It’s complicated to understand the hows and whys of business that target families with little or no money. After all why would anyone want to help people that couldn’t afford to pay them? I decided to change things and open a window for these families that didn’t exist because my son’s wedding was so expensive and difficult to cover financially. I knew that I wasn’t alone and there were many others who faced the same hurdles. What made me different was my willingness to jump into an industry and create a window for these families.
I’m asked frequently how and why I started this business and how I decided to “keep rolling” when the going got tough. Well friends, I’ve never been a quitter! I’m a survivor of many things and when it became apparent that many families couldn’t afford the low cost options offered at Texas Twins Events, I blended Texas Twins Treasures with it to create The Pawning Planners.
My “team” consists of my family who saw the importance of what I was doing for these families and jumped on to help by offering their skills as photographers, bilingual translators, wedding singers, flower girls and ring bearers along with comedy relief from my twin sister, Cindy Daniel.
While struggling families “get it” and understand my mission, many others don’t or can’t grasp the reasons for dedicating years of my life to helping others.
In order to understand, you would have to find yourself in a position of being low to middle classed and “figuring out” how you would pay for an event.
I wrote a blog explaining why I created an inventory to loan after realizing that these families couldn’t afford flowers, cake trays, Centerpieces, and even their photography after being interviewed by the Dallas Morning News regarding the legalization of LBGT marriage in Texas. Taking Trades & Sponsoring Families Why I Work For Free explains the reasons I go above and beyond. When I needed a bilingual translator, my niece Stephaney Mahaney donated her talents. When LBGT couples had no one to act as flower girls or ring bearers- our Little Pawners stepped in to fill the gap. Low cost or free photography? Robert and Stephanie Hafele jumped on board.
I created Pawning Planners Apparel in order to fund families with no money and nothing of value to trade. Sales from Texas Twins Treasures also fund these families. Visit My Treasure Chest At Texas Twins Treasures is a link that takes you to my sister site where items that have been taken in trade and painstakingly refurbished are sold. I do not sell my fabrics because the average consumer had no idea what silk loomed chenille or tapestries cost when imported and often they require a minimum of 20-50 yards. Yesterday I filmed a quick video explaining why I mix fabrics on many of my Texas Twins Treasures designs to better explain the process. Wendy Wortham Explains Why Many Of My Designs Feature Mixed Fabrics For Texas Twins Treasures.
Often, I have found that mixing the banding, welts and adding a different fabric on the reverse side of cushions “adds character” to the pieces.
Finding ways to go over, around or under issues these families faced wasn’t easy. Creating ways to generate revenue had me “thinking outside the box!”
From flowers to funding and everything in between- we have never been limited to wedding ceremonies. I’ve performed at funerals and baptisms as well as orchestrating Pawning Parties and Estate Liquidations, birthday parties and even sponsoring the Tarrant County Pride Parade. You see no event is too big or too small- we do them all! We are LBGT Friendly and support our community whenever possible. My twin sister, Cindy Daniel and I attended the NOH8 Dallas campaign and wound up on the news after a CW33 reporter stopped me to ask why we were there if we weren’t LBGT, my answer “Love is Love” would be quoted over and over by people who watched this interview http://cw33.com/2015/03/14/noh8-campaign-makes-statement-without-saying-a-word/ my feelings are that everyone deserves to be loved. Do I get flack about it? You bet but no one is treated differently by myself or my family.
What percentage of my events are LBGT or ethnically diverse? This question cracks me up because everyone asks me about it. Perhaps 40-50% of our weddings are LBGT with 10-15% being mixed race, 20% black or Hispanic, and the remaining percentage interfaith but, the numbers are largely based on my client base being low to middle class consumers.
My team and I are deeply opposed to racism or discrimination and support numerous organizations supporting the LBGT community. A few clients have had some interesting requests but- we welcome unique ideas and requests so “keep em coming ya all!”
We love our work and are passionate about our journey. Teaching compassion to our children and grandchildren is priceless and something that isn’t taught in school.
As we finish our banner with Maryssa and Makenna to meet Alex Blais who is flying in at the airport tonight on leave from the Navy and prepare for a wedding tomorrow, it should be noted that passion and perseverance created a unique opportunity for me to “be the person I’ve never met.” Involving my family has made ever sacrifice worthwhile and together we are changing the wedding and events industry one family at a time!
Wendy M Wortham The Pawning Planners- We Take Trades!