Beyond the Byline: Katy Lindamood, Creator of Skirts and Scuffs

It took one woman to come up with the genius idea of Skirts and Scuffs - that woman is Katy Lindamood. Katy wears many hats as the Creator and Editor-In-Chief at Skirts and Scuffs: tech guru, administrative genie and overall friend and mentor to all of the writers and editors. Please join me in learning more about the wonderful women who created the site we are so proud of.
Katy ... the inspiration behind all the ladies at Skirts and Scuffs
AE (Amanda Ebersole): What is your life story, you live in Kentucky now ... have you always?
KL (Katy Lindamood): I grew up in a small town near the southernmost part of Ohio. Wheelersburg is two hours south of Columbus and unless you are from the area chances are you've never heard of it. Most of my family still lives there or nearby, with the exception of my sister and her husband, who live in Texas. It wasn't a bad place to grow up and having most of my family close led to a very tight bond with my grandparents and my aunts and uncles.

After I graduated high school I moved to Dayton, Ohio, where I went to college and started pursuing my dream of becoming a high school history teacher. After three years in Dayton I returned home and continued going to school at the local university, but my heart wasn't in it anymore. I was 22 years old, six months from a degree and realized that I wasn't cut out to be a teacher.

After leaving school I started working in retail. I realized quickly that I loved it. Customer service was my “thing” and I was good at it. I spent the next 4 ½ years working for Lowe's in my hometown. It was during this time I met my husband, Ryan. They say workplace romances aren't a good thing but from the first day we met Ryan and I had a connection. (We had actually briefly met two years earlier. He remembered me but initially I didn't remember him.) We were married in a beautiful ceremony on August 21, 2004 and while he's the most infuriating person I know, he's also the glue that keeps me from falling apart when I'm having a rough day.

Currently Ryan and I reside in Ashland, Kentucky, which is less than an hour from where I grew up. We spend most of our down time hanging out with our three dogs Boone, Frye and Bean. I am currently employed by Wal-Mart working as a sales associate in the jewelry department.

AE: How did you develop your love of NASCAR? You've said you have loved the sport since you were a young kid, so was it something your parents watched and it just became "your sport"?
KL: I have no recollection of NASCAR before the age of 12. I don't remember ever seeing a race on TV or even knowing the sport existed. I grew up in a town where football is a religion, not a sport. Sunday afternoons were spent in front of the television watching the game. As a kid who never cared for football, I was the black sheep of the family.

For some reason the TV was tuned to CBS for the 1993 running of the Daytona 500. I remember complaining to my mom that this had to be the most boring thing on television. Surely there was something else on that we could watch? What was so exciting about watching cars drive in circles for hours? I started wishing something exciting would happen. Maybe if there was a wreck I'd actually enjoy the race. And then it happened. Rusty Wallace went on the ride of his life barrel rolling through the grass. I still remember sitting there not 2 feet from the television screen wondering how anyone could survive that. Surely he would be dead. Remarkably Wallace survived the crash and I became a fan of both the sport and the driver in that moment. I've never looked back.

I was a hardcore fan all through high school and was the only 16-year-old girl I knew who had Rusty Wallace floor mats in her car and had her bedroom walls decorated with pictures of drivers and not teen idols. There were times when I didn't watch racing because of work or school and for a couple of years I completely stopped watching. I got back into NASCAR hardcore in 2007 and that's when I attended my first race with my best friend Jenn. In the time I had stopped following religiously she had become a die-hard fan. Her love of the sport once again sparked my interest and now much of my life revolves around the sport. I've been a fan for nearly 20 years and while sometimes I've strayed I'm still a fan of the sport that peaked my interest at age 12.
Katy and Jenn
AE: Have you done any previous blogging before Skirts and Scuffs? Web designing? You are the resident tech support so you have to have some type of experience. What do you enjoy about blogging?
KL: Before Skirts and Scuffs, I had several personal blogs including one Jenn and I co-authored about NASCAR. Most of what I wrote before Skirts and Scuffs in terms of blogging was personal stuff or my ramblings on random topics. I worked as a freelance writer for a couple of years bidding for jobs online and trying to make a living writing web content. It sounds like an easy job but it's not. Freelancing and just writing web content is often time-consuming, low-paying, and in my personal opinion not very rewarding because unless you have one focus or niche your writing topics vary from day to day. I admire those who can do this for a living, but in the end it wasn't my cup of tea.

In terms of NASCAR writing, I took on a couple of guest blogging jobs for popular NASCAR sites including The Final Lap. I also started working with running their Kyle Busch page, which later became the Penske Racing Examiner page. It was during this time that the idea for Skirts and Scuffs developed.

AE: Why did you feel the need for a site like Skirts and Scuffs? There are tons of NASCAR-related sites out there that we could all individually write for.
KL: In the fall of 2009 an online friend asked me to take part in a series she was doing that profiled those trying to make a living as freelance writers. By then I had decided that I wanted to focus on writing about NASCAR and no longer on writing random web content. It was in the process of answering her questions that I realized what the NASCAR community was lacking.

The question she asked had to do with what I perceived as the downside to writing about NASCAR. I won't lie: as a fan regardless of how unbiased you might think you are, there are many people who don't perceive you as knowledgeable enough to write about the sport. They have visions of you sitting on your couch munching away on a bag of chips while “pretending” you know what you are talking about. Factor in the stereotype that many have about female fans and the deck is stacked against you.

Initially Skirts and Scuffs was just a dream. I wanted to develop a site where women who are fans of the sport had a place to share their thoughts. I wanted a place where women from all walks of life could connect and not be criticized for being female fans of a male-dominated spot. I wanted to debunk the stereotypes that all female fans were in love with a driver and wanted to marry him or that we are only fans because our spouses or boyfriends are. (Side note: my husband isn't a fan in the slightest.)

AE: What are you future goals for Skirts and Scuffs? 
KL: In the beginning I had no idea Skirts and Scuffs would become a success. I honestly thought it would be something people would initially be interested in but that over time it wouldn't stand up to the other amazing sites covering the sport. Looking back I realize that I underestimated the tenacity of female fans and their ability to accomplish anything if they put their mind to it.

Since the launch of the site, we have grown more than I could have ever imagined. Each month our readership increases and we are adding new original columns and new contributors frequently. Skirts and Scuffs has been recognized by NASCAR and in 2011 we were asked to join an elite group of non-traditional media websites that cover the sport. Since becoming a member of the NASCAR Citizen Journalist Media Corps, we have seen readership increase. In recent months we have added two photographers to our staff, promoted two contributors to the Associate Editor position, and launched several new original columns.

Looking to the future, we would love to extend our reach by expanding the types of racing we cover. Our primary focus would remain on NASCAR's top three series, but we'd like to start covering some of the K&N Series events, ARCA and IndyCar, along with local short track racing events.

AE: How do you manage Skirts and Scuffs, renovating a home plus a full-time job?
KL: A little over six months ago my husband and I bought a house. We purchased a house that was in foreclosure and had been vacant for nearly two years. Although we got it for next to nothing i,t didn't have a working bathroom or a kitchen when we took possession. Luckily I have amazing in-laws who are helping with the renovation. In six months time we have put in a whole new bathroom, a new roof, and new furnace, and finally after what seemed like an eternity the kitchen is more than halfway done. Living without a stove or a refrigerator for six months was a challenge in and of itself.

My life has become an exercise in balancing. Most of the work on the house is done on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Throughout the week I depend largely on the site editors Rebecca (Kivak), Amanda (Ebersole) and Unique (Hiram) to get the job done when I'm at work. Without the three of them, life would be 10 times harder and I'd no doubt have given up a long time ago. With all the advantages of technology, I'm able to check in via my phone during my breaks at work. On days I work I spend at least 2-3 hours working on site stuff after I get home. Some days it's just answering emails, following up with contacts, monitoring the social networking sites, or working on my own columns. On my days to edit (generally Tuesday and Friday) my computer is always on. Regardless of the day of the week or the time of the day I'm always on call. I'm OK with that though - it's the responsibility I took on when we launched the site and if that's what it takes to get the job done I'm willing to do it.

AE: With all you have on your plate, where is your happy place to escape it all?
KL: This is going to sound really funny, but right now my happy place is my bathroom. For anyone else that would seem weird, but considering my bathroom is the only room in the house that's completely renovated, it's where I go to escape. The rest of my house is a jumble of power tools, lumber, boxes and sheetrock dust. When I get stressed out about how slow I think the house renovation is going, I go in and shut the door. Thinking about how far the room (originally the smallest of three bathrooms) has come in just a short time makes the chaos I live in seem bearable. I've told my husband that I'm just gonna camp out in there until the rest of the house is complete. He thinks I'm joking, but when I come home to find sawdust coating everything, and nails in the floor, the bathroom is where I run to. 
After a lot of hard work, Katy escapes to her happy place ... the bathroom!
AE: For any ladies out there reading this who like what we do at Skirts and Scuffs, what can you tell them about it and how can they get involved?
KL: The easiest way to explain what we are about is to refer back to a quote by Andrew Giangola in his book "The Weekend Starts on Wednesday." The quote is one of the first things readers see when they come to the site and every time I read it I'm struck by how well it represents the Skirts and Scuffs team.
“There are female fans who take apart engines and will take you apart if you have a problem with that; who are drawn to the danger and mystery of the sport; who watch races on TV to witness pure passion and unscripted emotion; who love the camaraderie of these family-friendly festivals; who feel the nervous anxiety of the lip-biting wives atop the pit boxes."
That's who we are. We are female fans who love NASCAR for the action and the passion.
As for joining the team, we are always looking for new contributors to join the Skirts and Scuffs family. Currently we have more than two dozen active contributors but there's always room for more! For more information, shoot me an email to or hit me up on Twitter at @NASCARKaty.

AE: What are some of the recent changes that you feel have been a positive thing for our readers?
KL: The addition of new columns, new contributors and our weekly race recaps of many of the top teams have aided in our growth in recent months. Each time I read a post, I am amazed by the caliber of the talent we have.

What even amazes me more is that these women are willing to do this for FREE! No one makes a dime from Skirts and Scuffs. Not even myself. We've been actively searching for site-paying sponsors, and while we have developed relationships with many other sites and companies, everything you see is done on a voluntary basis. (For details about donating to Skirts and Scuffs or sponsoring the site, please contact me and we will work something out.)

AE: Rebecca (lead editor) asked what makes you so good at troubleshooting all the site problems? *Side note, every technical problem we refer to Katy and have nicknamed her Yoda and or Peggy in reference to the commercial on TV*
KL: When the site started, I was doing everything on my own and was about to go nuts. Rebecca saved me from certain mental illness when she agreed to come on as the Lead Editor. With the addition of two more editors, I can focus on the medial tasks and conflicts that erupt behind the scenes.

As I always say after a long day! “Ladies, this round's on me!”

A personal note from Katy:
I'd like to personally thank each and everyone of our contributors, columnists and photographers for all the hard work they put into making Skirts and Scuffs what it is. Each and every one of you are an asset to the team and without you I'd just be another blogger sitting on her couch with her hand in the chip bag “pretending” she knew what she was doing. I am truly blessed to have you on my side.
Beyond the Byline: Katy Lindamood, Creator of Skirts and Scuffs Beyond the Byline: Katy Lindamood, Creator of Skirts and Scuffs Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, May 14, 2011 Rating: 5