It’s not easy to get rid of hundreds of cars, especially when most of them aren’t in good condition to start with. The solution? Mike Hall and his “Rust Valley Restorers” team came up with the idea of restoring his 400 cars by selling them one by one regardless of how long it takes. Nevertheless, the road hasn’t been an easy one, and the workload is still high.
While Hall’s son Connor, and business partner Avery Shoaf do their best to keep up the restoration business, and not let him spend money on unnecessary things, other members of the Rust Bros Restorations have gained fame for their notable work and charisma. One of them is Cassidy Mceown, the young but incredibly talented apprentice i the show.
Nonetheless, given how long it’s been since we last saw our favorite “Rust Valley Restorers” on TV, the question of what Cassidy is doing these days doesn’t leave our minds. Stay here to know all about Cassidy’s whereabouts, her career now, and if she’s still part of the show.
What Is She Doing Now?
Life in a very busy bodywork shop isn’t easy, yet Cassidy Mceown deals with it just fine. As an apprentice at Rust Bros Restorations, Cassidy faces a lot of career challenges and new problems every day, but her thirst for knowledge of the trade and her willfully hard-working attitude keeps her on her feet, and ensures she’ll keep advancing in her still young career.
Appearing in “Rust Valley Restorations” has alredy pushed her career forward, gaining her hundreds of thousands of followers on her social media, on which she often posts updates about the show and her work in the shop.
While Cassidy is doing great professionally, the same couldn’t be said about her personal endeavors. As she informed her TikTok followers, her father sadly passed away in February 2023, leaving her no option but to take a short break from social media to deal with the unfortunate family situation.
That being said, even though Cassidy has been through some difficult times as of late, she’s just as committed to her work and studies as we’ve seen on screen through “Rust Valley Restorations”.
What Happened To Her Father?
Those who have been following Cassidy Mceown long enough know that she doesn’t shy away from showing her love for her family. Not only have they encouraged her to follow her dream of working in the automotive industry, but also taught her the basics of the trade, as car lovers themselves.
Nonetheless, Cassidy’s father had been going through some health issues for quite some time. In 2021, he suffered a cardio respiratory failure, and developed atrophy in one of his legs which left him unable to walk, on top of dealing with a long-time disability the product of an accident he suffered in his teens. Besides being connected to a full-time oxygen provider, he needed a health mobility scooter which Cassidy provided for him, thanks to a fundraising campaign she organized in July 2022.
Unfortunately, the health of Cassidy’s father didn’t improve with time. According to her, he had gone a couple of days without sleep before finally taking a nap on the morning of 2 February 2023, dying in his sleep a couple of hours later.
Get to know Cassidy, the youngest mechanic on #RustValleyRestorers. New episode Thursday at 10EP!
Although Cassidy had initially refrained from talking about his passing, on a TikTok video she affirmed ‘my dad is just too amazing not to talk about’, adding that he’d always supported her, and described him as someone who used to lend a hand to everyone in need.
Besides sharing bits about her family and personal endeavors on social media, Cassidy Mceown has made good use of these platforms to promote her career, and teach others about the automotive fixing and restoration craft. She has over 145,000 followers on TikTok alone and more than a million likes gained, while on Instagram she has an impressive audience of 120,000 followers.
While many of her fans come from “Rust Valley Restorers”, her top-notch car-centered content has attracted many of her audience as well. Some of her most popular content includes tutorials on painting jobs, hammering, welding and valuable information related to the car business and car parts. Cassidy’s co-workers at Rust Bros Restorations often appear on her videos as well, either taking part in her tutorials or following her lead as she joins some online funny trends.
Taking advantage of her popularity online, Cassidy also launched her online shop Resto Broad, which lists her original designs on T-shirts, hoodies, and accessories.
Working For Mike
There are certainly many places to go for an apprenticeship, yet there are surely more special reasons to work for Mike Hall at Rust Valley Restorations.
According to Cassidy, the work at Mike’s business isn’t highly compensated financially-wise, receiving only the average wage to work there, and appear in the show. Her main motivation to stick with Mike is fueled by something even greater than just money. As she admitted on a TikTok video from January 2023, she credits Mike for her professional growth due to the fact he doesn’t underestimate her abilities for being a girl, on occasions even ‘overruling’ customers who don’t trust her, and deem her incapable.
Other reasons for working with Mike include the great amount of knowledge Cassidy has obtained from her time in the shop: ‘Mike has given me nothing but experience and has pushed me to do more and more every single year’, she said, affirming she’s grateful for having a boss who ‘has her back’, and pushes her out of her comfort zone.
Some of the most valuable skills Cassidy has obtained from her time at Rust Valley Restorations include improving her welding and metal-working abilities, on top of learning the basics of mechanics. Overall, so far the experience has been a great one for Cassidy.
How Much Does She Earn?
While the common expectations of appearing in a TV show include receiving juicy salaries and gaining quick fame, that’s not the case for Cassidy Mceown and her “Rust Valley Restorers” co-stars. As she affirmed in a video shared on her social media in October 2022, her salary from the show is nothing extraordinary: ‘we just get our normal wages, and even our wages are pretty average on the lower side, industry standard’, she affirmed.
While Cassidy admitted that Mike Hall and Avery Shoaf’s salaries from the show are higher than hers and the rest of the staff for being the shop owners, they don’t receive that much money anyway. To explain why “Rust Valley Restorers” salaries aren’t as great as expected, Cassidy affirms that Canadian TV isn’t as profitable as the US industry, hence making their working conditions quite different. Discounts on car parts and similar sponsorships is one of the very few benefits that Cassidy and her co-stars get for appearing in the show.
How Did She Get Into The Show?
It takes lots of courage to give the first step toward following a dream, though for Cassidy it was a matter of trusting her gut, and having the support of her loved ones. To become who she is nowadays, Cassidy took the risk of sending a resumé to Rust Bros Restorers right when they were looking for people to appear in their still yet-to-be-premiered TV show in 2018.
The idea came from Cassidy’s mother, who found out about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity while reading the local newspaper. While at the time Cassidy was only a year into her apprenticeship program at Okanagan College, she was quite trustful that her daughter was the perfect fit for “Rust Valley Restorers”, and so become a role model for other women in the trades.
After contacting Mike Hall and the shop, Cassidy went through several rounds of interviews before the producers chose her to appear in the show. Nonetheless, none of it would have been possible if she hadn’t taken the chance in the first place: ‘As embarrassing or as hard as it might be to go and take that big step, it’s important to put yourself out there so you can have the opportunity to have a job like this’, she said in an interview with Okanagan College’s YouTube channel.
Appearing In A TV Show
It’s not every day that a common person gets to appear on TV, but reality shows have made that possible for people in all types of life and trades. Nonetheless, that doesn’t make the experience any simpler or extraordinary for the people involved in it, which is something Cassidy Mceown has come to know first-hand.
As Cassidy affirmed during a 2021 interview with the Okanagan College Trades & Apprenticeship, her beginnings in “Rust Valley Restorers” were ‘quite nerve-racking and hard to adjust to’ for her, often letting her inexperience get the best of her in front of cameras, As she admitted, stuttering and becoming flustered while filming was often frustrating, taking her a while to get used to it.
Though it took her a couple of years, Cassidy got a grasp of it all and ultimately became a fan favorite for her personality and strong work ethic. Nonetheless, despite the lots of experience in front of cameras that she has gained so far, Cassidy admits that it still takes a lot of work behind the scenes to make “Rust Valley Restorers” as interesting as it is.
Okanagan College (@OkanaganCollege) is hosting a Q+A with Cassidy McEown from HISTORY'S Rust Valley Restorers on June 16th from 6-7pm. Cassidy will be talking about her apprenticeship journey as an Auto Body and Collision Technician.
— SkilledTradesBC (@SkilledTradesBC) June 10, 2021
Why Did She Get Into The Trade?
Coming from a family in which everyone is a mechanic, Cassidy Mceown’s choice to dedicate her life to the trades was almost expected. As she admitted in a video interview with Okanagan College Trades & Apprenticeship in 2021, the fact that her mother is a mechanic and her father was a small engine expert made it simple for her to choose this path of life, especially since both parents passed down their knowledge to their kids.
Cassidy’s time in high school allowed her to improve her auto-body skills as well, something she considers an advantage career-wise for expanding her options in the long run: ‘it’s a good option, given that if you decide to pursue other careers, you know that you always have another profession to fall back on’, she affirmed. Later on, Cassidy’s skills expanded to the restoration field, complementing her previously acquired knowledge of cars with metal-working.
That being said, Cassidy’s job at Rust Bros Restorations includes, yet isn’t entirely focused on mechanics. As she affirmed in a social media video from 2023, she isn’t a mechanic per se, as her job at the shop is described as a journeyman body man, and consists of repairing damages to the suspension, frames, and structure, on top of doing painting and welding work.
Advice For Women In The Industry
As a young woman in a male-dominated industry, Cassidy Mceown knows well how hard it is to find a place in the field. While she admits to being quite lucky to work in a place with people who support her, and meet other women in the industry, Cassidy does her best to support others who want to follow their dreams in the trade, but are afraid of not being accepted into it.
As seen on her social media, in late 2022 Cassidy attended a conference organized by the British Columbia Institute of Technology, which allowed her to connect with other women in trades, and offer them some guidance and advice on how to face the challenges which come with the career.
As well, in a 2021 interview, Cassidy had already addressed the topic of the lack of female presence in the auto body field and similar crafts, admitting that despite being necessary to develop a ‘tough skin and a sense of humor’ to survive in the industry, it all comes down to having a positive attitude during difficulties.
While Cassidy Mceown’s career is still in its early stages, she already has lots of plans for the future. At the time she was interviewed by the Okanagan College in 2021, her first goal was to finish her last year of apprenticeship there, then continue moving forward in her career.
One of Cassidy’s other goals was to start her own business with her mother, who had been encouraging her to start a bike mechanical shop together for some time. As admitted by Cassidy, it would take some time to have everything ready for it, but it was a work in process nonetheless.
Fast forward to present times, it’s unclear how close Cassidy is to starting her dream business, but she definitely keeps moving forward. As she confirmed in November 2022, a fifth “Rust Valley Restorers” season was already in the works, confirming with this that she indeed will keep working with the guys at Rust Bros Restorations for some time to come. That is good news for all of us.