Last month, I sat down with Bobby Gens Ace to take a look at the man behind the name. This week, as promised, I present to you readers an interview I had with our very own NitroGirlz, Nancy and Leana! Originally, I was planning to just email them questions and have them reply back since we’re entering the busy holiday season and they’re incredibly busy, but they let me know they could spare a few minutes in their busy schedule to actually sit down and talk with me. Who was I to refuse spending time with these two beautiful ladies?
Hello Nancy and Leana, thank you for take the time today to sit down and talk with me. Why don’t you introduce yourselves to our readers tell us a little bit about your roles at HobbyPartz and affiliated websites.
Nancy: Hi, I’m Nancy and I currently work in the marketing department, but I actually started my time here in customer service. My supervisor noticed how well I interacted with customers during my first holiday season working here and recommended me for a promotion into the marketing department. Now I’m responsible for event donations and maintaining a presence on RC forums. I also handle our charity drives and other giveaways and community giveback programs. Our local community has been really good to us and we try to do whatever we can to show our appreciation and give back (HobbyPartz RC News/Articles section : RC news/Articles on right hand side).
Leana: Hi, I’m Leana. I started with order processing, but got promoted into my current position in marketing a little over a year ago. My main duty involves handling most of the social media we do, like Facebook for example. I take care of most of the promotions and announcements on our Facebook fan pages and manage the content uploaded on a daily basis. I also observe fan interactions on our fan pages and work directly with our designers to come up with enjoyable tidbits for our fans to enjoy and bond over whenever they come onto our fan pages.
How is it working for an RC company? And how do you feel about the industry and the hobby itself.
Leana: It’s funny you asked that/I’m glad you asked that. When I first started here, I was part of the order processing department. I didn’t have any experience with the RC hobby and it was just a job. After about half a year, it was getting repetitive and I wanted more of a challenge, so I requested a transfer (promotion) to the marketing department and got it. After I transferred over, I started interacting directly with our products and fans. The new position exposed me to the enthusiasm of fans and honestly, I was quite surprised how passionate the RC community was. When I was doing processing orders that came in, I would be a bit surprised at how many came in every day, but never directly interacted with any customers, so it wasn’t until I joined marketing that I grew an appreciation for not only the industry, but the hobby itself. So I took it upon myself to learn more about RCs by asking our pilots and drivers to teach me some of the things they knew and over time grew a love for the hobby, especially cars.
Nancy: It was kind of the same for me too. Back when I was just started in customer service, it was just a job to make some money while in college. In fact, the first thought that ran through my head was “Really? These aren’t just toys for kids?”, kind of like a toy store type thing, but the people I encountered in customer service were really passionate and dedicated to this hobby. I was quite surprised by how enthusiastic fans were about their hobby and how much time and money they were spending in building and tuning up their cars and planes. For example, a lot of our plane customers are veterans, and I grew to understand that there’s more meaning to the hobby than just building and flying those planes. That’s when I realized how strong the RC community really was. When I joined the marketing department I developed a stronger connection with the fans and an even greater appreciation for the hobby.
So how was it that NitroGirlz came into being?
Nancy: Officially, we made the public announcement at last year’s RCX expo, but the idea came a bit before that. When we first started working in marketing, we noticed that our product promotion team consisted of the pilots and drivers only, and we wanted to help them out; to improve and the quality of the content and just provide support for them in general. We also noticed that there were no female figures in the industry and we wanted to do something about that.
Leana: Yeah, we started out with doing some fun photo shoots. When management saw some of the pictures we took, they really liked them and gave us the go ahead to do more. We acted as models for a few of the videos and photo shoots with RC planes and from there, we kind of just became…a group. Haha.
Nancy: It was really fun! We became “official” and made a Facebook page and after a bit, we couldn’t even add any more friends, so we started a new fan page instead so more people could follow us (NitroGirlz on Facebook). We even got some shirts made for the girls of the group! Now, we make sure to represent the NitroGirlz at any events we go to! As a little extra perk, some of the design guys made some cool NitroGirlz body kits and gave us our own cars to play with. I am a professional S107 only pilot but anything after a 3 Ch. the pilots restrict me from flying. Apparently, I tend to be accident prone. I am currently practicing on our Flight Simulator so I can be just as good as Antonio and Tony. But I personally enjoy the rc cars because of the speed. Leana and I would go outside to play with our cars on our 10 minute breaks.
Leana: She still breaks every car.
Nancy: Haha, yeah I do, but each one lasts longer than the one before!
So you guys mentioned earlier that you both like cars a lot? What’s your favorite one?
Nancy: Well, we actually both started out with the S-107 3 channel helicopter. We experimented with each type of RC and landed on cars. My favorite car is the 1/8th Mad Beast Monster Truck. Drift cars are fun too but since they’re on-road cars I can’t drive that on the gravel and dirt, I prefer the off road cars. Rock crawlers and monster trucks on the other hand, are fun to use to go over curbs and rocks and obstacle courses we set up at work.
Leana: Yeah I think I like rock crawlers the best too, for the same reasons. Actually, I still want to learn how to fly planes, when <loudly> Antonio decides to finally teach us (Antonio, one of our on hand pilots, had walked by the room we were in just that second…he smiled).
Tell me more about your experience with fans. What’s the coolest thing a fan has done for you?
Leana: Hmm…fan experiences. We have many great fans out there but one fan that we got really close is with Justin Daily. He was our first memorable fan, and Nancy and I became really close to him. He would always post on our wall and fan pages, and messaged us on private message.
Nancy: Leana, remember the time with his baby?
Leana: Haha yeah, I was about to get to that! So last year, when he had a newborn baby, Nancy and I made a video congratulating him and his wife and posted it directly to his wall. He was really happy and thankful about that. We had given him a NitroPlanes shirt before, and he wore it in the delivery room. It was pretty cool, so we had another one sent over to him for little baby Jaxton and he posted up some pictures of the baby wearing it. It was too big for him, but it was so cute!
Nancy: Another thing that’s a bit more general, while it doesn’t have a super cool story like with Justin, is just fans recognizing us when we attend events. Originally, Leana and I just started NitroGirlz for fun, but it turns out that when we go to these events people actually know us! It caught us by surprise for quite a while!
So obviously, a lot of fans show up at events, since we talked about daily interactions with fans, let’s talk more about event experiences. What was your guys’ best event experience? What did you guys like about it?
Nancy: Well my favorite event was the RCX expo from last year.
Leana: Yeah that event was the first time we were able to meet our facebook fans face to face. A couple of them came up to say hi to us, which was really cool. Just being able to interact with our customers was a great experience. We got to work with some of our amazing designers to plan and organize our booth beforehand which was really fun. We also got to watch some of the attendees fly their helis and drive their cars on the courses set up inside the convention center. That typically doesn’t happen in that large of a scale at trade shows like this.
Nancy: Actually I have fun simply talking to the fans. I remember the Heli Freak Fun Fly. We went around pass out banners, stickers, and coupons and a lot of fans didn’t just grab the freebies and walk off, but stuck around and talked with us, which I thought was really sweet and cool. Some have told me they were surprised that we stuck around and talked with them because I guess not many retailer representatives stop and talk with their customers and fans.
Leana: To me, putting a face to a name is the best part of these events. I mean, we interact daily with fans, sponsors, etc. That’s our job, but obviously most of it is through emails and phone calls. We don’t get to see like 90% of the people we talk to. So when we go to events, we actually get to see the people we communicate with daily. It’s pretty cool and I think I enjoy that the most about fan interactions.
Don’t you guys see that pretty much every week at the office and at other events?
Leana: It’s different at the RCX expo. It was just regular people driving and flying, not like at the office or at events where the drivers and pilots are professionals or sponsored. In a way, it was more fun to watch people like you and me..well..definitely better than me (haha) take some of our sample RCs and play them on the courses and airspaces set up in the convention center. Some of the hardcore enthusiasts would bring their own RCs to the show and drive on the courses with some of the pros in attendance, or race with each other.
Well, thank you for your time Leana and Nancy. Is there anything you’d like to say to the readers and your fans?
Nancy: Hmm, I don’t thinks so really. We talked for quite a bit haha. I guess thanks to all you readers and fans. Please make sure to come to the AMA (Academy of Modern Aeronautics) show on Jan 11-13 and say hi to us if you’re in the area! And I hope to see you all at our events!
Leana: Yeah, thanks for supporting us! Keep following us on fan pages and like our NitroGirlz fan page and look out for our deals and promotions as well! Also feel free to just leave messages saying “hi” if you like. We really appreciate those tiny (as well as long) messages.
Well, thank you for reading, and thank you to our two lovely NitroGirlz Nancy and Leana for taking the time to sit down and have a chat with me. I hope you all enjoyed reading this little interview. The next interview in this series won’t be for a bit since the Christmas season is starting and I’ll probably have some other responsibilities I’ll have to tend to, plus that project I’ve been working on…you know, the one drawing me away from blogging…is going to be released pretty soon, so it’ll be pretty busy holiday season! The next interview should be with Antonio (the pilot that smiled). From what I’ve seen and what the girls have told me, he’s quite the popular guy in the RC scene. Hopefully he’ll have the time to fit me into his busy schedule. Until next time, happy holidays!