She started researching Peterbilt, Mack and Kenworth trucks until she thought, “Screw this, I’m going to do tour buses.”
Mandrell didn’t know the first thing about becoming a motorcoach designer. But when a woman from Country Coach called the showroom looking for a discontinued fabric, Mandrell asked how she could gain some experience. The woman said, “I don’t have any idea, but we’re hiring.”
The encounter launched Mandrell’s career designing aircraft and motorcoach interiors for multiple companies across the country. In 2006, Mandrell started her own business, Viaggio Lux, which designed buses for NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne. Through the job, she was invited to her first NASCAR race in Indianapolis.
“I didn’t know anything about NASCAR,” she says.