As a child, Mariani spent several decades touring the country with his family (he is the middle of seven children) in a motorhome, where he developed a love of big rig trucks. He decided to follow his love to art for a career in interior design and studied graphic design for three years at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Mariani was a contestant in the second season of HGTV‘s reality program Design Star but was eliminated in the fifth episode. He then hosted the show Car Crazy for one episode in 2009. He was the host of SpeedTV’s show American Trucker.
“Each truck driver I would see was like seeing a super hero – their rig was their super power.”