In an industry in which there are already too many car-centered shows, “Bad Chad Customs” stands out for its particular, original way of doing business, and the creativity put into every project. Not only is Hiltz Auto a unique garage altogether, but its owner and main builder – Chad Hiltz – is truly one of the most innovative names in the industry, for doing the exceptional while never forgetting how to make the best out of every tool and material.
That being said, Hiltz Auto wouldn’t be the same without having its business mastermind, Jolene MacIntyre behind it. So what is her place in the business, and how much of its success does “Bad Chad Customs” owe to her? Stay with us to know about Jolene, her life, career, education, relationship with Chad, and so much more!
What Does She Do In The Shop?
Everyone who has ever watched Chad Hiltz and his garage in action knows that Jolene MacIntyre isn’t just a pretty face. Even though Jolene’s job at Hiltz Auto includes management and sometimes helping in the garage, her biggest contribution to the business has been bringing it up to worldwide fame.
While most of the heavy building and painting work is done by Chad, Jolene controls everything related to marketing Hiltz Auto on social media, and especially on YouTube, where the business has gained hundreds of thousands of subscribers by presenting their job in quite a different way, compared to “Bad Chad Customs”.
As Chad himself admitted during an interview with AutoWise: ‘she’s smarter than I am and, y’know, I can build a car. So that’s why we’ve teamed up’, he affirmed, and truth be told, having Jolene as the mind behind the shop, and Chad on the front doing the creative job, has certainly created the perfect dynamic which fits such an out-of-the-box business as Hiltz Auto is.
Her Business Idea
Turning a business from total anonymity to becoming a name in the very competitive automotive industry is not easy, but thankfully Jolene MacIntyre had a clear vision of what she wanted Hiltz Auto to become.
It all started around 2015, when Jolene met Chad and was completely mesmerized by his skillful job at turning even the most rubbish-looking pieces of metal into a magnificent auto part. As their romantic relationship developed, the idea of letting the world know how incredibly talented and resourceful Chad took force as well, as she commented in an interview with Medium.com: ‘Chad has an incredible ability of teaching, leading and inspiring others. To make a long story short, I decided to build a business and a brand around him’.
Chad’s business was an established one at that point, but financial complications were in the way of taking Hiltz Auto to the next level. That’s how Jolene’s mission passed from making ‘growth’ her business strategy, and took a different route: ‘We could only take on 1–2 customers/builds at a time, given the size of our shop. That’s when my focus shifted towards developing our online presence’, she admitted in the same interview. Thanks to their YouTube videos, Hiltz Auto passed from being just a small business in Nova Scotia, Canada, to becoming an internet sensation, noticed by Discovery.
Educational Background & Goals
Jolene’s business drive doesn’t come out of nowhere- She actually holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When asked what motivated her to choose such a career path, in 2021 she told Medium.com she had a ‘hunger for success’, but there’s certainly more to it.
Besides being greatly inspired by Chad and his craft, Jolene affirmed her main goal while building Hiltz Auto’s online presence was creating ‘content that was entertaining, educational, and inspiring’ and needless to say, the educational aspect seems to be of great importance to her. As she also said to Medium.com, one of Jolene’s goals with Bad Chad’s YouTube channel is to create ‘College of Automotive Design and Engineering’, in which people could easily and freely access content in this field: ‘I see an opportunity to take what we’re doing to the next level. And I really feel like the future of business is to be able to serve people online’.
While to some people Jolene’s vision might seem too ambitious, she has already accomplished great things with her business, and there’s no doubt that more good things will keep coming hers and Chad’s way.
Regardless of her young age, Jolene’s accomplishments in business are already vast enough to talk about them for a long while. Needless to say, just as every business person, she has some principles and rules she follows while walking her path to success.
For starters, Jolene is a firm believer of working hard to accomplish her wishes, especially when people are passionate about their work: ‘The only thing stopping you from turning your dream into reality is how hard you are willing to work at it’, just as she told The Motorsports Agency in 2021, to whom she also affirmed that one of the struggles she faced as a businesswoman was ‘proving her worth’, but she’s always up to the challenge.
That being said, Jolene’s most important rule at making business isn’t money or fame, but kindness. Just as she told Medium.com, her compass in life is definitely ‘treating people the way that you would like to be treated’, something not only affirms has helped her in every aspect of her life, but she also believes could make the world ‘a better place’ if applied more often by everyone.
All in all, Jolene is definitely a one-of-a-kind woman, who despite her young success and considerable bright future ahead, has her priorities and goals both as a person and in a business, very clear.
As seen on Hiltz Auto website, their team really focuses on building a brand besides being only a business. Starting with hats and extending to t-shirts and jackets, there’s a growing list of merchandise and products besides cars that Hiltz Auto offers to their customers and fans of Discovery’s “Bad Chad Customs”.
That being said, building a whole brand isn’t something easily accomplished for small business, especially in the automotive world. To get to this point, Jolene has put lots of effort into developing a strong and formidable online presence which eventually gained Hiltz Auto their TV show, but there was something still missing. According to Jolene, one big mistake she made was not making YouTube the storefront of the business: ‘(it) was always on the back burner. During the pandemic, I switched my focus to growing our YouTube channel, and we’re now in the top 100 channels for subscriber growth’, she told The MotorSports Agency in 2021.
True to her words, the earliest videos on Bad Chad’s YouTube channel date to 2016, and had barely any views, but as time passed their videos’ quality improved, and with it their audience grew. Nowadays, Bad Chad’s channel is close to reaching the 200,000 subscribers milestone, and the content is clearly more educational and clear than years before, making sure of delivering well what Chad and Jolene’s message is about.
Relationship With Chad
As it’s known by anyone who either watches “Bad Chad Customs” or follows Chad Hiltz’ content on social media, he and Jolene have a stable romantic relationship.
Although this was first announced on social media in February 2017, the lovebirds apparently had been together since 2015, when Chad met the then-recently graduated Jolene, who worked as a waitress in a small town in their native Nova Scotia.
The couple became engaged in August 2017, but according to a 2018’s interview with Saltwire, Jolene hadn’t had the time back then to plan their wedding, due to them being very busy taking care of their business, building their online brand, and preparing to launch “Bad Chad Customs” on Discovery, which at the time hadn’t yet premiered.
To date, it’s really unknown when or where exactly the couple is planning their wedding to take place, but given that Jolene’s Bugatti replica is planned to be hers and Chad’s special day’s car, then surely we won’t have to wait too long to hear those wedding bells ringing.
What Happened To Her Bugatti?
Dreams are never far away from those who are for them, especially in the case of someone as creative and hardworking as Chad Hiltz is. That’s the reason that when Jolene brought up the idea of having a 1938 Bugatti worth $40 million, Chad was instantly up for the challenge, both as a sign of his love, and his gratitude: ‘She inspired me, and I told her I was wanting to build her a car. She wanted the car that Ralph Lauren had’, he told AutoWise.com.
"My fiancé Chad has been my biggest mentor. He taught me that the only thing stopping me from achieving success is the…
Needless to say, having such a luxurious car is an impossible dream of many people, but that’s not how Chad is. Committed to building her a replica in white of Lauren’s Bugatti, he built every part of it himself ,while Jolene recorded the process and shared bits of it on Facebook on a weekly basis, unknowingly unlocking the secret of gaining traction on social media with quality content. Soon enough, their project attracted the attention of Discovery’s , and the offer to star in their own show was just around the corner.
The Bugatti’s build was finished in 2019, one year before Chad announced that they were storing it until their wedding day. The decision isn’t really surprising, considering how much that car means, both personal and career-wise.
What Are Jolene’s Hobbies?
Although Jolene is great at making business, her success in the automotive field wouldn’t be as huge if she wasn’t at all interested in cars. Maybe it’s Chad’s influence on her or just an acquired taste, but Jolene is truly passionate about collecting, especially when it comes to motorcycles: ‘It’s a good feeling to spend your money on something that you think is going to be worth more in time’, she told to The MotorSports Agency in 2021, adding that she and Chad had acquired around 30 vintage bikes since they start collecting them in 2019.
While making good use of her free time seems a priority for the business-prone Jolene, in 2022 her dream of entering the dragster world became a reality. She was totally supported by Chad, who not only proudly shared a video of her first race ever behind the wheel of a 1937 Ford V8 in August 2022, but also built the race car for her only.
Who Is Her Fiancé Chad?
According to Discovery’s website, Chad is a person who ‘could build a Bugatti out of a chicken coop’, and while that seems a good way to resume who he is in a couple of words, there’s a lot of other aspects to him.
As seen either in “Bad Chad Customs” or in his YouTube channel, Chadwick Hiltz is incredibly creative and extremely skillful, enrolling himself in projects which might be difficult even for some big names in the car field. While Jolene once described her fiancé to Medium.com as ‘ the Leonardo Da Vinci of building cars’, Chad is definitely more humble when he’s talking about himself.
Coming from a not-so-privileged background, Chad learned to make the best out of his limited resources. Becoming a father at a young age and abandoning school at 16 years old definitely made his path harder, but he eventually took advantage of the creativity brought up by his financial difficulties: ‘I learned very quickly that there’s no money to buy things. So that’s, I guess, where it started, to make things’, he told AutoWise.com.
Overall, it’s really not surprising that a talented person such as Chad has an amazing back story ,and it’s always impressive to see him thriving even after facing such obstacles.
His Life Philosophy
While Jolene’s life philosophy is kindness and hard work, Chad’s compass in life is similar. As a person who was taught how to make things with his own hands from very early in life, Chad is strongly driven by the sense of accomplishment brought up at seeing his work come to completion: ‘you don’t need money to fulfill your passion. Do not let it be a roadblock. Let it be an opportunity to build something’, as he told AutoWise.
While working hard and learning a skill in life is something Chad wants to inspire the world and his son Colton to do, he’s a man who’s deeply passionate about originality. His out-of-the-box thinking doesn’t only apply to turning every material into something useful, but also when it comes to the most aesthetic parts of his job. As affirmed by himself, he doesn’t want to ‘build something that somebody else has built’.
In short, Chad and Jolene might be too different people, but it’s the fact that they continuously keep inspiring and supporting each other, that makes them such a good team.