant.”


Striving for More

But even with all of her online success, Emily still feels like the job isn’t done. Sure, she’s grateful for her career and all of her opportunities, but that hasn’t stopped her ambition. “I definitely wake up every day with a mindset of, ‘You're not done here, Emily. Don't settle into this.'”


Emily continues to look for the next challenge and to build on her success, because the true reward for all her work is that sense of accomplishment she’s been chasing since her very first engine build with Aaron. And, honestly? There’s no one who can stop her now.


Join the #PEAKSquad to keep up with Emily’s adventures, tour her workshop, and follow Flying Sparks Garage on YouTube to see all of the latest content. Want more Emily and Aaron? Check out the couple’s budding lifestyle channel, Jump In with Aaron & Emily, where they’re planning to film the complete renovation of their first home, a 1920s cottage built from repurposed materials. 

A Conversation with PEAK featuring Emily Reeves

Join us for an engaging conversation with Emily Reeves as she opens up about her journey as a woman in the automotive industry, sharing valuable advice.