Alliston, one of Boston’s youngest neighborhoods, is home to several music recording studios and small concert venues. Seventy percent of residents in Alliston are between the ages of 18 and 34. However, on Rugg Road, you will also hear the sound of rumbling motorcycles.
Madhouse Motors is a motorcycle shop with an unexpected owner, mechanic, and boss – a 28-year-old woman named J. Shia.
Shia says there have been times when she would answer her shop’s phone and try to talk to customers who thought she was the secretary.
With due respect to secretaries, that is not what this brilliant young woman is by any means. She is a master mechanic, designer, and welder. Her skills started at a young age when she played with tools, and they have perfected throughout the years
Shia can remake, repair or rebuild almost any bike, as long as a computer doesn’t run it. But she is also very talented, and she has an art degree. She focuses her talent on motorcycles, and they are her canvas.
Along with her team, Shia has created several unique motorcycles using some non-conventional items. She has a nationally-recognized talent that even caught the eye of a Hollywood producer, who hires her to build unique bikes for the 2016 remake of “Ghostbusters.”
Shia loves her work, but the results are what matters most to her.
As she said for CBS Boston, “My life goal is for people to see the bike and say, ‘Wow, that’s a cool bike,’ instead of ‘That’s a cool bike built by a girl.”