SEMA (Speciality Equipment Marketing Association) Part 1

Samantha Septer 

All photos captured by Samantha Septer




To be completely honest with y’all I really have no idea where to start about my experience at SEMA 2023. It was absolutely amazing, to say the least—a little backstory on how I got to where I am now. I have been working in automotive for a little over a year and have had a passion for cars since I was 14 (I’m 21). I started by networking and really putting myself out there, which can be very scary and uncomfortable but if there’s anything this industry has taught me it’s you don’t get what you don’t ask for. I started with helping out with a local car club which led to an industry internship then to starting this blog and working with the team at Street Cars 101 Magazine. When I sat down with Randall (Prep) in April I had no idea I would have the opportunity to go to SEMA or even be accepted for media credentials. Fast forward seven months, I have formed so many amazing connections, learned so much about not only automotive but also myself, and a ton of hard, fun, sometimes stressful work. When I submitted my application for SEMA I had in my mind that I could either be accepted or denied. Obviously, I was hoping for the best continuing to work even harder, and kept networking. When I found out I was going, I called my parents right away to tell them the good news and patted myself on the back because my hard work really did pay off. One of the big things I want my readers to get from this blog is it’s okay to put yourself out, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and keep pushing yourself to work harder and harder to accomplish your goals. You can have a huge support system and an amazing team that believes in you but it comes down to you believing in yourself. 

This year at SEMA, I was really nervous but excited on the first day because I wanted to make a good impression on the people and businesses I was talking to. Once I started to believe more in myself and gain that confidence it was a lot easier to take to those people. Seeing all the amazing builds, businesses, and the whole atmosphere of a huge event like this was truly something in my career I will always cherish. The rest of the week I knew what I was capable of and what I could really do. There was a moment when I started to feel defeated and like I wasn’t doing good enough so I took a little break and regathered my thoughts and by doing that the drive to succeed and to do even better lit a fire in me. I am so incredibly grateful for the experiences I’ve had and I cannot wait to see what the future holds. I would also like to give two huge shoutouts to Andrew (FF Racing) and Stone (imagesbystonephotography) for being part of the dream team this week and for the amazing work they do. Excited to see what else this team has in store.