Pawning Parties, Estate Liquidations & Texas Prison Weddings- How We Work It Out…

It’s not uncommon for 10-20% of my client base to barter their event services through my sister business, The Pawning Planners. 

For three years, the option for clients who can’t afford to pay for Event services through Texas Twins Events to barter their event has opened a window for alternative Event services that had never before existed.

I have numerous event services listed at Texas Twins Events that include Pawning Parties or Rent Parties. Both of these services require an Appraisal Appointment in order to evaluate whether or not there are enough items of value to make a liquidation worthwhile to us. Why? Time. 

Cindy and I are paid as a coordinators and consultants by the hour at other events but, at Liquidations, my staff and I are paid a percentage of the profit much like any other liquidation event service. No one offers this type of very involved sale for free or as a volunteer. 

When a creative request for a rent party aka a Pawning Party came through The Pawning Planners, I once again rebranded and expanded to address the issue. A year later, an Estate Liquidation Event Request had me juggling to liquidate a storage unit that the client could no longer afford. 

These types of events require organizing, pricing, coordinating and marketing along with 3-6 days on site with a team of no less than 2 people and at larger scale events, 2-5 people. 

For some reason, a few people assume that we offer Estate Liquidation Services or Pawning Parties for free or as volunteers but, we don’t. Ask any Estate Sale Specialist to work for free and you may get a laugh but, you won’t get a contract. 

Both of these types of liquidation events require on site organization and pricing for several days and subsequently, a large percentage of the profit from the sale as well as any items left over. 

I’m clarifying how this works in order to address continued requests by others wanting to make quick cash by either having an Estate Sale or Pawning Party without understanding our involvement in process and more importantly, why we don’t work for free to in order to make others money. 

A lot of work and time is involved on our end as well as juggling our schedules in order to address these quick sale requests. Yes, yes. We know you need to make money which is why you’re planning a sale but, we work for money so, if you need our help, be prepared to pay for it.

My sister and I work as a Twin Team while our adult children, grandchildren and my father prefer to work solo. Cindy and I always work together. Large Events require my entire Texas Twins Events Team on site at the same time. I answer a lot of questions regarding what we do with Flipped, Swapped or Traded items taken in trade through The Pawning Planners and today, will answer this question first. 

Many of the items aren’t Quick Flips meaning they must first undergo an extensive refurbishing process in order to become “sale ready.” Quick Flips are ready to list and sale immediately. 

Items that take far longer to list or flip are antiques and furniture which require an extensive refurbishing process prior to be offered for sale.

A few years ago, I wrote a blog regarding Rings and Regrets when two Brides asked for two rings in my inventory and promised to repay me at their wedding in Austin a few weeks later. 

Since they were already Clients, I should have revised their contract and added both rings to the balance prior to sending the rings but, I trusted them to settle up and, they didn’t. 

Throughout the wedding, I continued to try and recover the payments on the rings and was effectively, ignored. Here’s the blog- Rings, Regrets & Getting Paid For Inventory.

Cindy is still upset about “getting stiffed” on our ring inventory and although I never planned on getting taken advantage of again, several months ago, a friend of my sons came to my office to discuss an upcoming Prison Wedding and wanted to take 2 of my Texas Twins Treasures rings for approval with her. 

Needless to say, she lied about planning a Prison Wedding and specifically used this faux meeting in order to get my inventory under the premise of visiting her boyfriend in Prison and asking which one he liked better? After weeks of calling her to get my inventory back, I was forced to sue her. Yes. I know how to file a lawsuit for Theft.

Since this lady was a longtime friend of my sons, I trusted her and, I made a mistake. Both rings were 925 Sterling Silver and combined could easily sell for over $400. I gave her a month to return the rings prior to suing her. My home is covered in cameras and audio equipment as is my office so, proving I owned the rings was quite simple. 

I no longer trust people to do the right thing whether I know them personally or not. Here are photos of both rings. 

From bouncing checks to broken promises, I’ve learned that you just can’t trust anyone to keep their word which is why I refuse to work without a contract in place and on my Texas Twins Treasures Inventory, money up front if it’s a local pickup sale or Paypal if we are shipping your items. We do not take checks either. 

If I sound hard it’s because of the many times I’ve trusted someone to do the right thing only to be disappointed. Life is a great teacher and con artists are very good at making promises that they will never keep. No one expects to get sued but, when you have no other option for Theft Of Services or simple Theft, you run off to the courthouse. 

We do not offer credit on any item in the storefront but, do take layaway payments on Texas Twins Treasures items. Layaway options give Clients time to pay for an item if they wish. 

Now and again, I review an email that reads “I really want this but, can’t afford it, can you just give it to me?” The answer is no. Why? No one gave it to us. Our entire inventory at Texas Twins Treasures is compromised of trades we’ve taken and either refurbished or listed for sale. 

There isn’t a magic fairy bringing gifts or inventory to us. Quite the contrary, our inventory was earned. We worked at Events in order to gain our inventory and list our items at fair market value. Cindy and I know what we have listed items at is a reasonable cost. We research extensively prior to listing any item for sale. We also sell fairly and don’t donate items simple because we are asked to. We aren’t rich and can’t afford to give away inventory. 

The fact that we’ve been duped out of 4 rings is expressly why we won’t extend credit to anyone for any reason at Texas Twins Treasures or, extend credit for services at Texas Prison Weddings or Texas Twins Events.

Pawning Planners Clients benefit from extended credit and are a different type of booking altogether. Why? We are working in exchange for the items we’ve taken in trade and will eventually sell them. It takes far longer to flip antiques or furniture but, these items will eventually sell and, at a profit. 

Refurbishing antiques and furniture, involves a hefty expense of upholstery, labor and often stain for dry wood are often required in order to successfully find a buyer. 

No one really wants to buy anything that isn’t “ready to use it enjoy” because we live in an “instant gratification” world. 

Getting top dollar back after taking a chance by investing in the cost of refurbishing furniture is the only way that I can make a profit. Anyone buying a “project” piece wants to pay a project price. I don’t sell anything that I wouldn’t buy myself. 

Weekend furniture restoration project folks email me constantly about selling an item they’ve seen me take in trade on blogs in pre restoration condition. I never Fire Sale antiques or unique furniture as these items are my top moneymakers and sellers. 

These items may look terrible when we are loading them up to take possession but, the structure and unique lines are primarily what interest me. I love carved wood and inlaid wood design furniture. 

A refurbished antique Sofa can easily sell for $2500 and up. A refurbished antique set? Even more. I know what I’m looking for and don’t settle on anything furniture related that isn’t rare, funky or unique. 

Liquidating my trade treasures when they are in a trashy state would effectively, cost me money because finding items of value is harder than you might think. It’s actually not unusual for us to go on a bum run and leave empty handed. It’s happened more than anyone realizes.

The items I take in trade are refurbished and sold to pay my Events Team for their services at our bartered events. 

Sorry fellow junksters but, the last thing I am interested in doing is giving away a treasured flip I worked so hard to find in the first place. I know ya all are trying to find something worthy to flip but, flipping is how we pay our expenses and fund Pawning Planners Clients Events. I appreciate your interest but, never sell items waiting to be restored. 

Any true junker realizes that finding a treasure among trash is a time consuming and often unrewarding treasure hunt. Turn around times often vary based on my schedule. I store items until I can find time to decide on the fabrics and if staining is necessary, complete the staining process first. 

Having someone sift through my warehouses simply because they’ve asked would be similar to inviting someone to sift through my home and offer me pennies on the dollar. I’m never desperate to sell anything that I may not be able to replace. Everything in my storage was carefully selected because I saw value in the item regardless of its current state. 

When you find something amazing- you know it if you have product knowledge. My sister and I would never make a profit if we were effectively flipping items blind without any product knowledge. Knowing how to appraise an item is essential to our success. 

With a lifetime of sales history under our belts, we both split up on location and look for completely different items. I’m mainly interested in antiques and furniture while Cindy is interested in quick Flips or, ready to sell smaller items. The reason for this is that Cindy knows flipping antiques or furniture could easily cost hundreds of dollars. She has no interest whatsoever in flipping anything that requires an investment. I am. 

The Pawning Planners and Texas Twins Treasures work together to make Dream Events a Reality. Clients bartering services can request any service offered at Texas Twins Events and effectively, trade items for services. 

What makes my Texas Twins Treasures designs so different is that I only use the finest tapestry fabrics and foam to ensure our furniture is a timeless treasure to buyers who are often in other states and therefore, pay for packaging and freight as well as the item itself.

When my sister and I arrive at a Pawning Party Request, it’s essential to convince anyone facing losing their home to realize that while selling all of their furniture and appliances may seem “extreme” that foreclosure or eviction often leaves them with the only option available, liquidation. 

Or if they choose to decline to sell everything, figure another option out such as borrowing money from family or taking out a second mortgage or orchestrating a sale on their own.

If we need to load or move items from a storage unit, an upfront fee is involved to rent the truck and store items until we can orchestrate an estate sale. Renting box trucks and moving items is expensive to us and not free to Clients. I require a contract for an Estate Liquidation or Pawning Party. Why? Because Cindy and I photograph everything when committing to an event and on occasion, clients have decided to remove items that they changed their mind about without understanding the terms of the deal. Inventorying the items is how we know whether a sale is lucrative or not.  

The truth is that when you are being paid a percentage- the last thing you want is for someone to remove the most valuable items and effectively remove the anticipated bottom line from the sale. We don’t allow removal of items because the sale and profit are based on the inventory and, other liquidators don’t either.

If you are calling us to generate revenue, bear in mind that we don’t work for free, we require a contract and we won’t take on a task that will lose money. 

We know what items are worth and effectively, what our help is worth too. The deal has to benefit both parties. This is standard with any liquidation organization. 

A few years ago, I had someone contact me regarding an Estate Liquidation. Arriving at the home, the smell of cat urine was so bad that I nearly threw up. The house was full of broken furniture and trash. The “client” wanted the house emptied in order to sell it. The only item of value was an organ that the client wanted to keep. 

Explaining that other than the organ, nothing of value was left in a home full of sprayed furniture and boxes, empty bottles and bags of trash. I was firm on a price if he was taking the organ out of the deal and explained that without the organ, he needed a money order, cashiers check, or cash along with a contract strictly laying out the terms. 

This “client” thought he was making the Rules. Cleaning out that house would’ve taken 4-6 40ft rented dumpsters, and a team of at least 4 people and 7-10 days on location to pull everything out of the house and load into the dumpsters.

This enlightening conversation wasn’t being taken too well but, I calmly explained that no one was going to work for free doing “all the dirty work” without compensation including, me and my staff. 

If you are a hoarder, hauling off trash isn’t free to us and it isn’t free to you either. The amount of labor involved to “empty” a house filled to the ceiling with basically trash is a very expensive endeavor. Get your checkbook out because it’s gonna cost you thousands of dollars unless of course, you’ve been selected to star on an episode of Hoarders. 

Eventually, the cat house was liquidated by someone we referred to do the clean up job. The cost? A Lien against the house for $7k when the owner refused to pay for services and effectively, broke the contract that he was required to sign by my referral company that regularly strips homes and hauls off trash.

Don’t expect anyone to clean up your mess for free. The cat house owner was a problem from the minute I walked into the house and he assumed we not only liquidate but also, clean houses. We don’t. We stage houses for a fee and we liquidate assets. Other than the organ, there wasn’t anything in the house of value. 

Cat urine ruins furniture from the wood up. Cindy summed up this situation with a quote from our Pawning Planners Apparel Line “Don’t EXPECT to CHERRY pick, a WITHERED branch, FROM a BARREN tree, people’s GENEROSITY eventually RUNS out.” 

With the cat urine guy and at least 10 cats running around me, my patience with his demanding attitude was at an all time low and, I was dealing with nausea. The smell was overpowering. I knew when I referred another clean up crew to instruct them to get a contract. The cat guys arrogance by far outweighed his intelligence.

Cindy’s favorite #quote “I am NOT a MATHEMATICIAN, please don’t BING me any MORE of your PROBLEMS, to solve” for FREE! Here’s another hilarious observation of Cindy’s “GRATITUDE is the DIFFERENCE between APPRECIATION, and a SENSE of ENTITLEMENT!” 

Last year after a “friend” asked me to sell their patio furniture, I wound up renting a box truck to deliver it and without a contract, went unpaid. I don’t work for broken promises or for free. Since it was a coworker of my husbands, I dropped the issue and lost money while learning a valuable lesson about “helping someone sell something.” 

My team of family members are accustomed to being paid and, I wrote this blog last year to better explain how we now address requests without benefits and our selling process- You’ve Got To Give To Get With The Pawning Planners- We Aren’t Volunteers. 

Free or complimentary photography is not an option for Texas Twins Events Clients. Why? Because they can afford $75 VS traditional pricing of $300 and up an hour. Pawning Planners Clients cannot afford to pay for photography.

The process of appraising and evaluating items does take a lot of time as does advertising the sale which is why the fee for a Pawning Party is 35% as we are often on location for a significant amount of time, 1-2 days as well as advertising the sale is also a lengthy process. 

Pawning Parties are Quick Flips or Fire Sales. The clients need money fast and have no time to fool around. A Pawning Party is often scheduled the weekend of our first meeting with a client. 

My husband has a friend who always needs money. Barry doesn’t want to sell his house but, lives beyond his means. We actually know several friends in similar situations.

A few months ago, I heard my husband on the phone telling Barry “your money problems aren’t going to solve themselves. What you need to do is sell your house, sell your motorcycle, and sell whatever else you can to pay your debts.” 

Although Matthew and Barry have been friends since they were ten years old, Barry didn’t want to hear financial advice that involved selling his home. 

My husband is a no nonsense type of person who understood the risk of loaning money often involved the risk of never being repaid. Sometimes, you have to cut people off. 

Matthew and I sold our home to put money in savings and I took a large chunk of the proceeds to start my four unique businesses. Having all of your money wrapped up in real estate and surviving 2 real estate crashes taught us both quite a bit about having 350-450k wrapped up in real estate, it’s risky. 

Our money is better off in the bank than in a home that could lose its value. No one gave me my websites, trademarks, copyrights or other necessary business items that are all far from inexpensive. 

My husband and I sold our Dream Home to start Texas Twins Events and subsequently, The Pawning Planners while putting the rest of our money tucked safely away in the bank. We are survivors. We’ve been to Hell and back which is why I don’t take risks or gambles that will cost me money on a Flip, Swap or Trade and also why I never let the Client make the Rules. 

If my family and I are helping you when no one else will, a humble attitude is far more valuable than someone trying to dictate the deal. After all, we can walk away and if it’s a losing proposition, we have. If we can’t make a workable solution with a prospect, we don’t. 

Barry also had some old patio furniture he asked me about selling. The patio furniture in question was Samsonite and completely rusted. In its current state, it was effectively, worthless. 

Barry suggested that I “fix it up” and then selling it. I explained that fixing it up would involve at least $300- $500 and even then, the furniture would net less than $400 so, I wasn’t interested in getting involved in an upside down “deal.” I’ve learned to correct anyone assuming that I love to work my ass off cleaning their item or repairing it in order to sell it for THEM. 

I don’t flip upside down items. The reason for this is that I’m often covering the up front expenses to flip for a profit by cleaning or refurbishing the item prior to listing it. It isn’t free to me. It’s time consuming and effectively, hard work. 

Nobody wants to buy junk and I don’t want to invest time and money into something that will only benefit someone else either. After all of these years of people wanting me to sell their items for them, I finally got tired of pulling the wagon. Anyone would. 

Favors are expensive and edicating my friends about how they can sell items themselves isn’t an easy conversation. They don’t want to put the effort in. There is no such thing as easy money without effort in the selling business. 

Many of my so called “friends” over the years have expected me to sell or market their items and give them all of the proceeds because they fail to understand that my time has value. “You’re so good at it. You can sell anything. I need you to sell this.” These types of compliments don’t pay my bills. If I’m spending time marketing and selling items for others that I could be using generating revenue for myself, I’m losing money.

I’m good at selling and marketing because I’ve learned to be good at it. I put it the time and effort to attract buyers because presentation is important. 

Everyone including my own friends and family sign a contract that includes a minimum 30% commission and if I have to repair, repaint or reupholster an item in order to sell it,  an additional fee of 15% to cover my expenses. 

A few years ago, I wrote a blog regarding my commission fees. If you want me to sell your item, I can but, it will be less my investment of time, any expenses involved to make the item marketable, delivery fees if they apply and finally, 30% of the profit prior to eBay or PayPal fees or both. 

Barry finally did sell his house and moved to an apartment. Barry also tried to donate the patio furniture but wound up paying to dump it. Dumping junk isn’t free. He no longer lives paycheck to paycheck and no longer needs to borrow money from my husband either. At 67 years old, Barry doesn’t need a house or his toys. What he does need is money in the bank.

My husband doesn’t feel sorry for people crying poor mouth that have assets they can sell but, don’t want to do anything or make any sacrifices to change their situation. He also worries constantly about liabilities. “If you have to rent a truck or are involved in an accident- we are responsible not your clients.” My husband is a realist. 

Matthew Wortham had a lot of questions regarding the fence party situation that were well founded “is she a senior citizen on a fixed income, does she work? She must own her home or the landlord would fix the fence.” I failed to ask these questions and subsequently, learned a valuable lesson. 

Helping a home owner improve their property and losing money on renting the truck to transport the panels and poles was actually, a liability and expense for me by renting two trucks to deliver poles and panels to her home. 

My husband also wanted to know if “by chance, it was a military family? It wasn’t. Was she married?” I didn’t think to ask these questions at the time.

My husband thinks in a circle and couldn’t understand why on earth a homeowner with a job and possibly a boyfriend or husband was asking me to fix their problem? He was lit about it.

If Cindy and I are unable to find items of value, we don’t schedule a Pawning Party or Estate Liquidation and instead instruct Clients to either set up a Go Fund Me Page or consider selling their vehicle and occasionally, their home. We cannot make gravy outta water.” If you don’t have anything of value- you don’t have anything to work with. 

If you are requesting a Sponsored Event Service, please be aware that if you own your home, you aren’t needy. This issue continued to come up. Homeowners are not indigent. They own an asset and can therefore, afford to pay for service or barter something of value.

Due to our schedules and existing clients, Liquidation Events must be profitable for us or we will need to take a pass. We aren’t in the fix everyone’s problems for free business. No one is. 

Pawning Parties are mainly limited to the home itself, it’s unusual for us to have more than one building to price, photograph and effectively, market to the right buyers.

If a client needs direction or insight regarding selling items, Cindy and I work as consultants and appraisers for $175 an hour. 

Shelby had messaged me several months ago regarding liquidating her garage but, due to my schedule, it would be months before my sister and I found the time to drive to Lewisville. Her husband wanted her to clear out the garage but, the garage was so loaded that I had a difficult time trying to Appraise items I couldn’t see by standing outside the garage since there was no way to enter it.

Yesterday, Cindy and I had 2 Appraisal Appointments and a wedding in a Oklahoma parking lot which made for a pretty packed day of driving more than 300 miles. 

Driving is an essential part of meeting our clients in person to go over what they need, what they have to barter and/or what they are wanting to sell if they aren’t bartering Event Services.

Estate Liquidations are far more involved than Pawning Parties as they normally don’t involve a deadline. People facing foreclosure or eviction don’t have time to go through their items carefully and effectively, Fire Sale anything and everything including TV’s, Mircowaves, bedroom furniture and more. 

Sleeping on the floor isn’t exactly appealing but, if you’ve lost you job, are going through a divorce or illness has effected your ability to pay your bills, you really have no other option.

I recently had a client ask how we knew the value of items or how we had learned to Fire Sale items and the appraise approximate value? It’s a good question. The answer is personal experience. 

If my sister and I hadn’t suffered the loss of both of our husbands income in 2007, we (most likely) would have never thought of liquidating our homes and our assets in order to pay the bills. 

My husband was struck by the real estate crunch in 2007 and Cindy’s husband was laid off 2 years prior to his retirement from Albertsons. 

We had to tie every bundle to survive and, we did. We also had to sell all of our belongings to get by and keep from losing our homes which is how we know to Fire Sale items. 

High end items are the first thing you should consider selling in a Fire Sale as they are often worth the most money.

For jewelry, visit 3-5 jewelry or silver stores to sell items as the bids are wildly different. For furs, eBay is the best selling outlet and while expensive due to fees, gives you a worldwide audience of buyers that any other platform won’t. 

Craigslist, Offer Up, FB Marketplace and others are great for selling less expensive items as the buying audience is similar to a yard sale client in that they want to spend as little money as possible.

You don’t sell a mink coat on Craigslist unless you are so desperate that you have no other option. I strongly suggest paying the eBay and PayPal fees involved to target a wider and often, more affluent market of buyers who can afford to pay a better price.

We started out our day visiting Shelby and her mother in Lewisville, Texas. Shelby is a FB Friend and has a garage full of items that her husband would like her to liquidate. 

Traditionally, Estate Liquidations can take 3-5 days to organize and separate and 2-3 days to sell which is a very involved process and why we charge 45% of the “take.” There is a lot more time, work and set up involved at an Estate Sale. 

The variation in fees for a Pawning Party and Estate Liquidation is time and effort. We are on location 1-2 days for a Pawning Party while an Estate Liquidation could take 3-5 to set everything up and 2-3 days to sell the items. Items left unsold become our property and we flip them at Texas Twins Treasures. 

Since Shelby is a FB friend, Cindy and I did an on site consult with her at no cost and suggested selling her most valuable items first by listing them separately. Giving advice is generally a consult fee based visit but, spending a little over an hour on site gave Shelby pointers on how to make the most money on a sale. 

Selling the most expensive items separate is the best way to get the most bang for your item. The reason for this is that a yard sale would fetch far less for antiques and quality furniture items. “Cherry Picking” your best items is always a good idea because you never want to Fire Sale your most valuable assets.

After going around  the house on the other side of Shelby’s garage and an area near it, I recognized she had 2 Meadowcraft Bakers Racks and 2 chairs missing the seat pads which would take the “right buyer.” Replacing the board on a chair (or 2) isn’t cheap and the cost of replacing both of the seat bases along with having cushions made for the chairs would easily run $60-80.00 each based on the quality of fabric used. 

Wrought iron items have a market in the patio furniture industry because quality never goes out of style. Laying against the side of the garage were what appeared to be two double gliders and 2-4 single gliders that were either Samsonite or another manufacturer of steel products. 

Because several of the items were outside in the “elements,” the steel gliders had a few rust areas that would need to be addressed and the hardware was missing which to the right buyer wouldn’t be a huge issue but to the wrong buyer would. Missing hardware can be difficult to find especially for Samsonite since they no longer produce patio furniture.

When it comes to patio furniture, there isn’t any American manufacturer that I’m not familiar with since I spent 15 years selling high end patio furniture at both Texas Patios and Yard Art. My product knowledge is priceless since quality patio furniture is always in demand. 

Cindy and I “spotted” a 6ft tall wooden indian outside the garage door that based on my experience, appeared to be 30-45 years old. I’m a bit of a wooden indian enthusiast and quickly stopped to admire an item that most collectors would have never left outside. 

Apparently, Shelby’s grandmother had hand carved the Indian but due to the elements, the base was cracked down the middle, half of one of the feet were missing and the base in the back had broken off. 

Due to damage, this Indian might fetch $200 but, being 6ft tall, if it had been in better condition, could easily sell for $1k. The expense to repair the Indian in its current state could easily be $300-400 which since her husband didn’t wish to sell it didn’t make a difference anyway.

Being on location isn’t for the faint hearted as we are often in extreme temperatures going through an Appraisal Appointment in a garage or barn and occasionally, outside. 

Last year my twin sister and I went on a weight loss journey that put us in far better shape at Appraisal Appointments that require a lot of climbing and bending or lifting. 

We may be in our fifties but, we are in the best shape ever now and no longer out of breath going through a storage unit or barn or even loaded garage. 

We don’t hire help to load furniture items we take in trade because we save money by loading them ourselves if items aren’t too heavy. Often, my son helps load heavier items with Cindy and I. 

If an item is too much for the three of us, I hire Firefighters Finest or Two Men and a Truck as getting a hernia doing heavy lifting is far more expensive than hiring additional help.Being in good shape is essential to not only loading and evaluating trades but also to address unique requests for coordinating which often requires moving tables and chairs along with lots of stamina. Being on location 4-8 hours isn’t easy.

The fence party request last year was a surprising but, by digging deeper, I learned that a ladies fence had fallen down and she needed poles and panels to replace her existing fence. I was at home sipping coffee while reading the message inquiring about a fence party. 

My husband was (as usual) leery about helping someone with THEIR fence problem since “no one ever helped us with OUR fence problems.” Matthew is constantly amazed by people assuming that we are in the “fix everyone else’s problems for free business” we aren’t. He reminds me of this fact on a daily basis. My husband hates it when he feels that my generosity is being taken advantage of.

Estate Liquidations and Pawning Parties aren’t free to our clients and creative requests aren’t free either. We are paid by a percentage of the overall sale. 

The fence problem seemed urgent and much to my husbands dismay, I entertained the idea of helping her to a certain extent if I could find free panels and posts and let her solve the issue of finding help to put the fence back up. 

The city had warned the fence lady about  fining her for a fallen fence which put her in a precarious situation of fixing the fence or paying several hundred dollars in fines and still fixing the fence. 

This gig had a timeline and due to the situation, I had a plan. I rarely work for free but, since I understood the situation and my husband is a custom home builder, thought perhaps finding fence panels would be easy since he has several fence contractors. 

I discussed the situation with him at dinner and, got a laugh. Matthew thought this fence request was a liability for a number of reasons after hearing my plan. His concerns? “What did we know about her situation? Were we asking enough questions? Were we requiring a contract and truck rental expenses? Why didn’t she have friends or family to help her? What made her think we fix people’s problems for free? Especially a homeowner?” Not to mention these other liabilities: 

1. We could get hurt moving and loading the fences and panels and possibly have medical expenses involved. 2. We could be in an accident driving a rented truck that I’m responsible for. 3. If poles or panels fell out of the truck- my husband and I would be sued because I was driving the rented truck and 4. The expense of renting the truck was mine. 

These were all very valid reasons. My thought was that if none of the above happened and I could help this lady that one day she would help a stranger too. 

My desire to help strangers can often backfire and, when asked when we were going to come back and put up the fence? It did. I never planned on putting up the fence. I committed to finding used poles and panels for free and bringing them to her home. 

As usual, my husband was shocked about being asked to put the fence up after everything we had already done and asked “if we were expected to warranty the work too? What if that fence falls down? Are you expected to drop everything and run back over there? Don’t ever do anything like this again.” 

I suggested she ask others to put the fence up as we were occupied helping existing clients. After all, I had spent two separate days in a rented truck trying to pick up panels and poles before finding them and delivering them to her which is more than her friends and families were willing to do.

There was no way my husband would allow Cindy and I to go dig post holes and get the fence up and quite frankly, we were exhausted from loading and moving everything.

Often, clients contacting me have no idea of the liabilities involved on my end. Taking a risk on a trade that might cost me money is an everyday occurrence. My husbands solid  income is the sole reason that losing money doesn’t affect my lifestyle. 

Working for free and at our own expense? Not unless it’s a military family or senior citizen. A new set of rules for creative requests occurred after the fence party request.

I gamble on Flips now and again and occasionally, Fire Sale refurbished items taking up space in my storeroom. It’s not an everyday occurrence but, it happens as any seller or junkster knows.

After the fence fixing incident, my husband made me promise to never rent a truck or do manual labor again to solely benefit someone else. The risks and expenses involved by far outweighed the rewards that in that case, were nonexistent. 

My husband is older and wiser than me and he could care less about helping strangers. His reasons? No one ever helped him and it’s every man for himself. He’s aware of the costs associated with all of my businesses to us and therefore, expects a return on the investments. “We didn’t spend all of this money to create businesses to benefit everyone else. You created The Pawning Planners to REQUIRE people to offer something of value in exchange for working. Don’t forget that.” He went on about paying for expenses on a deal that wasn’t going tine compensated. 

My husband knows that working a losing deal can make me miss out on a paying gig because I’m booked out on a volunteer mission and he’s right.

“You operate a business. You offer services and you’re entitled to compensation. If they want free services or free solutions, cut them loose!”

“Businesses profit- helping people for free costs money. If they have nothing to offer, you tell them that you have nothing to give. Stop feeling sorry for people. No one felt sorry for us when we were selling furniture to survive. Don’t forget that it’s important and reality!” My husband doesn’t care about other people’s problems. 

Since starting Texas Twins Events, I’ve had so many people come to me wanting free services that I had to find a way to force people claiming they had no money to offer something, anything in exchange for services. I created The Pawning Planners to force people to put some skin in the game. 

For years, everyone wanted something but claimed they had no money. For years, my husband wearily watched us run off to work, develop film and use gas fixing other people’s problems. It took awhile for him to get fed up watching me spin my wheels and money helping strangers but, he eventually did. 

One of his funniest comments about a couple wanting a wedding but claiming to have no money was to tell me I need to “let them know that if they couldn’t afford to get married that they probably couldn’t afford to be married.” He was actually right. They owned a home and had a new car but balked at $175 for an Officiant and photography package and refused an Appraisal Appointment to look for anything of value. I turned the Request down because after years of working for free, I was sick and tired of working for free by trusting every person that said they were broke.

All of this working for free and sad luck story stuff is what actually forced me to create The Pawning Planners and stop feeling sorry for everyone. 

The JP charges $100 to marry you without photos. They don’t care if you have money or not and, I no longer do either. 

My effort and my teams efforts to make Dream Events a Reality warrant consideration. 

The Pawning Planners REQUIRE Appraisal Appointments. We get to go into your home and look for items of value if you claim to have no money and take these items to sell. 

The years of “I want this or need this” along with claims of “having no money” dramatically decreased when people learned that in order to get free services– we go through your house and effectively pick and paw to find items of value and load them up to sell them at Texas Twins Teeasures to cover the cost of Event Services. 

Yes, The Pawning Planners option was a real game changer! No one claiming to have no money really wants us going through their house and digging through their stuff. 

Matthew rarely ever supported the idea of helping people with nothing in return unless, of course they were a military family or senior or simply needed a Funeral Officiant which is something that no one actually plans for.

My husband knew that the possibility of finding anyone to donate a new fence when the contractors don’t replace old fences at custom homes was a bad idea. 

He was also offended that someone had the audacity to ask me to fix their problem. Honestly, he was. “You’re enjoying your evening at home and someone disrupts it by dumping their problem in your lap. WTF?” Yep. That’s my husband. 

My husband is a businessman and always reminds me that “Ann Landers writes advice. She doesn’t go rent trucks or lift heavy items helping people for nothing in return. Tell them what to do and forget doing it for them like anyone else.” Or, have them write Ann or Abby for advice. Ann and Abby actually get paid to give their advice and, you should too. 

Occasionally, Cindy “nails a situation” with her saucy Quotes used on Pawning Planners Apparel “if COMMON sense were CRACKER crumbs, SOME people WOULDN’T have ENOUGH, for a PIGEON to PILFER!” 

We now charge consultation fees because my husband is right. Spending time emailing or calling people or even traveling to their home or office to give them insight is time consuming and, time is money. If you want us to help you generate revenue or new clients, you pay for our insight. 

No one was interested in solving someone else’s problem without being paid. When I tell you that I have helped people no one else would help- I’m being damn serious.

Occasionally, my husband strongly suggests telling people to figure it out themselves and remove myself from their problems. I now listen to him because my soft heart has cost me plenty of money from our household income. I cannot afford to be a liability to my husband for anyone. 

The main difference between my husband and I is that he could care less about a strangers problems. Seriously. He often gets upset about some of the things he hears people asking me to do and wonders why I care? In certain situations, I don’t but, I knew someone somewhere was replacing a fence and, if I could find them that I would solve the problem. I was for reasons I’m not sure of, determined to find a solution. 

Matthew once overheard someone telling me they needed me to help them clean their yard up. I told them to do it in steps as we don’t trim trees or haul off trash. He was horrified that anyone would assume his wife or her family were day labor. Enlightening people to the reality that their request is one sided is an everyday experience for me. I could be at home gardening or spending time with my family.

My husband is consistently amazed at some of the requests that have nothing to do with event services. The last thing that he wants is for me or my sister to be doing manual labor and believe it or not, these requests to fix other people’s problems continue to pour in. 

We are an event business. The Pawning Planners barter event services. Texas Twins Treasures sells bartered items. Texas Twins Events offers Event Coordination, Officiants, Floral Design and Photography. Estate Liquidation and Pawning Parties are coordinated Events all services are offered for a cost or more importantly, considerarion.

But, this request for a fence party was so out of the ordinary that I kept try my to find a way to make it work although I quickly learned that no one else cared about helping Norma. It took about 3 weeks to find a solution. 

Although my initial contact was for a fence party, I knew that parties were expensive and I don’t sponsor parties. Why? Food, drinks, tables, chairs and more make the cost of a “party” at least $400 and up. We never sponsor a party. If you want a party, you pay to rent and provide items like anyone else. A party wasn’t going to fix Norma’s problem but, poles and panels would. 

No one was interested in donating new panels. I quickly realized that Cindy and I were the only ones who gave a damn about this lady or and had another idea. 

I decided to run an ad on Craigslist seeking free fence panels. If I could find them, I knew the cheapest truck rental was at Home Depot. We would deliver them and Norma would need to find volunteers in order to put the fence back up. 

Dedicated readers often know that I require “putting some skin in the game.” What does that mean really? It means that if we are going to help you, you have to put effort in as well and help yourself. 

For a week my husband asked me to drop this fence situation and move on to paying clients. He was more than a little upset that someone had taken their problem and dumped it in my lap. But my problem solving skills wouldn’t allow me to let this one go. I knew there was a solution and didn’t simply give up on it.

No client from Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners, Texas Prison Weddings or Texas Twins Treasures sat in the wagon without compensating my team and I got our efforts but, occasionally just giving others insight or direction helped them resolved their issues. 

Every client and every situation is different but, if you are contacting us to fix all of your problems like the cat guy, understand that we are a business and as such, expect a return on our investment. 

Juggling existing clients while trying to find a solution for the fence lady, I ran a free ad on craigslist for fence poles and panels. My only expense? Two truck rentals from Home Depot because the first response to my ad was a bum run and lots of elbow grease with my twin sister. 

My husband was lit about shouldering the expense of two truck rentals and the fact that Cindy and I had to unload the poles and panels ourselves. “Where was she? Someone contacts you to fix their fence. You find the panels. You rent the truck and you and Cindy unload them alone? The next time someone needs this kind of help- let them go find the panels, rent the truck and unload them. My wife isn’t a day laborer.” 

Yep. That’s the last fence fixing endeavor for me. My husband is still complaining about it. 

Although I’ve had at least 27 more requests for a fence party after other readers decided they needed a new fence or repairs, I copied and pasted suggestions on finding fence panels and renting trucks for them to effectively, fix their own problems. 

I’m happy to give a friendly suggestion but, my role as a furniture designer, floral designer, Officiant, celebrant, coordinator and jack of all trades no longer involves fence fixing. I’ve been there done that and moved on. Arguing with my husband is the last thing I need. He’s often right and eventually, I realize it. 

Occasionally, we are Friends of the Friendless! Although the fence lady wanted a new fence, we aren’t magicians and we found a way to fix her existing fence. No one is going to donate a new fence. Hell I couldn’t even get our fence guys to donate panels to give you a better idea! 

My husband may not have been happy about helping the fence lady and less happy that we had to rent two trucks and unload the poles and panels ourselves but, we found a solution. Parties are expensive and, if you want a party be prepared to cover the expenses. 

I’m now out of the fence problem fixing business because my husband was upset that the fence lady didn’t offer to cover the truck rentals though so, please don’t send any more fence fixing requests. The fact that we did all of the work with no help in return solving the fence problem has been gone over again and again by my husband in his “all risk and no reward” sermons about putting all the effort in. 

My husband doesn’t have a soft spot for other people’s problems and if I never worked again, my husband wouldn’t care. I no longer HAVE to work. 

My husband prefers for me to be happy doing what I love coordinating events, Officiating and floral designing or selling Texas Twins Treasures items when I’m not Officiating at a Texas Prison. I.E. as far away from risking an injury by moving heavy poles or fence panels with my sister. 

Both of our husbands were lit that we had no help loading or unloading the truck while fixing someone else’s problems. If we had dropped a pole and broken a foot or fell moving a panel or a pole- who was responsible for injuries? Yep. My husband thought of liability that I hadn’t. My husband would never put me in harms way and constantly worries about my safety.

After all, our husbands go to work everyday to support us and prefer for us to be doing fun stuff with clients and spending time together. Within three weeks of running the free fence panel ad, someone contacted me and I subsequently rented a Home Depot truck in order to pick everything up with Cindy in Willow Park and deliver to Norma.I called Norma and told her that Cindy and I had dropped off the fence panels and poles at her house. Surprisingly, I was asked when we planned to put the fence up? I suggested finding volunteers or family members to do this. A few days later, she did. 

I give advice to people frequently and although “figuring it out” puts the burden back on them, if you have a problem and someone steps out to help you, you’ve got to put some effort in on the resolution too. We spent money to rent two trucks to find panels and poles and, we delivered them. That was the end of our involvement. 

A free new fence? That’s a no go. In fact, my twin sister has several bungee cords holding her fence up and balked at the idea of anyone expecting us to provide a free fence. My husbands contractors are business people who (like anyone else) want to get paid. The contractors weren’t interested in doing anything for free and no one else was either.

Sure, a fence party was an unusual request and we were “out” the cost of the rental truck but, let’s face it, no one else was going to jump through hoops to find fence panels and poles to fix someone else’s fence. 

Running a free ad on Craigslist was a simple solution to an otherwise very expensive problem. If you have never been poor or struggling, you’ve never had to figure it out. Poverty empowers you or defines you but, if you’re lucky, you learn to be creative. We did. 

Many of the people contacting me only need a little advice for Liquidations or do it yourself home repairs. Some of them though, want us to fix all of their problems at our expense. This is a problem because we rarely volunteer to be problem solvers and occasionally have to explain why to others. 

Shelby’s garage had numerous boxes and by looking over them, I saw that there were several Antique tables towards the front of the garage that I was unable to get to. 

Because I couldn’t get to the antique tables or find a path, it made giving Shelby a better idea of the value of furniture I couldn’t see far more difficult. A “loaded garage” is tricky because what we can’t see may have a lot of value. 

We couldn’t get inside the garage, so I suggested Shelby move 1-3 boxes at a time to another location in order to “dig her way” to the most expensive items which were sadly, boxed in. 

Standing in the alley looking inside the garage made it far more difficult than standing in the backyard and looking over from the side door to see if there was anything of value located in the middle of the garage.From the side I could see at least 2 antique tables and an oriental screen along with a lamp. Since I couldn’t get to the tables to get a better idea of their condition and/or check for water damage, my estimate was based entirely on what I could see from at least 6 ft away. 

Having no idea what was in the boxes, it was far more difficult to suggest what to sell and more importantly, what Shelby should donate.Cindy “zeroed in” on an antique magnifying pole lamp which is something we have never seen. Traditionally, these types of lamps were used for hand stitching, knitting and jewelry repair in the 1960 era. Finding one working is very rare today and if Shelby could plug it in and see if it was working, we estimated it at $250-300 for a collector. No one would buy this type of item if it wasn’t fully operational though.

As we went over what items to get through first and list on free selling sites, Cindy and I had a call from my son, Robert Hafele who wanted to have an estate sale as he and his wife were planning to move into their first home. I suggested planning their estate sale in mid June based on my schedule for the next several weeks. 

Hopefully, Shelby and her husband can go through the garage and sell the most expensive items first. I explained to Shelby our fee structure for Estate Liquidations or Pawning Parties. It is a lot of work and why any Estate Liquidator requires a contract, a percentage and finally, possession of what’s left after the sale. 

No one would volunteer for such an extensive job and by doing it herself, Shelby could finally clear the garage while making money liquidating the inventory. 

We were happy to help her with insight and suggestions on a big job that if she took it one step at a time would net her quite a bit of money. 

Planning and organizing a sale is a lot of work. Because my son and daughter in law have worked numerous Estate Sales, Pawning Parties and Storage Unit Sales with me, they both realize the amount of work involved while trying to move into their new home will be a juggling act of sorts while meeting all of their booking obligations, moving, scheduling a sale, and trying to get their new home set up at the same time would be too much for anyone and suggested moving first, unpacking and then addressing selling the items they no longer need. 

Robert and Stephanie work for me as a photography team and my son also works as an Officiant in City or County Jails and other locations when I’m not available.My niece, Leigh Ann has been staying pretty busy with graduation photography bookings and enjoys working solo as a photographer and occasionally, Officiant.Being a mother to our Latest Little Pawner, Madyson Blais who models for numerous small shops keeps Leigh Ann hopping when she isn’t working as a photographer and Officiant.Leigh Ann is really looking forward to spending Mother’s Day weekend with Maddie and her cousin, Makenna at Gaylord Hotels while Makenna’s sister, Maryssa attends a birthday party weekend at Great Wolf Lodge. 

It’s pretty rare for the twins to split up but, Makenna prefers to “skip” slumber parties with 14 others girls and hang with family. Makenna and Maddy are already packed and ready to go. Since Cindy and I found several items at our last Appraisal Appointment yesterday, we have a few items to ship off to my upholsterer and will have new inventory in a few weeks at Texas Twins Treasures. 

A few readers remember that Makenna dressed up at the Easter Bunny for Elijah who has been struggling with brain cancer and had never seen the Easter Bunny.Makenna enjoyed dressing up so much that Maryssa and Makenna are going to be Princesses for upcoming birthday parties and bookings will start in July. The twins love entertaining children.I’ve had one bride decide to barter her Texas Prison Wedding this season and loved the lines of this amazing set but, I’m still undecided on the piping, the welt and the contrast tapestry fabric and will probably hold off stripping, staining and reupholstering this item until July. The hand carved wood and structure are in mint condition and after refurbishing this set, I should easily get over $2k. With my Texas Prison Weddings bookings during the week and Pawning Planners Clients along with Texas Twins Events Clients on the weekend, it’s another busy one for Cindy and I with full days on Saturday and Sunday so, we are hoping all of our friends, twins and connections have a wonderful Mothers Day Weekend with their family and friends as we will be working all weekend as usual again this year… 

Wendy M Wortham 

Eclectic Inventory At My Storefront Comes From A Wide Array Of Locations…

My twin sister, Cindy Daniel is often featured on Say Quotable.  Her #Cindyism Quotes are used on our Pawning Planners Apparel clothing line.  

Sales from Pawning Planners Apparel fund families with no money to book through Texas Twins Events and no trade to barter through The Pawning Planners.  

Finding a way to generate revenue and sponsor clients wasn’t inexpensive or easy.  For years, I covered all expenses of sponsored families myself which cost me thousands of dollars.  

My sister and I sat down one day and discussed the possibility of using her hilarious and honest “observations” of life on a clothing line.  

This new twist in our journey to change the wedding and events industry one family at a time gave my pocketbook a break while sales of Pawning Planners Apparel boomed worldwide. Cindy is hilarious and I’m serious because we are Compensating Personality twins.Clients can customize their tees or caps by either googling #Cindyism or going to Cindy’s blog sites or even using Say Quotable.  

Please allow 14 days for custom designs.  I’m adding a list of her latest #Cindyism Quotes to give you a better example of her Redneck Granny Wisdom.I’m often asked why there are so many different items for sale at Texas Twins Treasures but, the reason is that many items were taken in trade through The Pawning Planners in exchange for event services.  

Much of the time, these items went through a complete restoration prior to being listed. The reason for this is that I won’t sell anything that I wouldn’t buy.  

Since many of the people contacting me either want me to reupholster their old furniture taken in trade, it should be noted that I’m not an upholsterer, I pay an upholsterer to refurbish my items using the finest of tapestry fabrics imported from abroad.  Because of this, I don’t sell my fabrics because the average consumer has no idea what silk loomed tapestry costs and that there is often a minimum purchase involved.  

Many of my fabrics are well over $200 a yard.  As you might guess, people wanting me to sell fabric have no idea of this and suggest prices of $20-$30 a yard.  I’m not rich and cannot give away fabric.  

My eclectic mix of items for sale include not only Pawning Planners Apparel but also refurbished furniture and other items taken in trade including pre owned vestments or chasubles. 

Items that won’t fit in a priority box don’t include free shipping although I’m happy to meet your freight company.  Yes. From jewelry to antiques, our storefront is an interesting “mix” of oddities including hand carved antiques, vintage Taxco jewelry and a range of other items. Being creative and successful at my initial endeavor to offer low cost photography, Officiants, Event Coordination, religious services and ceremonies as well as a host of just about any creative Request including Texas Prison Weddings, my “journey” was often unpredictable and far from inexpensive.  

I had no sponsors and eight years ago, no connections in the events industry.  To successfully make Texas Twins Events work when everyone contacted me and claimed to have no money, I merged Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Twins Events to create The Pawning Planners and offer bartered event services and ceremonies.  

People claiming to have no money, underwent a visit from my sister and I to see for ourselves.  These visits are referred to as Appraisal Appointments and give us a far better idea of whether a client is worthy of being sponsored out of pocket or not.  If we can’t find anything of value- we do their event or request for free. 

I also created an inventory to loan to clients who cannot afford to provide their own “extras.”  Complimentary photography is offered to TDCJ Prison Wedding Clients as a courtesy.  My reason for this is that guards are not professional photographers.Since many friends or family wanting to accompany or attend Prison Weddings are not allowed to come to the ceremony, their family wait for us near the Unit and the impromptu photo shoots take place after leaving the Unit.

I also offer brooch bouquets for sale and often provide custom centerpieces to loan for Clients from my inventory when they can’t provide it themselves. Last night a TDCJ Prison Bride asked if she could bring her child to TDCJ Beto Unit.  The answer is no.  You cannot bring a friend or relative without clearance from the unit.  

You cannot bring a ring, change of clothes, music or anything else either.  The only items you are allowed to bring are your photo ID, three dollars in quarters if you want photos at the Unit and your marriage license.

Today, I’m headed to TDCJ George Beto Unit after dropping off a sold loveseat from Texas Twins Treasures.  If you are located in DFW and the item will fit in my SUV, delivery is $75.  

I’m apprehensive about tomorrow’s wedding at TDCJ Estes Unit for good reason.  I’ve never met the bride but, in picking her up at the Greyhound Bus Station and driving her to the unit. We have never met before and she’s decided to have me sing a song she’s chosen since she can’t bring music into the unit.  

Picking someone up is unusual but, she doesn’t drive.  A few months ago, I literally hitched a ride home from a unit after taking a bus there myself due to icy roads.  

Singing a song when I’m not a singer should be interesting and definitely stressful but, Lutniva is looking forward to spending the day with me and no, I’m not scared about having a stranger in my SUV although many readers have asked.  

The reason for this is that I’ve never feared for my safety and frequently drive a bride or Groom to a unit in my vehicle.  I’m also frequently asked if my sister and I are scared going into a strangers house for an Appraisal Appointment.  

Occasionally based on the location but, I’m never alone at Appraisal Appointments and, we are trying to help families no one else is willing to help.  Because of this, hurting us is the last thing these families want to do.  We are occasionally shocked at a few homes of hoarders but, never scared.

Finding a treasure among trash isn’t an easy task.  Making Texas Twins Events, Texas Prison Weddings, Texas Twins Treasures and The Pawning Planners all work together wasn’t easy.  

It took passion, perseverance and determination but, I accomplished the task because my family joined me on a unique journey to make event services affordable to anyone which was always my primary goal.  I wanted these families to have the beautiful event that I’ve never had.  Maybe that makes me different but, I’ve never tried to be like anyone else….

Why Bling Is The New Black- Custom Brooch Bouquets By Wendy Wortham…

For over twenty years I’ve been creating floral designs. My experience comes in handy because every year I create two full lines of bouquets and bouteniers to loan Pawning Planners Clients for their Event with two options of colors.  It’s not widely known that 90% of Pawning Planners Clients borrow floral designs and 40-50% of Texas Twins Events Clients do too.  

I’m the only Event Vendor that “loans” Inventory. My reasons for going to the trouble and expense are based on the knowledge that not everyone can easily afford a beautiful event with all of the trimmings.  I changed that and made beautiful events accessible by creating an inventory to loan.Saving clients money is unheard of in this industry but, my plan to change the wedding and events industry one family at a time was enlightening to say the least.  

Over a thousand families later, we now have two photography teams and two Units of Inventory to loan to booked clients.While other vendors laughed at creating a People Over Profit based Event Business, my unique idea exploded.  What other vendors failed to realize was that 90% of consumers are living paycheck to paycheck.  For these families, $3k-10k for an event is something they could never afford.  My desire to find these families and help them is the main reason we stay busy because they now find us! 

To generate more revenue, I decided to add custom bouquets for sale to clients who could afford to buy their own flowers.  My twin sister, Cindy “comes up” with Inspirational Quotes used on Pawning Planners Apparel while also helping me craft Brooch bouquets for sale, meet Clients and joins me on our daily adventures with Pawning Planners Clients trying to barter their event services.  

We stay busy year round and have a few creative requests now and again.  From the stripper who wanted a baby shower because she couldn’t work in her condition to the lady that wanted a fence party because her fence had fallen down to another young woman who wanted a birthday party because she had grown up poor and never had one, I have never turned anyone away that asked for help.  I believe that by helping anyone that one day they too will be inspired to help others.

Finding families with no money to book through Texas Twins Events or anything of value to barter with through The Pawning Planners, finding ways to create revenue was essential.  Sales of refurbished trades are sold at my eBay storefront, Texas Twins Treasures.  The revenue from my Treasure Chest of items is used to help over 50 families every year.

Since I’ve been asked by clients who’ve seen photos of brides with Brooch bouquets if they can “borrow them,” it should be noted that custom designs are not available for loaning to clients.  These bouquets are for purchase only.  Please allow 6-9 weeks delivery for custom designs.Bling Bouquet orders literally “took off” after a client asked me to create something spectacular for her wedding a few years ago. I was also hired to handle all of the floral designs and coordinate her event.  When others saw her stunning bouquet and asked where she found them, the referral business from Texas to California had Cindy and I knee deep with new orders and clients.Since we live in Texas, Bling became the new Black.  This year, I decided to add color options for brides who wanted to coordinate their bouquets with the wedding colors and now have a wider variety of options.  The best sellers are still white or silver but, the cost points on silk roses and bling are far less expensive.

For more information on custom floral designs that include centerpieces, bouquets and bouteniers, please email me where you can have your day- your way!

Rev Wendy Wortham

The Art Of Appraising- Trash Or Treasure? The Pawning Planners Figure It Out..

Monday through Friday, I’m either at a Texas Prison Wedding or meeting Clients with my twin sister when we aren’t going to Pawning Planner Clients homes to dig through their possessions trying to find something of value to barter in exchange for Event Services.  

Yes, my twin sister and I are almost always together.  Whether we are on location or sifting through someone’s junk, we are having fun because we enjoy spending time together as most twins do.

Occasionally, we don’t find something of value which is when we use funds from Pawning Planners Apparel to fund families out of our own pockets.  

This makes us different from any other vendor in that we are basically working for free but, we care enough to sacrifice our time our talents and even our own profits to help these families no one else is willing to help.

Many of these families have told me “if your family hadn’t helped me, no one would have.” Sadly, they were right.  We are Friends of the Friendless.

The list of our Event Services isn’t limited to Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms, Estate Liquidations or even Birthday Parties or Baby Showers because we are open minded and review surprising requests on a daily basis.  

Cindy and I work as a TwinTeam.  When you hire me, Cindy is my partner as your coordinator, floral designer and entertainment for the guests if I’m also officiating your religious ceremony. 

Twin Event Coordinators? You bet, our largest event had over 400 guests and I could have never addressed every unexpected issue without Cindy “working the other side of the room.”My entire family work with me at Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners & Texas Twins Treasures.  We not only work together but also spend all of our free time together too.

Everyone in my family have (on occasion) found me to be a little “bossy.”  The reason for this is that there are no do overs in the events business. You’ve got to get it right the first time and I’m a bit driven for perfection. Cindy doesn’t think I’m Bossy because she knows (all too well) what it takes to keep things going.  Drama can be surprising when a guest is drunk or someone is trying to object and ruin my perfectly orchestrated ceremony but, it’s happened.  

From the “flasher” at a destination wedding to the broken tooth of a bride or the bee sting that nearly killed the allergic Groom, I have to think in my feet around here.  Saving the day has on more than one occasion required me to whip out an emergency bag loaded with duct tape, Benadryl, Advil, bandaids and even an Ephipen or superglue.  

The broken tooth incident had me at a disadvantage with a bride who couldn’t glue the tooth on herself due to dragon nails and my finger had to be pried from the tooth which was a bit of a shock but, Cindy used a nail file to get the job done in time for the ceremony as walking out with my finger glued to her tooth wouldn’t have been the entrance she was hoping for I’m sure.

If I’m busy on location and a problem comes up, Cindy handles it.  I can’t tell you how many hundreds of times that Cindy has had to run and get something the wedding party forgot or help me repair something on site because it’s a regular occurrence.  

My sister is a self professed Hillbilly who could be a magician with her ingenious ways of finding solutions when we are far from my workroom.  People Can Be Surprising— At a wedding a few years ago, the Bride dropped her bouquet from a balcony and I used lace panties to rebuild the bouquet minutes prior to officiating the wedding because Failure Is Not An Option.  

The bridesmaids weren’t too keen on giving up their panties but, the bride was devastated about her bouquet and I needed something to “fluff the bouquet” with.  

Unlike David Tuttera, I can’t snap my fingers and have others solve an unexpected problem. Quite the contrary- my family and I “figure it out.”

We’ve had a few unexpected “incidents” on location due to Inlaws and/or Outlaws too.  I will never forget the father of the bride getting arrested for drunk driving on the way to the wedding or the Groom that was two hours late because he was getting cold feet.  I drove to pick him up myself.

Cindy and I often team up our talents to address a crisis on location because two heads are better than one.  We are Compensating Personality Twins meaning that while I’m good at one thing, Cindy is good at another.  I can spell anything but have no idea how to fix an overheated car.  Cindy does and has a million ways to fix just about anything.  

Cindy is hilarious and I’m serious.  Trying to be funny is something that I’ve never been good at because I’m too busy planning and executing.  My twin sister is the creator of #Cindyism Quotes used on our Pawning Planners Apparel line because she’s never at a loss for words ya all.I’m OCD and (according to my family), demanding.  My nieces and daughter in law may look like “buddies” but, the jealousy among my team continues to baffle me.  Arguing on location is strictly prohibited but, behind my back, bickering has occurred.  

At one wedding, my daughter in law’s SD card was full from another wedding.  My son tried to help and inadvertently deleted the photos.  They were so mad at each other that by the time I detected a problem, it was getting out of hand.  It was an honest mistake so, I made them get over it and moved on.  We had four weddings that day and everyone was tired.  

Event Stacking is stressful!  In season, nearly every weekend is stacked and often, I have to split everyone up in order to address our schedules.  Not being on site and in charge at events when splitting my teams up, I call or text to make sure there aren’t any “problems” or, arguments.

It’s not uncommon for me to stack Prison Weddings at the same Unit due to the distances I drive on a regular basis.

Everyone in my family considers themselves to be the expert.  Leigh Ann is the only singer I have but my daughter in law loves to sing.  I like to sing too but would never book myself as a singer because everyone would be disappointed.   

My niece Leigh Ann also does photography as does my daughter in law, Stephanie Hafele and the competition regarding “who got the better shot” is an ongoing campaign between my niece, my daughter in law and on occasion, even my son who also does photography.  All three are also Officiants who compare their ceremonies too. Sibling rivalry? I don’t get it. Cindy and I have never competed because we celebrate one another’s achievements. 

Since these continued  requests for an Elvis Officiant surprise me, I’m going to clarify that I’m not a singer or Elvis Impersonator.  Sure, I can dress up and know the words to all of the songs but if you want an Elvis Impersonator that can actually sing, you need to hire one.  

On the rare occasion the DJ lost the entrance music, I have been known to sing but not without the guests joining me.

My son, Robert, is the only male on staff unless Cindy or I need to call our husbands in for help which is rare but, happens from time to time.  

Generally- calling the husbands in is what we call a “Red Flag Emergency.”  One of the suvs broke down or the trellis won’t stand up or we need more manpower setting up or tearing down. 

Prospective Clients choosing to upload an image of what they would like to barter at The Pawning Planners are often unaware of the value by either inflating the value or underestimating the expenses to refurbish and (effectively) flip it at Texas Twins Treasures.

Only I or Cindy make the decision to barter Event Services as her daughters and my son have no experience with Appraisals.  

At the end of the day, it is I who write the checks for refurbishing expenses, truck rentals (to transport trades) and shoulder the responsibility of making everything work.  

Bartering isn’t an inexpensive endeavor due to the expense involved to move items and repair them or make them “marketable.”

Cindy is interested in jewelry and small items also known as “quick Flips.” These type of trades need little or no investment to sell.  I’m interested in larger items that include furniture and more specifically, antiques.  

Cindy is an experienced jewelry designer and makes her own custom designs.  She can repair nearly anything and has a flair for ornate jewelry pieces.  

Cindy was also the first photographer I added to my team when realizing many Clients couldn’t afford a photographer.  

Active or Retired Military, Police, Fire or First Responders always receive Complimentary Photography and other discounted services.  We are a Military Family and dedicated to doing whatever we can to give our Military Clients a beautiful event.Pawning Planners Clients benefit from complimentary photography as a courtesy.  

Texas Twins Events Clients pay $75 an hour for photography which is far below industry pricing. The reason for free Vs low cost is that Texas Twins Events Clients can afford a venue, a caterer and…the “extras” while Pawning Planners Clients cannot.  

For years, I shouldered the expense of paying my photographers and paying for film to be transferred and postage to send Clients a photo disc because everyone claimed they couldn’t pay for photography but, wanted it anyway.  

Thousand of dollars and years later- my generosity has limits.  If you can afford a venue, you can afford to pay my photography team.  It’s far more expensive to flip antiques that require an investment of fabric and labor but, I spent 15 years in upscale furniture sales and because of this experience, know the market.  

Sales of Texas Twins Treasures furniture are substantially more profitable after undergoing a stringent process because I’m very picky about luxurious fabric and fill.

The continued requests to flip an old vehicle or cow continue although I have no mechanic or thousands of dollars to refurbish a vehicle that isn’t running.  Although I live in Texas, I don’t have a “spread” or farm as I live in the city. 

I have nowhere to store cattle or horses or old cars or trucks so please be aware that farm animals and old vehicles are “off the table.”  I would love to refurbish an old truck but, don’t have the disposable income to effectively flip it.Yesterday, I posted a photo of my feisty Beagle, Foxy Wortham on one of my Texas Twins Treasures pieces at home.  

Everyone loved the Berger piece he was sitting on and asked where I bought it but, my funky old favorite piece wasn’t bought in the condition it’s in today.  

At the time I bartered it, the set was missing cushions and had a broken base.  It was a mess and took nearly 700 dollars to reupholster and refurbish between fabric and labor.  I did go a bit crazy on this piece with far more contrasting fabrics than I traditionally would.  

Normally, I use a contrast welt and band with a reversible fabric on the seat if there isn’t an ottoman but wanted to add leopard and polka dots along with stripes which is so rare for me that this set was a first for a full blown overboard mix. My upholsterer, Terry was apprehensive but, I love it.

I sold the mate to this set for $1750 a few years ago and wish I had kept it.  The curved ottoman and wide seat make this one of my favorite chair and ottoman sets.  

Much of my furniture is refurbished and unique but now and then, I review an email with an “offer” that makes me laugh because the writer wants something for nothing.  I can’t sell a piece I have thousands of dollars invested in for a couple of hundred.  At the end of the day, pieces I’ve invested in eventually sell and at the fair price I’ve put on them.  

I don’t have any “Fire Sales” because I don’t need to and often move pieces from my workroom to my home for variety.  I’ve been known to cancel a listing because I can’t bear to part with a piece although my husband thinks I’m a furniture hoarder.  

We live in a very old home with far too much space and he isn’t tripping over any furniture but, loves his ratty old recliner and won’t let me refurbish it no matter how I try to convince him.  “It’s the only piece of furniture in the entire house that may not look beautiful but, is comfortable.” 

My sister and I have a saying “if you haven’t seen it before-it’s expensive” because it’s true.  This would never be said of that rusty old recliner my husband can’t live without. 

Many consumers have no idea of the variations of big box throw away furniture and quality which is why cost surprises them.  Cheap foam and cheaper fabric rarely last 1-3 years.  This throwaway type of furniture is a bad investment.  Why? By the time you continue to replace it, you could’ve bought quality furniture that would stand the test of time.  I only use the highest quality fabrics and I buy quality foam and fill.  For me, a wonderful piece of furniture should last through generations.

A few years ago, I sold this unique powder blue sofa.  I loved the lines on height.  I wanted to keep it but, my husband thought we had too many sofas although (at the time) we only had five in the house.  Many of my “treasures” are bought from someone in California or New York as this piece was.  

Buyers don’t bicker about the price because a comparable piece in NY or CA would be three times as much.  They happily pay freight and packaging too.  My repeat buyers are always from NY or CA.It’s not unusual for me to fall in love with a refurbished piece and keep it which is why my home is so eclectic and, according to my husband, crowded.

I loved the celery velvet fabric on this loveseat but sold it with our old house.  Rarely do I pay the upcharge on tufted buttons because it’s quite a bump but, occasionally, I do.  Buttons and tufting made this loveseat “stand out.” I had thought about mixing fabrics and nixed the idea on this piece.  Initially, I thought a stripe on the sides and the back would bring character but, my upholsterer Terry talked me out of it.  I’ve used Terry for 20 plus years and he rarely bats an eye at my ideas but held firm on a solid color choice for this piece.

The fill on furniture is very important because good fill won’t “fall in” or bottom out as cheap fill always does.  I don’t cheap out in details and have developed a great reputation for quality.  If I wouldn’t buy it myself- I don’t sell it.

Easy flips are solid wood or metal.  They require very little to be storefront ready.  For me, the condition of the wood is essential to the value.  It’s very rare to find a wood piece that isn’t damaged to some extent.  

Last night, my grandniece Makenna asked if she could work at upcoming events to make some extra money.  My sisters grandtwins have been in over 200 weddings as ring bearers, flower girls and ushers but for the past two years been “taking a break.”  Since they were two years old, the twins have been doing Events and weddings.

At 13, their friends, tennis lessons and other factors have been keeping them busy.  Their best friends Mia and Melanie think doing events all the time would be fun but, the twins know that events are work.  Little Madyson has accompanied us to events the past few years.  Madyson is two years old and also called our Latest Little Pawner.  

Since every weekend is event filled for us, the twins have opted to stay with my husband or Cindy’s husband at events they weren’t working for tips or Flips at.  Maryssa and Makenna like to work but only if they are getting paid.  They love working but the Tennis Team became pretty time consuming.

Maryssa and Makenna are both interested in photography and videography now and often volunteer with our photography teams to gain experience when they aren’t booked at events because they’ve learned that it pays better than flower girl tips.  Growing up too fast the twins are! Clients hiring my niece, Leigh Ann Blais for photography realize that Madyson goes wherever Leigh Ann does and it’s a “package deal.”  All of my Clients expect the entire family to show up and “feel like they know everyone” from social media, websites and blog posts. Since bartering for Prison Wedding Officiant services “pops up,” it should be noted that it’s rare for me to barter my services but, I make exceptions.  

There are very few Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Approved Officiants, I am one of them.  Not just anyone is Authorized to walk into a Prison and Officiate a Marriage Ceremony.  

It’s not for the faint hearted.  I wanted to add more TDCJ Officiants to address the number of requests but, no one on my team was “comfortable” about walking into a Prison. My niece told me she would have a heart attack.  

Since many wonder why I took on the responsibility and rebranded (yet again), this blog will explain why I chose to add Texas Prison Weddings– Reverend Wendy Wortham TDCJ Wedding Officiant.

Prison Weddings have a very short window and traditionally, bartering services through The Pawning Planners require 30 days notice.  

Photography services at Texas Prison Weddings with Wendy Wortham are offered as a courtesy AFTER leaving the Unit.  

On site photography is occasionally offered at $3 a photo (in quarters) but, many Clients are dissatisfied with Prison Wedding photos because guards aren’t professional photographers.  

The differences between Bridal Photography and Prison Photography are obvious.Bridal or Groom Photography for Texas Prison Wedding Clients is Complimentary.  My reasons for this are to make Prison Brides or Grooms enjoy their wedding day regardless of how “different” it may be.“Celebrating” your wedding in a Texas Prison Visitation Area is far more somber than a venue, backyard or other location.  

Since I created an inventory of bouquets, bouteniers, and other items to “loan” Pawning Planners Clients three years ago, I decided to load items up and do impromptu photo shoots near Texas Prison Wedding locations as a courtesy and, Clients love the fun filled hours spent with me and permanent photo memories.Locations near Prison Units often include a dirt road, highway, motel and park using “props” from my inventory that include signs, flower petals and even bouquets- Brides or Grooms have an opportunity to feel like celebrating their wedding day.A few months ago, I had a flood of emails regarding a pregnant bride.  It should be noted that I do not judge anyone for any reason. A year ago, my websites were flooded regarding an “ugly bride.” I have no idea why the internet has created cyber bullies but, all of my Brides are Beautiful.Joanna was wearing a wedding dress that I gave her from my Inventory and felt beautiful. My team spent hours on Joanna’s hair and makeup. I not only gave her a wedding dress, I also bought her shoes and jewelry as well as her sons clothing. Yes- I went to the trouble and expense to sponsor Joanna’s wedding and although I was helpless to fix her teeth on short notice, my family and I did everything to make her feel like the Princess she was.

Not everyone can afford a dentist so, please bear that in mind prior to sending me a nasty email asking where I find ugly people.  My businesses are a melting pot of people from rich to poor.

All of our Clients are beautiful because we make them feel beautiful.  From their clothes to their shoes, many clients borrow far more than flowers from me. Many Pawning Planners Events take place at area parks because they are free.  Texas Twins Events Clients often have a venue.

There are very few LBGT Friendly Officiants in Texas. My staff has 5 of them.  All Wendy Wortham Business are LBGT Friendly and, always have been.I believe everyone deserves to celebrate their wedding day.  Our Clients are from a variety of religious backgrounds and economic variations.  Many are Military. 

Finding creative ways to help anyone wasn’t easy.  Selling my Dream Home to start a People Over Profit based business gives you an idea of just how passionate and determined I was.  No one else was willing to do it so, I did.  We help anyone regardless of their income or ability to pay for services.  That’s right.  I’ve never turned anyone away.

My commitment was to “changing the wedding and events industry one family (or barter) at a time.” 

My family joined me on a unique journey that will soon be available on Amazon “Paying It Forward-The Pawning Planners Philosophy.”

Rev Wendy M Wortham 

Appraisal Appointments And The Pawning Planners- Let’s Make A Deal… 

Every week is a new opportunity to dig through trash looking for a treasure with my twin sister.  We require clients requesting sponsored Events or those wishing to barter items to give us an opportunity to look for something of value. 

Cindy and I love Appraisal Appointments because they give us an opportunity to meet new clients and every request is different.  

Variety actual is the spice of our lives in a mission to “Change the Wedding & Events Industry One Family At A Time From Fort Worth, Texas.”

Twin Sisters- Wendy Wortham & Cindy Daniel Owners Of Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures & The Pawning Planners

A few of these meetings are surprising mainly because no one tells us if they are a hoarder “up front.”  It isn’t until we roll up to their address and get our first clues as to what their home might hold.  

Surprisingly, many of these hoarder homes have little (of anything) of value inside if there are several animals, water damage or other unforeseen issues waiting for us inside.

A few years ago, I wrote a blog on my sister site, The Pawning Planners regarding hoarding–Appraisal Appointments With The Pawning Planners And Hoarding.  many of our readers laugh about a few of our unexpected adventures but being honest is essential to sharing our story.  

Risk, Reality and occasionally, Rewards all play a part in the bartering business of The Pawning Planners because finding something of value is far harder than anyone realizes.  

Often, the prospective client believes their item is worth far more than it is.  

Appraising any item requires us to factor in the condition and more importantly, the cost of refurbishing items that can’t be sold as is.  Transporting items isn’t free to us unless we can fit them into our suvs.  

Evaluating whether or not a trade is worth the expense of renting a box truck is essential because truck rentals add up year after year for us.

Truck rentals cut into our bottom line so we rarely rent a truck to go to Appraisal Appointments.  Whenever possible, we cram items into one of our three suvs to save the expensive of renting a truck.

Walking a trade gives us far more information than photos uploaded at Barter Your Event Services With The Pawning Planners.

We have had our fair share of odd suggestions for a trade including Moonshine and livestock.  Because of this, we now “go over” what clients are considering to barter.  Farm equipment, antiques, cars, trucks, tools, jewelry, furs and other items are of far more interest to us.

A few years ago, one man wanted Estate Liquidation Services so we loaded up to dress be to the home and evaluate whether this venture would work.  It didn’t, and the reasons for this were “Pie In The Sky” expectations.  

The home was full of feral cats and discarded junk with the only item of value being an antique organ that (of course), the client wanted to keep.  Cleaning out that home would’ve required truck rentals, weeks of labor, and numerous trips to the dump which aren’t free.  

Traditionally, Estate Liquidation Services involve selling items of value and recovery of fees involved for the work involved organizing, pricing, advertising and finally-selling the items involved.

Explaining to someone who wanted to “clean out the house he had inherited so he could sell it,” might sound good to him because he had a vision of doing nothing while everyone else did the work for him but the reality is that we don’t have an easy button or magic lamp and our clients don’t either.  

Frankly, my sister and I nearly threw up after leaving that house due to the smell of cat urine.  Yes, a few of our Appraisal Appointments are far from glamorous ya all!

Since we live in Texas, patio furniture Flips come across my websites now and then.  Often, the client has “discovered” that the price of replacing the cushions is half the cost of replacing the furniture which surprises them and is also why so many of our Pawning Planners Clients want to barter patio furniture.  

The best selling patio furniture is wrought iron and although there are numerous brands of wrought iron, O.W. Lee is the number one selling upscale wrought iron for a very good reason, its hand crafted and has a reputation of excellence.  

O.W. Lee is an investment but long term, the best investment I’ve bought or sold and continues to be a well sought after item when I hear about anyone wanting to barter patio furniture.This California based company compromised over half of my patio furniture sales for 15 years because no one is ever dussapointed with quality, durability and style.  Many of my O.W. Lee buyers often returned to buy more pieces and expand their collection.  In 15 years of selling this line, I never once had a problem customer to give you a better idea.

My pool furniture years ago was entirely, O.W. Lee too.  Salt water pools can wreak havoc on any outdoor furniture and the popularity of these pools is probably the primary reason that we come across patio furniture that’s so damaged, it’s lost any value but, occasionally even a blind squirrel can find a nut!  

Salt damaged patio or deck furniture can often be too damaged to deal with if rust has attacked the frame.  I talk about turning furniture over a lot because it’s essential to the value of any furniture item.  

Walking a trade gives me the advanatage of knowing what will be required financial to make something ugly something sought after.  I know the expenses involved because I have a background of selling specialty brands or items.  Knowledge as a seller actually is power.  If you know what you have, you are far less likely to lose money on a flip.

Bent frames, broken legs, or even a rusted out base are expensive to overcome.  Sure, everyone thinks they can fix broken furniture but patio furniture often requires a welder or other professional to do the job right and welders aren’t cheap labor.  Save those DIY projects for something else than wrought iron or aluminum patio furniture.

Vintage wrought iron is often handcrafted and so unique that regardless of the condition, it’s worth sandblasting and repainting.  Taking into consideration as to whether a cushion is required or not can save you money but based on the design of the seat in Texas summers, can and does prevent anyone from sitting on it.

Replacement cushions are expensive and an investment for anyone undergoing the process.  The problem is that no one wants to buy patio furniture without cushions so reupholstering or replacing the cushions is a hefty investment.  How hefty? Replacing or reupholstering a club chair alone can easily run $300-500 with acrylic or outdoor upholstery.  The ottoman? $175-300.

Cheap “Big Box Store” cushions rarely last through one season because the fill isn’t made to sustain freezing temperatures much less, water.  You get what you pay for with cheap import patio furniture and/or cushions.

Since I’ve sold millions of dollars of patio furniture throughout my career, I’m well aware of the selling points of quality furniture.  Replacement cushions are truly, an investment.  If you buy furniture with a frame that will outlive you, it’s worth investing in good quality fabric and fill for cushions.

Strap furniture was popular for a number of years but replacing vinyl strap furniture isn’t for the faint hearted.  Hiring a professional to do it for you is strongly suggested due to the number of injuries that DIYERS have suffered attempting to stretch a vinyl strap piece of patio furniture.  

Winston and Homecrest sold tons of aluminum or steel framed pieces with vinyl inserts but these lines also required a cushion and by the time you factor the expense of replacing vinyl straps AND cushions, it might be a good idea to back away from buying those second hand chairs or bartering them either.

The best investment for junkers or second hand thrifters or even The Pawning Planners is solid construction of patio furniture.  These Meadowcraft Spring Chairs or Village South Settee or Dining Set can easily be used without cushions.  Sure, they might be hot in July or August but whether a piece is wrought iron or aluminum, solid construction and feet that keep them out of standing water will give these pieces years of use.  

Replacing feet is far less expensive than cushions, vinyl straps or even sandblasting.  Another key difference of quality patio furniture versus big box throw away furniture is that quality furniture has replacement parts widely available on the internet.  Leaving wrought iron without the small plastic inserts that cost less than $1 will result in rusted through feet or legs than no one wants to buy or barter.  

Flipping over furniture to check the casters or plastic inserts should be done at least every Spring.  Quality outdoor furniture is resilient but maintaining it will help the lifespan immensely.

True outdoor fabrics and fills are very expensive.  A few of the names of these durable and not inexpensive fabrics are Sunbrella or Outdura. Custom cushion replacement on unique lines or designs that no one is sure of the manufacturer on are really expensive.  

The reason for this is that we have to transport the furniture to our upholsterer who measures and “mocks up” a pattern.  If you have an old cushion–never throw it away because it’s far easier to duplicate the original shape and dimensions if we have something to go by.

Acrylic or Awning fabrics can easily last 6-10 years in full sun which is why they are so expensive either by the yard or by the cushion.

These “upscale” fabrics and furniture were designed to be worry free unless a crazy squirrel is involved.  

Since I spent 15 years selling Meadowcraft, O.W. Lee, Brown Jordan, and others, Cindy often watches me explain why a trade won’t work or the value a client placed on it is far from accurate.  

Knowing the value and investment necessary to successfully “flip items” isn’t always appreciated by prospective clients but essential to keeping our bartering business going.  

Of course, clients who disagree with what we’ve appraised their items at can still go through Texas Twins Events to book services and use the deep discounts offered but Pawning Planners Clients benefit from free photography while Texas Twins Events Clients pay for photography.  

The reason for this is that most Texas Twins Events Clients have booked a venue and dan afford $175 an hour for photography.  The average cost of a photographer is far more than either of my teams charge because Texas Twins Events is a low cost budget friendly People Over Profit based Events business.  Traditionally, event photographers charge $300 and up an hour for event photography.  

We have never raised our prices based on the market but recognize that if one client can afford the venue, the cake, the band and/or DJ, then for obvious reasons, that can easily afford to pay our photographers.

Pawning Planners Clients can’t afford a venue, a DJ, a limousine, or other “traditional expenses.”  To fix a lopsided problem, we offer a Complimentary photographer at Pawning Planners bookings.  This way the “haves” pay for services that they dan easily afford while the “have nots” don’t.

Military families are a special exception as are Fire, First Responders & Police.  We make these families event requests a priority for a number of reasons but mainly because my family is compromised of Military and/or First Responders, take their schedules and budgets into consideration.  

It’s not unusual for my family and I to volunteer numerous “extras” to these families because they do so much for so many.

As we load up to head out to Hillsboro for another client meeting, it should be noted that not everyone’s trash is another man’s treasure.  

At least 40% of our Appraisal Appointments are disappointments and time consuming but can’t never could and our journey continues in homes, barns, trailers and fields across Texas…

You’ve Got To Give To Get With The Pawning Planners “Not My Luggage-Not My Trip” 

If I had a dollar for every time someone contacted me to sell their stuff- I would be rich by now.  The truth is that when folks contact me to sell their stuff-compensating me or my sister for our efforts has never occured to them.

There are consignment stores to sell second hand furniture but guess what? They don’t work for free either.  Be prepared to lose 40-60% of the selling price to the consignment store.

When social media connections email me with photos of something they want to sell at their price, I suggest several selling outlets and remove myself entirely.  Why?  Experience & Liability.  Listing fees & more. I’m not a selling volunteer. I can sell your item but, it’s going to cost you a minimum of 40% for me to get involved. 

Finding a selling outlet that’s effective isn’t cheap or easy.  Yesterday, a prominent Fort Worth woman who “knows your husband and that you help people” reached out through my sister site We Barter Dream Events- The Pawning Planners.  

What she needed was for someone or a team to help clean her house & get rid of unwanted items  for a quick home sale.  

I’m going to be blunt here- we don’t commit ourselves to cleaning up your mess or making you money just because you asked us to or just because we are good at what we do. No one does! 

Sure, we can help you but it’s not free.  We don’t cart off junk but know several businesses that do.  We also don’t clean houses but can refer you to connections that do.  Neither of these services is offered at no cost though. Our connections like us are not volunteers.

Trying to convince these “all about me” types of inquiries that while helping others, we are helping ourselves isn’t nearly as easy as someone with common sense might assume.

My reasons for not getting involved stem from a history of trying to help these folks out that cost me money?  How?  You’re gonna love this!  A few years ago, I decided to help someone out by selling their Brown & Jordan sofa set because they wouldn’t stop bugging me about it. 

I was well aware of the market because I had sold millions of dollars of patio furniture and was the top DFW producer of high end furniture for years.  Let me start by saying this “friend” didn’t buy the furniture from me quite the contrary, my coworker got the sale and more importantly, the commission!  

The only reason I agreed to do this deal was the fact that my husband worked with the “I know you sell a lot of stuff” person who had the benefit of “gifting” me with not only the responsibility of cleaning and repairing his furniture prior to listing it and selling it, paying him the money and finally, delivering it to the buyer. 

Needless to say, I’m still upset about being taken advantage of by the person who thinks my world revolves around making money for him at my expense. 

I go to their home and pick up the furniture with filthy cushions and take them home to go through the process of cleaning them and sending one of the torn cushions to my upholsterer.  

Upon finishing the hours of labor and expense of repair, I take photos and list the set on my Ebay page for Texas Twins Treasures.  

A few days later, a buyer purchases the item and requests delivery because it had local pickup. I lived in Lakeside and my SUV was far too small to move a sectional. 

Meanwhile, the person who asked me to sell it continues to ask if I’ve sold it.  

I wind up renting a box truck for $175 and paying for gas to drive from Lakeside to Coppel, Texas.  I successfully sell the item after all of this work for $1675.00 but after deducting the Ebay listing fees & final value fee of $167, I also “get stuck” with the truck rental and gasoline along with the four hours cleaning the set and cost to repair a cushion of $46.  

When I advised this “friend” of my expenses to sell the item, I’m told “I asked you to sell it for me.  I didn’t tell you to rent a truck or repair the cushion.  I told you to clean it up and sell it.”  The end result?  I spent over $200 and six hours of cleaning the set to sell someone else’s item and worked my ass off to do it.  

This “lesson learned” was a real eye opener for me.  I bent over backwards to make someone else money and “no good deed goes unpunished.”

A few weeks later, this same “friend” asked me about selling recliners for them.  I politely declined and suggested Craigslist or eBay.  For those wondering about the liability of selling an item for someone else, I’m going to enlighten you.  

If you sell something for someone and are unaware of any damage- the item can get you in hot water with eBay AND PayPal as well as getting you a neutral or negative feedback on your account.  

IE: If you are selling something for someone else, be advised that you will be responsible as the seller of there is a problem with whatever you’ve sold as a favor.  

An unknown problem can and will cost YOU money or your stellar reputation on eBay.  There is a lot of risk but NO REWARD if you are wondering what I mean.

After the Brown & Jordan fiasco, I knew to never get involved cleaning or repairing something for someone else to make them money but two more things would “pop up” to gut punch me.

My dad had a beautiful Chanel dress that his deceased wife had owned and asked me to sell it.  She had only worn it once and I knew the market value.  I spent thirty minutes getting good photos and paid listing fees on my eBay site.  It sold quickly and I went to the expense of packaging and mailing it along with the necessary eBay and PayPal fees.  

I sent the money via PayPal to my dad and you can imagine my horror when the buyer filed a claim that the item wasn’t delivered.  I never ship anything that isn’t priority now because that dress cost ME $340 out of my eBay/PayPal account not my dad because I had already gave him the money and got stuck “holding the bag.” Favors can be expensive. 

A few weeks later, my neighbor asked me to list an expensive ski jacket her husband had bought but wasn’t in love with.  I took the photos and uploaded to my account.  

For those unaware, listing an item on eBay requires a lot of information and photos uploaded along with listing fees and final value fees. IE: it’s a time consuming and expensive process.  

A few days later, the item sold and I paid my neighbor less the fees and shipping (yes, I had learned from the dress to ship priority and to deduct my eBay fees and PayPal expenses up front).  

A week later, the coat was returned.  The problem?  It didn’t fit.  I had to refund the full cost and suck up the relisting fees while praying it would sell again.  Luckily, it did or I would’ve been stuck with a coat that didn’t fit and, I didn’t need! 

There are reasons that I’m not interested in doing favors for other people that cost me money.  Selling your items is time consuming and risky for me.  

I’m happy to tell you how to do it yourself but please don’t ask me to do all of the work, take all of the risk and expect me to give you all of the rewards.  I’m a businesswoman not your employee.

Texas Twins Treasures has a stellar reputation on eBay.  Why? I bend over backwards to make buyers happy. You don’t keep a 100% Feedback on eBay without working to make clients happy. No one does.

I can’t tell you how many times someone has contacted me after buying something to tell me “the color is different than the photos.  Can I get a discount?” Here’s one every eBay seller hates to hear “your shipping is too high-I live on the UK and I want free expedited shipping.”  

If you have offers available on your item, set decline limits or everyone will offer you ridiculous amounts and you will spend far too much time responding to them.  We ship daily priority but it isn’t free to us and it won’t be free to you either.  International shipping is $24 & up.

 Texas Twins Treasures is key to making The Pawning Planners work.  Why?  We sell refurbished items and recover expenses for bartered events here.  

Up to 20 Sponsored families for Weddings and Funerals are funded through the revenue generated on this site.  If we spent all of our time selling stuff for other people that would never benefit our clients or businesses, we would be broke by now. Business is Business and no business works for free.

Ironically, I’ve had a few requests to reupholster someone else’s furniture because “they heard I enjoy stripping, staining & reupholstering furniture.”  I don’t “enjoy” hard work.  I do enjoy hard work that pays off with a return on my investment. I have no interest in reupholstering someone’s furniture because they think I enjoy it. I enjoy making money and reupholster furniture to get it. 

Reupholstering a sofa is easily $600 for labor and $400 and up for the upholstery to give you a better idea of the expense involved. 

The reason that I go to the expense and time in involved  to successfully flip items is based entirely on making a profit for me and my businesses-not you or your friends who think I love spending my time and money on upholstery to benefit you by reupholstering or cleaning your furniture and if that weren’t enough, expecting me to sell it for you and deliver it if needed. Sure, I can do all of those things for a profit or “cut” but, my efforts are far from free. 

Profits from Pawning Planners Apparel fund families with no money or trade.  The reason that these items sell quickly is because they feature my twin sisters saucy and truthful observations of others.  

Customized shirt sales are up 300% and you can find your favorite quote by reading this blog-Cindy Daniel Has Something To Say About Everything!  

From Moochers to Morons to being busy to being offended to being taken advantage of and everything in between, my gingertwins observations might be hillbilly oriented but they are accurate and honest which is why they are translated in numerous languages worldwide.  #Cindyism Quotes can fit nearly any and all situations with a hint of #cynicism.

Please don’t expect me or my sister to bend over backward accommodating your needs because “we help people.” The people we help aren’t rich and have no one else to help them.  

We refer to these Moochers with a few of my sisters classic and more importantly, on point #cindyisms-“Common sense is like breath spray-the people that need it the most won’t use it but get up in your face anyway.”  

Another #cindyism observation that would do well in these types of instances  would be “Don’t invite me to dinner while expecting me to buy the groceries and cook!” My favorite is “some folks ain’t worth the salt it would take to jerky EM!”

Last year, I went to an estate liquidation request to appraise the home.  The smell of cat urine was so strong I nearly threw up.  The “client” wanted everything in the house (except a 1920’s organ) removed so he could sell the house. The only item of value was the organ that he had conveniently “decided to keep.”  The end result? I wished him good luck and bid him farewell.  

That Hoarder Home was full of junk and trash along at least 10-20 feral cats.  No one would have taken that dirty job for less than 5k but he wasnt offering money-he was offering a houseful of trash in exchange for an empty home & easy money.  

“We cant make gravy outta water.” If there isn’t  anything  in it for us, we walk away from a job of breaking our backs to benefit them.

I often tell my readers that “I can’t make this shit up because I can’t.” We don’t take on every job just because we are asked to.  In fact, I turn down requests all of the time when they are an “all for me and forget you” endeavor.  

Helping people doesn’t mean we enjoy being taken advantage of and never has.  “Just because I open the front door doesn’t mean I won’t or can’t show you to the exit when you have an outrageous request.”  

We have Bridezilla & Guestzilla Clauses listed for sound reasons, we’ve met a few and decided with caring hearts to muddle through the trenches and crawl over glass to make them happy with one request after another while putting ourselves through Hell.  

Too much is never enough with a demanding diva.  No matter what you do, these egomaniacs will always ask for something else and need to learn that “just because you bought a ticket to the movie doesn’t make you the STAR of the SHOW.”

Muddling through a bad experience with divas or outlaws (the opposite of inlaws) was a learning curve and we don’t do that anymore.  Sadly, after bending over backwards to help those folks, we got stiffed for services rendered because we trusted them to pay us.  That’s right.  My entire team took one belt after the other for far too many Bridezillas who think the world owes them a living. The world doesn’t and we don’t either.

We only work for free if you are low income and have nothing to trade or you’re military, fire, police or first responders and live in the DFW Area. Why?  Travel is expensive and we often do Funeral Ceremonies at no cost when needed. 

Military, Fire, Police and First Responders have a special place in our hearts because we are from a military family and many of our relatives are either military or first responders.  

Volunteers or military members are both tight on cash.  In these situations we will go above and beyond because their situation often warrants any and all help we can give them.  

Often, revenue from paying clients booking through Texas Twins Events funds the expenses involved to refurbish or reupholster bartered items.  IE: The Pawning Planners take trades.  Texas Twins Events clients pay for services.  Texas Twins Treasures recovers event services by selling items taken in trade with refurbishing expenses paid through Texas Twins Events bookings.  

Sponsored events are also funded through Texas Twins Treasures.  All THREE businesses work with each other to give over 1,000 families a Dream Event the past nearly 7 years.

 So, for what should be obvious reasons, my family and I help “families” booking through Texas Twins Events or The Pawning Planners not someone who wants to make money by having us sell their items  at our expense.

I read “I heard you help people” everyday on emails and texts.  We do but the people we help aren’t someone wanting to make extra money without compensating us for our efforts. 

Telling me “you’re great at selling things-I need you to sell this for me” isn’t benefitting me, my family or our clients.  But, I hear it everyday.

Back to the prominent woman who could easily hire someone to cart off unwanted items and help to wash her windows and clean her home so she can sell it.  I advised her of several businesses who could help her. 

This lady was worth millions and wanted to sell her home. Her church had went through and taken what they wanted I.E. the most valuable items and wanted us to sell the rest to donate to her missionary friends. What a nice plan if you can find anyone to do all of the work and clean up for free but, you can’t. 

We do not clean houses or cart off items no one is going to buy.  Why?  Because we are busy helping clients from Texas Twins Events & The Pawning Planners or refurbishing, reupholstering & selling items at Texas Twins Treasures. 

We are not a cleaning service either. If you need maids or clean up crews, I’m happy to refer you to someone but, be prepared to pay them as our connections don’t work for free either. 

Simply because you “heard” we help people doesn’t mean we are going to help you because you don’t want to hire or pay people or even go to the expense or take the time to sell items yourself, especially  when you could easily hire someone since you are rich and donate millions to your church.”  

I suggested that this lady contact her church and ask them to help you since they obviously are benefitting from her generosity.  

We aren’t volunteers and we don’t benefit from your charitable contributions to others. I require contracts for any service we offer to clearly define what we are going to do and more importantly, how we are going to get paid.

It’s wonderful this lady is helping  her church and missionaries but, we fund our own charitable efforts.  The funding we use to help others comes from The Pawning Planners, Texas Twins Treasures & Texas Twins Events NOT well funded churches.

We don’t have sponsors or benefit from your numerous charitable entities.  We fund ourselves through hard work, perseverance and drive.  Telling me about all of the people you help does nothing to pay our bills or, our staff.

Although her way of explaining the many people she’s helped as a “explanation” of wanting us to work for free to benefit her church is a new one for me, her explanation is far more one sided than I could ever explain in terms that she would understand.  It’s “Not My Luggage-Not My Trip.” 

We help families and are dedicated to changing the wedding and events industry one barter at a time and are far too busy to fix problems for folks who want to #cindyism “hang their laundry on our clothes line” or “be like a blister by showing up when all of the work is done.”  We are simply too busy to waste our time doing your dirty work for no reward….

Wendy M Wortham

Treasure Or Trash? The Pawning Planners Figure It Out One Barter At A Time…

As usual during wedding season, my workroom is stuffed to the rafters with items waiting for my twin sister and I to find the time to refurbish and flip.  It’s normally July or August before we can get to things due to our crazy schedules from March to June.   Client meetings, appraisal appointments, fundraisers, & appearances keep us hopping! 

Cindy Daniel & Wendy Wortham-A TwinTeam AKA The Pawning Planners
 We had a little free time last week to stain the Hooker office chair and clean the leather so I pulled out the Chippendale sofa and was horrified (as usual) to find a rip on the back of the sofa we had overlooked when we took it in trade a few weeks ago. I’m never happy when I find a “surprise” that we missed on a trade that will cost me money.

I quickly put in a call to my long time upholstery guy, Terry Gilbert and asked if he could repair the top corner on the back.  After viewing the photo on the seam, he gave me the bad news-no.  The entire loveseat will need to be reupholstered.

When this happens, it’s a domino effect because I had planned to use the funds from what I thought was a ready to sell loveseat that just needed minor cleaning to refurbish the two curved chairs I took in trade from another barter.  Now, the two chairs will be sold as is!   I’ve listed them but we are planning to go view a trade involving an organ that may put me back on track with my plans for these unique chairs.  

 I really wanted to do something fun with these but it would cost me $3-400 for fabric and labor and since the fabric on them is in great shape, someone will buy them as is.

I make mistakes all the time on trades.  The truth is that the bartering business isn’t always profitable!  People contact me thinking that it’s easy to “hit a lick” but what they don’t know is that the beautiful items listed in my storefront looked awful before stripping, staining and reupholstering them.  The work involved isn’t cheap or easy.  Depending on the size of an item, the amount of fabric needed weighs heavily on my bottom line.  Also, larger items are far more expensive to upholster based solely on the size.  IE: a chair or loveseat will run me $175-295 but a sofa is easily $350-469 in labor costs.

Cindy and I thought we got lucky on the Hooker chair but the casters were missing.  I believed this to be an inexpensive quick fix but after buying several sets, quickly learned they aren’t universal.  So far between the stain, leather cleaner and conditioner, we have $127 in the items necessary to get it “sale ready.”  I’ve listed all the other sets of casters in my storefront.  One of the problems? This chair has 5 legs and casters are sold in sets of 4.

 Having so many items in various states of repair means I can’t sell them and meanwhile am covering events out of my own pockets.  I’m frequently quoted as saying it takes money to make money because it does.

I recently wrote a blog regarding bartering and gambling because technically, a barter is a gamble even for experienced appraisers like Cindy and I because it’s true.  If you haven’t read it, here is the link-Dream Events, Disasters, Drama, & More With The Pawning Planners.

Occasionally, we take it on the chin.  Now and again we do get lucky and make a good profit but you can’t expect that everytime because you’re being unrealistic.

Running from one event to the next, I reviewed an email from one of my readers wondering if we only do weddings.  No we do so many different events it’s crazy!  Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners do house blessings, baptisms, family reunions, rent parties aka pawning parties, estate sales, public speaking or brand promotion events, fundraisers, birthday parties, anniversary parties, vow renewals and more.  No event is “too different” for us to consider.  In fact, we love variety!

This morning another reader wanted to know what percentage of our clients are LBGTQ.  The answer is 40-50% because we have many ties within the community and support various LBGT causes. Some of our most memorable events have been with LBGT couples that other vendors turned away simply because they were LBGT. 



Today my team loaded up to support TCGPWA and their annual Easter egg hunt.  Yes, yes, I know Easter was a few weeks ago but this event is for children and fundraising and our grandchildren love it. Yesterday, I climbed into the bounce house with Madyson for her very first try.  We get so much joy from the Little Pawners and our adventures!  Latest Little Pawner Madyson enjoys the twins company above anyone else in our family.   

Little Pawners-Makenna, Maryssa & Maddie

Two Sets Of Twins-Cindy Daniel, Maryssa Mahaney, Makenna Mahaney & Wendy Wortham
My Niece Leigh Ann Blais With Her Daughter Madyson “Maddie” Blais

My Niece Leigh Ann Blais & I
Our Little Pawners-Maryssa & Makenna Mahaney
My Son Robert Hafele With Latest Little Pawner Madyson Blais
We have many friends within the LBGT community and always look forward to seeing them and supporting their organizations.

Recently someone asked why I sell vestments.  

I have my tried and true favorites but occasionally I trade for one that’s too heavy or the collar isn’t comfortable or for one reason or another I just don’t like it.  I spend a lot of time in vestments and want them to be comfortable.  Trying to dress in a couples “wedding colors” I have a vast array of vestments from all over the world and prefer a lined vestment with a poncho styled neckline.

  Since a few readers are wondering why we have 3 photographers on staff, it’s because my son, niece and daughter in law all have different styles and (in my opinion) different ideas for photography.  If you want to hire a team, Robert & Stephanie Hafele work together.  If you only need one photographer, Robert & Leigh Ann do solo photography sessions. 

 Occasionally, my twin sister snaps her own action shots on location and I’ve been told I’m bossy so I try to stay out of leading the parade since this photo caught me in action-lol.  I was just trying to help.

Cindy isn’t interested in antique or furniture flipping because she knows the cost involved to flip it.  The jewelry you see listed was taken in trade and valued or priced by my sister who’s “specialty” is jewelry.   

Since this next question seems to come up a lot, I will answer it as well.  “You and your family have a really good time helping others and look so happy.  You must love what you do!”  We do.  The best clients are fun loving and full of spirit- their event is a celebration.  It’s important to them because without us-there would be no event.  We changed the gap of consumers struggling to afford a Life Event because I knew the need existed.

The Pawning Planners-Wendy Wortham & Cindy Daniel
My Brother In Law Steve Daniel, My Son, Cliff Bowman, Misty Faraday And Me Goofing Around
Maryssa & Makenna Mahaney Our “Little Pawners”
 Our mini me twins have been involved in weddings since they were two years old.  They love every aspect of a wedding and spend all of their time outside of school with us meeting clients.  From Appraisal Appointments to Planet Fitness on our weight loss journey to events, these two sets of twins enjoy every aspect of my three unique businesses-Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners & Texas Twins Treasures.   Latest Little Pawner Madyson is also a brand rep & Instagram model.


Texas Twins Events Photographers-Leigh Ann Blais With Stephanie & Robert Hafele


Leigh Ann Blais With Little Pawners Maryssa & Makenna Mahaney At A Wedding Rehearsal
My Niece & Daughter In Law-Leigh Ann Blais & Stephanie Hafele
Since everyone wants to know how complimentary photography and PAID photography “work,” if you have rented a venue, you pay our photographers AND film development.  If your event is at a park, backyard or other free location, you can’t afford a venue and we provide complimentary photography. 

Why do many of your clients use borrowed bouquets and boutenniers?  If you can’t afford a venue or photography, most likely you can’t afford flowers, a cake stand, champagne flutes, etc.  I created an inventory to loan these families so they  have a beautiful event and beautiful photos.  

Creating an inventory to loan clients gives you a “better idea” of just how far my team and I will go to give our diverse clients from Texas Twins Events & The Pawning Planners a Dream Event.  Families who come to us for help often had nowhere else to turn before my sister and I came up with the idea to take trades by merging Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to Create The Pawning Planners.  We make Dream Events possible for any income level.

Do you rent venues for clients?  No. Venue rental is always at the clients expense.

Why do you require a contract for Texas Twins Events and Pawning Plannerd clients?  I want clear outlines of what the “deal” is.  Often a client “comes up with their own ideas” that don’t work for me.  What are they?  Keeping my inventory, wanting my photography team on location for over 5 hours.  Asking us to set up and tear down your event without compensation.  I could go on and on here.  The contract protects the client and me from any miscommunication.

How do you decide to sponsor a family?  It’s easy.  We’ve been to their house and seen where they live and know they don’t have anything of value or any money.  These families benefit from free services because my sister and I have decided to gift them an event.

We do have families who “claim” to have no money or trade.  I effectively weed them out with my sister at required Appraisal Appointments in order to evaluate their real circumstances.

Why don’t you talk about funeral ceremonies?  Due to the delicate nature of death, I rarely (if ever) will discuss a funeral or family.  It’s not a celebration for them or me.  Death is final and for those reasons, privacy is warranted.

What is a divorce party?  It’s a ceremony of sorts to put the past behind you and move on.  This type of ceremony or party isn’t for everyone.  Divorce is like death in that it’s also final.  It’s also painful and it’s also the end of something that started happy and joyful.  I’ve never celebrated a divorce and neither has my sister because divorce is loss for both of us and certainly not something we ever wanted to celebrate.

As I head off to go pick up another unique item, it may be trash or treasure but we won’t know until we see it in person.  Walking a trade is essential in knowing the actual condition that a photo doesn’t always portray and I will pay closer attention to the back of furniture even if the front looks fine because I’ve once again-learned to look before I list an item…

Wendy M Wortham

Wendy Wortham & Cindy Daniel On Barters, Blunders, Flips & Flops…

One key to making a profit on a flip, swap or trade is knowing the value of the item in its current condition and it’s not unusual for me to flip out my phone and research items “on the fly” at an Appraisal Appointment either if I don’t immediately recognize the maker or find markings on furniture or antiques.

This weeks “haul” involved a heavy Hooker office chair missing the casters and needing a leather conditioning treatment and restain to the worn areas.  This upscale office chair is tufted leather and had no rips, or wear to the leather so it will save about $245 on reupholstering and we both jumped on it after learning the value new was approximately $1200. 

My Saucy Sidekick Cindy Daniel And I Loved This Unique Chair

We will be providing officiant services and photography next Friday for a wedding and loaning floral designs from my inventory in exchange for the Hooker leather office chair.  Finding the right casters wasn’t cheap at $49 dollars and the stain and paintbrushes set me back another $39 but the finished item after a leather treatment will easily bring in $500-650.00 and luckily, it fit perfectly into my SUV saving us the expense of renting a trailer or box truck.

We weren’t so lucky at my next Appraisal Appointment with a trade we took.  Using rope around the headrests to keep the chair from falling out–my twin sister held onto the rope until we made it back to my workroom.  This Hickory White wingback is a custom designed chair but will need to be stripped and reupholstered. 

 I have a few ideas of bringing it back to life with unique blends of tapestry and contrasting band and welt.  The approximate cost of refurbishing including labor and material?  Approximately $375.  The value of this chair after investing in it? $1200-1600. 

Wendy Wortham
 My sister keeps me laughing when we have a problem cramming furniture into our SUV’s and today was no exception as this video shows-Cindy Daniel Explains The Pawning Process & Brings Her Humor With Her.  My sister worked a ranch years ago and knows how to use a rope to rustle cattle or in this case, an oversized chair! 

The Hickory wingback was also taken in trade through The Pawning Planners for a wedding and photography next Saturday.

Since other vendors are curious about the process oftaking and   refurbishing furniture and trades, it should be noted that having a home & patio furniture background gives me a leg up because I know what I’m looking for and have a good idea of what it will cost to rebuild and refurbish items.  Guessing will cost you money- I never guess and occasionally underestimate the cost involved hence my references (on occassion) to Flips & Flops or Barters & Blunders.  Now and then I’ve made a mistake that cost me money so I’m careful to research the item because most clients have no idea what the brand or background is on their trade.

Normally, they’ve inherited an item or found it at a flea market or yard sale.

As we prepare for tomorrow’s wedding and Saturday’s vow renewal, we will need to find time to work on our two latest acquisitions and get them ready to become Texas Twins Treasures.

A little elbow grease and dollars later, our newly acquired trash will undergo the amazing transformation of becoming a sought after item. 

No one who goes through my storefront would ever guess the condition of items before I restore them.  The after takes a minimum of 7-10 days but I enjoy the transformation process.

 Finding pairs of chairs is a rare occurence but when it happens- I’m thrilled!   
I rarely use a solid fabric but on occasion, have a buyer or interested prospect the minute I list a photo on a trade on my blogs or social media.  The chairs below were reupholstered to the clients tastes.  I prefer character and whimsy when refurbishing but a few of my clients like traditional designs.

 I’m lucky I have a twin that enjoys meeting people and digging through their stuff to find something we can work with as much as I do.

This TwinTeam keeps on rolling and finding cool stuff while helping others-it’s the best job in the world…

Wendy M Wortham

The Differences Between Quick Flips & Texas Twins Treasures Items…

Prospective clients of The Pawning Planners have no money to book event services.  What they do have is a lot of stuff- some of it needs no refurbishing while most of these bartered items do.  We can’t always “make a deal.”  

When I can’t find any value of an item offered up front- I found a creative to find a way to fund the 8-10% of families by selling Pawning Planners Apparel.  When others saw a mountain, I saw a mole hill and kept right on going! 

Today we will look at the reasons that items in my storefront have different price points and why I know the value or expense necessary to make an item “marketable.”

I have never been to an Appraisal Appointment yet in three years where the client didn’t think their item was worth more than it actually was so convincing them of the fair market value is never an easy conversation.  

But, After meeting these families and hearing their stories of job loss, divorce or poverty– I couldn’t walk away from families who needed our help. Blending Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create The Pawning Planners wasn’t an overnight decision and finding funding took planning too which is why I decided to create Pawning Planners Apparel.  My clothing line features RedneckReality Quotes from my twin that are always based on truth and our journey.  An example would be #Cindyism “You can’t make gravy outta water!”  Still with everything going against me- I managed.  It wasn’t cheap to create three businesses and websites or inventory and it isn’t cheap to reupholster furniture.  What I do and how I do it takes money!  I sold my dream home to start Texas Twins Events to give you a better idea of my committment.  Sales of my furniture designs funded my first two years of events because I had to learn the business and I was wiling to work for free to earn my education.

I’ve had a few interesting questions recently and will answer them with examples giving you a better idea of the “Why” and the “How” I choose my inventory and make a profit.

When a client uploads a photo and description of an item and their event services needs I always meet with them to evaluate the item and price their request.  Items needing extensive investment of refurbishing must be funky or different for me to “jump on a trade.”  I’m specifically looking for unique or ornate wood carved items But consider anything and everything from boats to cars- you name it and I will consider it.

Client Values Chair At $300-The Problem? Seat Pad & Attached Upholstery Will Need To Be Replaced
 I advised the client that this chair in it’s current condition would never fetch $300 because of the condition.  If the fabric wasn’t attached to the chair, labor would be far less expensive.

I would need a minimum of two yards of fabric and the cost of an upholstery specialist to do the work for me would easily run $150-175 so (as you can see) the value of $300 is pretty far off the mark.  

Reupholstered, this item might bring $300 but the value in its current condition is closer to $75. 

Since The Base Fabric Is Attached, A Quick Fix To Reupholster The Cushion Won’t Work

Client Values These Chairs At $200 Each-The Problem? Flattened & Faded Seat Cushions
The cushions being attached to the furniture prevent me from quickly having a cushion replaced.  Two yards of fabric and approximately $125 of labor later, the current value of these chairs is closer to $80 each rather than $400 for the set of 2 chairs.  

Flattened cushions are a real problem because no one wants to buy a worn out item.  The foam is often replaced when I undergo a transformation process too because replacing the fabric with worn out foam would be a waste of time.

Pawning Planners Clients often get emotional regarding a trade and the value but any furniture I trade for must have market value or at the very least-possibility.  

My businesses work because I’m a realist and if I can’t find a tradeable item, I sometimes choose to sponsor their event through funding generated by Pawning Planners Apparel or sales from Texas Twins Treasures.  I always have a Plan B because nothing in my life has ever come easy.

The Pawning Planners- We Always Travel Together To Evaluate Items
Cindy is looking for quick flips that need no investment in order to sale.  My twin sister knows what it costs to create my furniture designs because she’s watched me write the checks and buy the fabric.  Flipping furniture requires an investment of time and money.  

You also need a place to refurbish the item and somewhere to store the finished product along with your stain, paint or upholstery.  I suggest a well ventilated area.

The Cost Of Fabric & Labor To Bring This Set Back To Life? $425
 The cylinder throw pillows bring a bit of whimsy to this beautiful bench-I rarely include throw pillows due to the expense of having them made to coordinate but this beautiful piece was an investment.  

Sold in 2012 for $450 I used it in our entry hall until selling our home.  I often use my designs in our home as staging pieces.


I Reupholstered This Beautiful Sofa In A Tea Stained Print
Tufting Is A Very Expensive Investment Which Is Why You Rarely Find Tufted Pieces In My Storefront
Velvet Is An Inexpensive Alternative To Tapestry
Looking Back-I Wish I Had Used An Apple Or Mint On These Chairs To Bring Out The Rich Wood Tone
Fabric and labor aren’t and never have been cheap or inexpensive.  When I started refurbishing furniture in 2009, I quickly learned that cheap fabric doesn’t last and if you are going to do something- do it right the first time by using the finest heavyweight upholstery.

Examples of quick flips involving furniture often have no upholstery. 


Finding a beautiful carved piece is like winning the lottery for me at an Appraisal Appointment because it’s such a rare occurence! Most wood items are water damaged and require a lot of work but if it’s in good condition and the value close to accurate, it’s hard for me to contain my excitement!

Although we try to get trades into our suvs, occasionally we have to rent a van or box truck to transport items from a clients house to my workroom.  Pulling a trailer always makes me nervous ? but trailers are always cheaper than renting a box truck.  Now and then we’ve rented both to make deliveries or pick ups but I’m far more comfortable driving a box truck.

 Over the years my twin sister had found a few surprises with “her ever present magnet.”   Cindy never leaves home without it and gently taps any jewelry offered for trade.  When we are headed to events, Cindy also brings her emergency kit for quick fixes or emergencies.  My sister has “saved the day” more times than I can count over the past 6 years by “figuring it out” on location. 

My Saucy Sidekick & GingerTwin Cindy Daniel
In between our events and time in my workroom refurbishing trades or meeting clients, Cindy and I are at Planet Fitness on a weight loss journey with our mini me twins aka The Little Pawners. 


Family Photos With Our Best Friend Tammi Leggett & Her Daughter Samantha With The Pawning Planners
A lot of our twin friends, clients and family wonder what “made us decide to lose weight together.”  The truth is that Cindy and I are photographed so much at events that we sat down and agreed it was time.  We never expected the GrandTwins to join us on this journey but they are always with us and found the gym to be fun. 

The twins also have worked with us at hundreds of events as ring bearers, ushers and flower girls so joining us on a weight loss journey “fell into place.”
Like everything else in my life, refurbishing trades and selling them “just happened.”  Finding a way to fund families with no money who wanted Dream Event we met through Texas Twins Events gave me insight into a market that was virtually “untapped.”

No one direct markets families with little or no money but the need exists so I expanded and rebranded to take trades through The Pawning Planners.

We’ve had a few Hits and Misses along with the usual amount of Barters and Blunders but that’s the “learning curve” of what we do and how it all came together to make everything work. 
 Rolling into our 7th year of helping hundreds of families, I found a client base of people no one else was willing to help and inadvertently changed the wedding and events industry one barter at a time from Fort Worth, Texas with my family. 

 From weddings to family reunions, funerals, birthday parties, baptisms and more- we gave our clients an opportunity to have an event they will never forget because we worked hard to earn their business and understand their story.

Maybe that makes us different from other vendors but we never planned on trying to be what we weren’t my vision was focused on the loophole families and while we have a few trade proposals that don’t work for us, we still help these people because we care and we know that by helping them they may one day help a stranger too…

Wendy M Wortham 


My Brother In Law Steve Daniel Is Pretty Creative But We Don’t Sell His Designs…

Steve is a truck driver but he’s (when he feels like it) occasionally a fairly creative inventor when he wants to be.  I’ve never met anyone like Steve he thinks of “quick fixes” that would never occur to most people! 

Steve Used An Umbrella Base & Pole From A Broken Umbrella To “Fix” This Fan
An Old Coatrack Became A Base For His Homemade TV Stand

Steve loves going to events with us and although my twin sister wishes he would get a hair cut or wear matching clothes- he doesn’t!  Steve is a hippie of sorts and never throws anything away because “he might be able to use it for something.”   Steve has never met a stranger and has been a truck driver most of his life.  He gets along best with hillbillies and country folks.

My brother in law’s joy in life are his three grandchildren aka The Little Pawners or “his littles.”  If the twins need something- Steve will drop everything to fix it but if Cindy wants him to do something around the house, he disappears.

 Cindy has replaced floors and painted most of the house herself.  When the fence fell down due to strong winds- Cindy grabbed tie downs and fixed it herself.  My sister has pretty much given up on getting any help around their home from Steve but (like me) is often amazed at his latest invention. 

Cindy & Steve Daniel
When Cindy and Steve married 25 years ago, he knew that spending a lot of time with me was part of the deal and has been the best brother in law I could ever hope to find. 

Cindy & Steve Daniel, Maryssa & Makenna Mahaney & I
Steve was a Hazmat driver at Camp Anaconda for KBR when Cindy told him their daughter was pregnant with twins at 15 years old.  Like everything else in his life, Steve “looked on the bright side” but knew coming home to help out wouldn’t be possible due to the lack of jobs 12 years ago in Texas.  We sent photos every week and kept him updated on our latest adventures with two sets of twins back home as he waited for the economy to recover and finally come home after 7 years in Balad, Iraq as a contractor.  Steve came home twice a year back then so Cindy did everything she could to fix whatever was broken while raising her grandchildren. 

 Life has never been easy for Cindy and Steve- they are hardworking and committed to raising their granddaughters and giving them the life we never had for ourselves.

My sister calls herself a hillbilly because “they don’t have a lot of money and have to figure it out anyway!”  

For most of our lives, Cindy has sacrificed to give her children and grandchildren everything while buying nothing for herself.  Why?  Well my twin sister has raised two generations of children and grandchildren without any child support!  Cindy is always amazed when someone complains about not getting enough child support because at least they are getting something!

My twin sister recently told me that she was offended after hearing about a book detailing the trials and tribulations of having one Boomerang Kid at home by telling me “what’s that lady complaining about?  I have two adult kids and three grandchildren under my roof and trying to get any of them to help me is like looking for a needle in a haystack!  That lady wouldn’t know true conflict and chaos if it hit her in the face.  Hell, I’m living it everyday at my house with a husband that disappears everytime I need something around here!” 

 One of the reasons that Cindy loved meeting clients and doing events along with refurbishing trades with me is that it gets her out of her house.

We see each other nearly everyday and I’ve got to admit that Cindy is the Queen of Comedy- she can take something that wasn’t funny at all and turn it into something hilarious.  When I told her about my idea to add Pawning Planners Apparel to my inventory, Cindy looked right at me and said “let’s add my #Cindyisms cause I’ve got a million of them!”  Cindy also writes her own blog-Cindy Daniel Has Something To Say About Everything!



From backseat drivers to her family members complaining about what’s for dinner, Cindy turns chaos into comedy.

Pawning Planners Apparel sales fund families with no money to book through Texas Twins Events and no trade to barter with The Pawning Planners.

Hillbillies are probably our most interesting clients and Cindy loves meeting new friends on location so opening a window for us to spend more time together and get her out of the house has become one of the most unique and unexpected journeys that we could have ever imagined. 

 Creating an opportunity for anyone to enjoy a Dream Event?  Why not, we understand the issues our crazy clients face when trying to find, plan or fund a Dream Event.

Our backgrounds, hurdles, and perseverance taught us to do this or that or whatever it took to keep on trucking- we aren’t quitters.

My initial plan to start a low cost wedding and events business needed funding so I started selling refurbished trades at Texas Twins Treasures to pay website development and advertising.  

Yesterday Cindy sent me photos of Steve’s latest Redneck creation that had me spitting out my coffee!  I never know what my brother in law will come up with but it will always be a creative adventure on saving money!  Steve hates spending good money when he can transform these chaises with less than $8.00 on materials.

Blending Texas Twins Treasures & Texas Twins Events to create The Pawning Planners wasn’t “easy” and it didn’t happen overnight but can’t never could and eight years after opening my Ebay storefront for Texas Twins Treasures, my journey shared with my twin and our entire family continue to give us memories and adventures that we will never forget…we may be different but we are real and openly honest about where we were, how we got here and where we are going.

Wendy M Wortham