Yesterday morning, Cindy and I loaded up to leave WorthamWorld and head to a wedding. We were both sore and tired from pushing an SUV onto a trailer the day bere but we aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty.
I had packed my SUV Friday evening with cameras, cake tray and serving set, crystal champagne glasses and anything else that I thought I might need but was fairly exhausted after pushing the 2001 Ford Explorer (along with the buyer and my sister) onto a trailer since it wouldn’t run Friday night.
The Explorer hadn’t been started in a few months because we were too busy to meet clients interested in buying it so we ran to Auto Zone to buy a charger unit. A few minutes after starting it though- we both smelled gas and a lot of it! My initial sales price of $1k quickly dropped to $600 with a gas leak from the fuel line being a surprise for everyone.
The “Bartering Business” of The Pawning Planners isn’t always profitable. Hits & Misses, Barters & Blunders along with Flips & Flops can have unexpected expenses when boats, cars, trucks & campers or farm equipment are involved. The Ford Explorer was a flop because when we took it in trade, the inspection sticker was out which should’ve been a “clue” regarding the current condition but we overlooked it at the time.
To get it “legal,” another investment of over 3k was necessary. From new rims and tires to transmission work and the catalytic converter & battery, this trade along with the services provided, was a huge blunder but also a learning curve for my sister and I. Whatever we’ve learned the past 3 years of bartering was by experience. When you take trades in exchange for event services, film development, photographers, travel expenses, and other costs of the event come out of my pocket up front. The “plan” is to refurbish and fix up whatever I’ve taken in trade to sell and recover expenses while making a profit now and again.
But know this-I don’t always make a profit. Some Barters can be a gamble as my husband knows all too well. He loves American Pickers so he believes that every deal should bring a profit but that only works on tv if you believe everything you see on shows about flipping houses or other items always bringing a profit, you might be being unrealistic. The truth is that no one can be sure they will find a buyer at the price they want-including me. Everyone loves to see people “winning,” but where are the flippers who don’t? Real Life-Real People-Real Stories aren’t always Win & Roses. If getting rich quick was easy we would have a lot of competition and we don’t. Bartering event services won’t always bring a profit but you learn to cut your losses quickly after a few pitfalls.
Thankfully by Saturday morning, Cindy and I had put the “money pit” experience behind us and we’re really looking forward to the wedding. Robert and Jennelle had met with us a few weeks ago to discuss their wedding plans and we all “hit it off” immediately.
I told Robert that I had packed everything last night but was so tired from selling the Ford with one thing after the other going wrong all day-I decided to go back and re check my SUV to ensure I didn’t miss anything.
Frankly, looking at that trade that had cost me so much money sitting in Cindy’s driveway everyday depressed me so if we had to push it to get rid of it, I was ready to do whatever it took to wave goodbye and good luck.
Robert and I texted back and forth to go over last minute needs and ensure we had everything but after taking a look at my flower baskets that have been loaned over and over the past two years—I decided to buy new ones at Walmart on our way to the location along with ice for the champagne I was gifting the couple and the tiara/necklace set for Jennelle.
Upon arriving, we found that the cake had shifted and everyone was upset about it. I understood because this happened at Lisa and Terry’s wedding and I was devastated about it! Getting a wedding cake perfect isn’t nearly as easy as you think and a good sense of humor with a crooked cake helps. I call it the “cup half full rather than half empty philosophy.”
Keeping a good attitude when everything isn’t perfect, Jennelle looked amazing as did Robert
& the entire wedding party. My team and I loved their attire and good nature posing for wedding photos and using photo props I picked up at Walmart. I love fun photos!
My team and I had so much fun with this family that I would put this event in my top
favorite events over the last nearly 7 years and over 600 weddings.
The Bowman Family & The Oklahoma Wedding Adventure The Jenn & Jennifer Wedding along with The Kelley Family are a tie due to fun and outgoing families- we love our clients but not everyone is as welcoming or easygoing as our “favorite events.”
Robert is also an accomplished DJ and very soon will be available for budget friendly DJ services in the DFW area.
Although I have a lot of DJ’s on my Instagram, Twitter & Linkedin pages, not everyone is willing to volunteer for a sponsored family of The Pawning Planners or offer low cost services for Texas Twins Events clients and I explained this to Robert who “got it” and understood why I’m picky about referring anyone to clients.
A lot of wedding vendors are so expensive that “regular folks” can’t afford to hire them so those aren’t the kind of referrals I’m interested in.
My client base is compromised of low to middle class consumers so I’m not trying to “knock other vendors” I’m just being realistic.
Next week I’m meeting beautiful bride (yes, all of my brides are beautiful) Misty in an area park to ensure she has wedding photos since her fiancée is incarcerated in Estes Unit Prison. I was pretty upset that photos aren’t allowed inside the prison, but I’ve never done this before so everything regarding Prison Weddings will be a “learning curve” for me next Friday. Although she won’t have wedding photos, she will have photos. I’m pretty nervous about this wedding and what will happen after the doors close behind me at the prison mainly because I have no idea what to expect!
The minute that I announced officiating a Prison Wedding-my phone started ringing with opinions about controversy. But you can’t please all of the people all of the time and I only care about pleasing my clients anyway.
To give other vendors a “clue” regarding my client base, the photo session and prints for Misty are free as a courtesy along with the beautiful tiara I’m “gifting” her. Providing complimentary photography for all of our clients is something no other wedding officiant would do but I’m different. Loaning items so clients don’t have to buy them? You bet, I’m nothing if not passionate about my journey.
Recently, a reader questioned why I need a team so, I will address this question- my sister helps me organize at events and often does videography. My son and daughter in law handle photography and we currently have five officiants on staff and will be expanding to six in May with Stephanie Hafele coming on board as an officiant to address our client base and demands. Everyone on my staff is cross trained to address any issue on location.
Another reader wanted to know why we have sponsored families with no money and no trade. Unless you have struggled in life financially- you will never understand why I make exceptions. My reasons for sponsored events are based on a clients story-I care about their story when others do not.
One reader wanted to know my reasons for starting Texas Twins Events & Texas Twins Treasures and later, blending them to create The Pawning Planners. Committment. I (along with my family) were willing to do whatever was necessary to help others. Taking trades & refurbishing them, selling Pawning Planners Apparel & even working for free when necessary might have made us “different” but it also created a window that never before existed.
Explaining how all three businesses work together isn’t easy but when you see the happy families we’ve helped, everything comes together.
We are different because it would take a unique and creative wedding vendor to break through the glass ceiling that pushed down on anyone who didn’t have 3k-10k “laying around” for a wedding.
My journey to others who may or may not understand it started as a mission to help anyone (regardless of their income) but all of these families wanted something no one else was willing to give them-I changed that along with my family and we marched on to help others with nowhere to turn…
Wendy M Wortham