Now and then I review a few surprising emails from someone “who came across” websites for The Pawning Planners, Texas Twins Events or TDCJ Officiant (Prison or County Jail Wedding Planning services) who is more than “a little surprised” at our candor. Well folks, buckle up for blatant honesty and a virtual melting pot of folks from every walk of life.
The Pawning Planners is a barter option for families who don’t have any money. Wait what? Yes, you just read that we help people with no money who desire a Dream Event. How do we do that? Well, we go into their homes and try to find something of value that’s how. Items taken in trade are then refurbished (if needed) and flipped at Texas Twins Treasures. Having an outlet to sell when you barter is essential for anyone even considering offering a barter option.
The next thing you need is product and market knowledge. If you are “flipping,” appraisal experience is essential to your success. It’s easy to lose money if you are jumping in the lake and don’t know how to swim.
Cindy and I have been in sales and brand marketing for over thirty years. We also have been successfully “flipping stuff” for profit since we were about twenty years old. We are junkers who research the value of items we aren’t familiar with on our cell phones when warranted because occasionally, the people contacting us think they are naming the value. They aren’t.
When you offer event services in exchange for an item, you need to know whether or not the venture will put you ahead or, behind.
Since I’ve been asked why Cindy and I always try to rent Home Depot trucks, the reason is money. Home Depot offers the cheapest option. When you regularly deliver some items for Texas Twins Treasures or pick up barters for Pawning Planners Clients, you need a truck now and again.
We couldn’t find a Home Depot truck last year and had to rent a UHaul. The truth is, you pretty much have to get the insurance at UHaul and the cost is twice as high.
Cindy shot the UHaul video of me explaining why UHaul is our last choice rather than the first one– Wendy Wortham Explains Why Home Depot Trucks Are Half The Cost Of UHaul.
There have been occasions where the client didn’t have anything of value. One writer had watched “The Wedding Heckler Versus The Pawning Planners” and was fairly surprised regarding the details. The fact was that Joanna had contacted me regarding a wedding ceremony, flowers and photography as well as an Officiant.
Joanna had nothing of value to offer in exchange. It’s rare for me to “volunteer” my team these days but, over the years, I have based on unique circumstances.
Let’s go over why I chose to help Joanna and why “no good deed goes unpunished” before diving into the Inlaws and Outlaws that bothered to show up and stir the chili but didn’t bother to do anything else to help Joanna. I was the Fairy Godmother. How? The actual details will surprise you. First, Joanna didn’t even have a wedding dress. I found and bought one for her. Her children also needed clothes for the wedding. I bought cowboy hats and matching shirts for the young boys and spent hours making the floral arrangements to tie everything together.
On the morning of the wedding, I travelled to the trailer park with my twin sister, Cindy, daughter in law, Stephanie and friend, Angela Rodden. Stephanie was handling Joanna’s makeup while Angela was taking care of Joanna and her maid of honors hair. Cindy and I helped the boys get dressed and Joanna into the wedding dress, earrings and necklace we had purchased to “pull everything together.”
My twin grandnieces were flower girls in the wedding and after changing their clothes, Angela curled their hair for the “big event.” Where were Joanna’s parents? Friends? Family members? Nowhere.
Nearly three hours after arriving in the trailer park to help Joanna get ready, I had planned leave and travel to the park and set everything up. However, Joanna couldn’t get anyone in her family to pick her and her children up.
I actually drove her and the kids myself in my SUV. Her “family” were apparently too busy to even bother giving her a lift?
At the park, Stephanie set up her camera equipment while Cindy and Angela pinned my bouteniers to the wedding party. This would also be my first “opportunity” to meet Joanna’s beer swilling brother.
I’ve never needed security at a Pawning Planners event mainly because the people we are helping had no or else to help them and are generally thankful for our help.
Joanna’s family was anything but thankful or helpful. Her drunk brother continued to disrupt my team and threaten to interrupt my ceremony. Cindy had the perfect quote for a situation involving a drunk. Here it is.
After everything I had done to make Joanna’s Dream Event a reality, the disruptions from her idiot brother were causing me to question my decision to volunteer my team for Joanna’s Dream Event.
The groom was also late to his own wedding while the chaos on location continued. In my attempts to get through the ceremony and chaos as well as far away from Joanna’s brother, I called the groom myself and instructed him to get to the venue or my team and I were leaving.
By the time the groom arrived, the brother had upset everyone on my team and his sister, Joanna. Apparently, bullying his sister was a regular occurrence and during the cake cutting, this idiot brother grabbed and smashed wedding cake all over Joanna and the groom.
Now, I will add the link to the video of why I now require security at events. Explaining what I had been through the day before at the wedding gives you a far better idea of why I was upset about trying to clean the wedding dress Joanna wanted to keep with blue frosting all over it from her brother.
No good deed goes unpunished. The Wedding Heckler And The Pawning Planners.
Jennifer had contacted us after seeing the wedding photos of Joanna (before the cake smashing). Jennifer lived in Mineral Wells about forty five minutes from Fort Worth. Jennifer had bought clothing for her son and husband and wanted to meet with Cindy and I to see if my bouquets would match the colors she had chosen.
Jennifer unlike Joanna, didn’t have any relatives (aka Inlaws or Outlaws) that would start a ruckus at the wedding. Jennifer also was bartering jewelry.
Meeting clients for the first time can be surprising. We have no idea what they are like or how they live. Jennifer’s home was featured in the background of this video and a few folks made comments about the condition of her home.
Let me clarify that Jennifer was bartering her Event because she didn’t have credit cards or the ability to write a check to pay for services through Texas Twins Events.
Jennifer was a Pawning Planners client. Here’s the video- Wendy And Cindy On Location With Jennifer Mineral Wells, Texas.
Pawning Planners Clients don’t have luxurious homes. They often live in trailer parks, barns or older homes that need quite a bit of work. The variations of their homes from Texas Twins Events Clients is shocking. Pawning Planners Clients are often working class and never have a venue. Their events take place at parks or backyards.
Many people find observations of my twin sister to be either hilarious or shocking. In any event, Cindy is blatantly honest. These days, sugar coating is the last thing on my sisters mind.
When you’ve “survived” as many events as we have, it’s best to be honest about not all of them being pleasant or easy.
Sure, Cindy keeps me laughing but, my desire for perfection in an imperfect world often has me close to an anxiety attack. Cindy is the ice breaker. I’m the task taker. People in general are a mixed bag of nuts. After all, we are more often than not, in pretty wild circumstances.
From being chased out of a barn by a wild hog to walking into a house full of feral cats, you could say we’ve seen it all. It isn’t always “pretty” either but, the reality is that our client base is compromised of folks with money booking through Texas Twins Events or Texas Prison Weddings or through The Pawning Planners. It’s a wild mix of personalities, backgrounds and incomes.
Since I’ve been asked, yes, we’ve had a few hillbillies and rednecks too. Frankly, Cindy is a chameleon who easily “blends in” with clients from nearly every background.For our first few years, the majority of our bookings were with LBGT Couples. Texas Twins Events was “friendly” from the start.
To “cover” the families with nothing of value to trade in exchange for event services, Cindy and I created Pawning Planners Apparel. My twin sister has something to say about EVERYTHING.
Cindy and I have been shaking trees together most of our lives. As twins and best friends, everything in our lives has been as a Twin Team. When I decided to start Texas Twins Events years ago, Cindy was my first team member. After watching one of our videos at a Pawning Planners Clients home, Cindy and I went on a weight loss journey together. Menopause and Thyroid cancer had packed on the pounds but, we were so busy running to events, Appraisal Appointments and client meetings that fast food became a way of life did years. Fitting in fitness wasn’t fun but, it was effective.
Where’s the “fat video” of the Texas Twins? Heavy sigh. It was filmed in Fort Worth with a couple wanting to barter. The groom wanted a backyard wedding. The bride didn’t. The groom also thought his “treasures” were worth more than they were. Walking into a strangers house can be an eye opening experience. Here’s the video– Wendy Wortham And Cindy Daniel At An Appraisal Appointment. The backyard was a real eye opener.
Cindy’s twin granddaughters have “worked with us” for nearly nine years. Maryssa and Makenna were often flower girls or ring bearers in our clients weddings. The twins also joined us at the gym and got in shape too. They now work at birthday parties as princess characters. Maryssa and Makenna are fourteen now.
The twins have always been with us on location as Cindy is the custodial parent of her grand twins. Last year, a creative request for a “princess” at a birthday party gave them a great idea and outlet to earn money for their first car.
The twins enjoy working with younger children on location so the princess concept was a win for not only them but also Cindy and I because we are far too old for princesses. Fairy Godparents maybe but, princesses are for the twins.Going from flower girls to princesses wasn’t that far of a stretch and things fell into place for the twins. Quite frankly, I never planned on bartering but, I merged Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create The Pawning Planners after realizing that Cindy and I were great at flipping stuff and not everyone was in a position to write a check.
Did I see myself walking into Jails or Prisons Monday through Friday? No but a creative request for a prison wedding had me once again rebranding and expanding Texas Twins Events to include Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham.
Like the twins, Cindy and I were open minded and saw the opportunity of rebranding and expanding. Texas Twins Events bookings literally exploded from the additional option of inmate weddings.
Who knew there were so many folks interested in marrying an inmate? We didn’t. But, we welcomed anyone from any background and by being open minded, our business boomed.
We weren’t David Tuttera with a magic wand. What we were was a set of twins determined to offer affordable options to anyone wanting a Dream Event. Everyone’s “dream” may be different.
Statistics say that “most weddings are 30k and up.” Who are the couples with 30k of disposable income laying around? I have no idea but, even rich people love a bargain.
My team and I have been booked at exclusive weddings too. From event planning to Officiants or floral designs and photography, my team and I enjoy a variety of bookings from exclusive venues to backyards, barns and yes even Prisons.
Complimentary photography is offered to all clients booking through TDCJ Officiant as a courtesy. Most clients aren’t “thrilled” with their prison wedding pics so, I created an inventory and traveling photo booth to bring fun to their photo shoots.
With four generations of my family working with me to make Dream Events a reality, we’ve had our fair share of adventures and surprises but, as a family we’ve also shared an adventure of meeting amazing people who valued our services and our help. Many of them had no one to help them before finding us including Joanna and Jennifer.
While I care about the stories, Cindy cares about the bottom line. Her “moocher quotes” are also our best sellers on Pawning Planners Apparel.
“Don’t jump into my BOAT, unless you BROUGHT, your OWN fishing POLE and BAIT” (don’t be a Moocher).
“You don’t MEND fences, BORROWING the neighbors LADDER, to STEAL fruit FROM their TREE.”
“Don’t ask me for an apple and expect me to bake you a pie.”
“Don’t tell me how to drive when you don’t have a license.”
“Don’t be like a blister showing up when all of the work is already done.”
We’ve had our fair share of sad luck stories over the years. Learning who needed help or who didn’t or who promised to settle their balance and didn’t along the way was a learning curve for The Pawning Planners.
Requiring Appraisal Appointments dramatically reduced our “volunteer efforts.” Cindy may be sassy but, she’s also the first person to break the ice on location and sit down for a glass of sweet tea. My sister has never met a stranger.
Do we have fun together? Absolutely…