When Storage Wars first debuted on A&E back in 2010, it was pretty much an overnight success. Its series premiere alone brought in more than 2 million viewers and it went on to become the network’s most-watched, and highest rated non-fiction show in years.
Of course, rival networks immediately jumped at the opportunity to pump out their own knock-offs of the series as quickly as possible. Similar shows like Auction Kings and Auction Hunters came and went without winning over a large enough viewer base to justify their existence, but Storage Wars has endured for a solid decade now, partly to do with its colorful cast of oddball characters.
And yes, just in case you haven’t been paying attention. Season 13 is set to premiere on the network on April 20, 2021. You might want to go ahead and mark that down on your calendars.
It’s hard to believe that the series has been on the air for that long, but we can thank charismatic people like Darrell ‘The Gambler’ Sheets, Dave ‘The Mogul’ Hester, Jarred Schulz, and Brandi Passante for keeping the program afloat after all of these years.
Despite the fact that the show has on the air for over a decade now, not a lot has written about the personal lives of the Storage Wars cast and crew. What were they like before they experienced their meteoric rise to fame and fortune? Keep watching to find out.
Dan and Laura Dotson
As anyone that has seen the series is well aware, things can get a little testy when Storage Wars bidders start duking it out over a storage locker. That’s precisely the time that Laura and Dotson have to reign things in. It’s kind of their job.
It was this husband and wife auctioneer power couple that first intrigued critics and won over the show’s initial fans back in 2010. Folks praised them for their high degree of professionalism and their vibrant personalities. It was hard not to like them.
Don and Laura’s romantic backstory began at an auction of all places, because of course it did They met back in 1993. Laura would often come to auction to buy restaurant equipment because she was a restaurateur managing a few different eateries at the time.
After meeting her three or four times, Dan realized that he had better ask her out if he knew what was good for him. By their second date, they already knew that they were perfect for each other and became inseparable.
Laura discovered her own affinity for auctioneering when Dan fell ill one day and she ended up filling in for him. She fell in love with it and has been at it ever since.
Jarrod and his ex Brandi Passante started dabbling in storage auctions after his prior career fell apart. He previously worked in the mortgage and real estate industry, but unfortunately, the whole scene basically fell apart in California leaving him scrambling just to put food on the table.
Jarrod Schulz was still working for a mortgage company when he purchased and flipped his first storage unit. He didn’t really even know what he was doing at the time, but he had nothing else to do that day and figured he’d give it a shot. After turning a profit he found himself completely infected with auction fever. It was off the races from there
It didn’t take long for Jarrod and Brandi to acquire so much that even their own storage units filled to their capacity.
They tried to store all of the excess stuff in their house at first but pretty soon the city issued a warning threatening to fine them if they didn’t move it elsewhere, so they came up with the idea of opening a store to distribute all of it.
They ended up opening the Now and Then Second-Hand Store in Orange County. Not long after opening the first business, they branched out and opened a second location in Long Beach. They were already running a business flipping units when they approached by Storage Wars producers and asked to say a few words on camera. Apparently whatever they said was enough to secure them a spot on the show.
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Brandi had already separated from Jarrod Schulz for more than two years when she appeared on the YouTube show Spirit Talk with Shavaun and Sabrina earlier this year. She gladly mused about her love life when questioned by the co-hosts. She revealed that she’s been actively dating but hasn’t made a solid connection with anyone special yet. Brandi also let viewers in on her past a bit as well.
She revealed that she had a turbulent childhood growing up in Texas and often felt like an outsider even in her own home. Brandi Passante never felt like she belonged and found it very difficult to accept her lot in life. She had previously told MyLifetime.com that she was very shy when growing up which probably came as a surprise to Storage Wars Fans who know her for her outgoing personality.
Passante explained that she always tried her hardest to hold her own in an industry dominated by men, but when she’s out in public, she is often plagued with bouts of social anxiety. As such, she says that the fame that she found from starring on Storage Wars as one of the cast has been both a blessing a curse.
Mary joined the cast of Storage Wars:Texas in 2011. After the spin-off series axed in 2014, she switched over to the main series. Love it or hate it, she received the nickname of ‘The Junker’ by A&E.
Padian is a graduate of the University of Texas where she studied Journalism. After getting her degree, she moved to New York and scored a job at a prestigious magazine. She served as Assistant Editor at Architectural Digest where she mentored under the editor-in-chief, Paige Rense. After that stint, she moved back to Dallas and opened a second-hand store called Mary’s Finds.
In her store she sells a diverse mix of refurbished and repurposed furniture, vintage, handmade and rare housewares, and other oddities.
Rene and Casey Nezhoda
Husband and wife team, Rene and Casey earned themselves the nickname ‘The Bargain Hunters’ after joining the cast of Storage Wars during its fourth season – and they quickly established themselves as fan favorites.
Rene grew up in Germany, but she credits the unique opportunities that she only found once in America for her success.
The Nezhodas started out with less than $1,000 to work with, but it was their perseverance and keen eye for trasures that helped establish a business that is still booming to this day. Rene has been buying and selling wares since she was 11 and Casey has also been flipping merchandise since he was very young as well. Sounds to us like a match made in Storage unit heaven.
Before he’s a storage unit guru, ‘The Gambler’ as he has come to known used to work as a landscaper. He’s not very good at it though and pretty soon he found himself unemployed when his boss fired him and told him that he’s not cut out for the job.
After running into financial trouble while trying to find another job, he went back to his old boss and begged him for another chance. Instead of hiring him back on though, he promised to show him how to make money another way. Of course, that something that he wanted to show him was how to flip storage nits.
He decided to take his ex-bosses advice and try it out himself. The first locker that he bought, he tripled his investment. After that, he became hooked and has been buying and selling units ever since.
Brandon is Darrell’s son. He used to go by the nickname ‘The Sidebet’ back when he was on Storage Wars as one of the cast. At first, he was essentially just his father’s sidekick accompanying him at auctions. Eventually, he started bidding on his units. At one point he even bid against the old man himself.
Brandon struggled to be taken seriously before finding his reality TV fame. The storage unit auction game is a difficult nut to crack and a lot of the old heads will try everything within their power to run a young newcomer out of business, especially if they have a problem with you.
They’ll try to pull the wool over your eyes and try to convince you to spend you’re hard-earned money on useless things that won’t sell. Brandon learned all of these tough life lessons the hard way.
These days, Brandon seems to have left the storage unit business behind and has instead taken up a much more traditional job working as a UPS driver.
Edwina Registre and Shana Dahan
By the time Storage Wars was on its 11th season, it was in need of a shot of new energy to freshen things up. That’s precisely why the producers of the show brought on lifelong friends Edwina Registre and Shana Dahan in 2017. They previously maintained the YouTube channel Thrifters Anonymous where they shared their rare and valuable second-hand finds for many years before being discovered by the network.
Edwina and Shana have been friends since high school when they met in orchestra. They hit it off immediately and have been close companions ever since. Even when it came time to go to college, both women attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas so that they wouldn’t have to separate.
Dave went to his first swap meet with his father back in 1969. Ever since he has had an affinity for finding hidden treasures and outbidding the underdogs. He’s earned himself the reputation of being the ‘bad boy of bidding’ and has pretty much established himself as the show’s resident villain. He can be highly opinionated and fairly abrasive and has gotten into altercations with fellow crew members on more than one occasion.
On Storage Wars, he’s known as ‘The Collector’, that’s because he’s been rich long before the show even an idea. Instead of searching for treasures to resell and turn a profit, Weiss instead looks for rarities worth keeping for his own private collection, hence his nickname.
Over the years he has amassed quite a collection of valuables and collectible items. Before buying storage units at auction, Barry owned his own produce company where he acted as both the importer and the exporter alongside his brother. He was in the produce business for 20 to 25 years before scoring the Storage Wars gig.
Storage Wars producers discovered him while he was traveling around the world spending his fruit and vegetable loot. He featured in four seasons before he was given his own spin-off show. Barry’d Treasure canceled after a short 8 episode run. The follow-up series Storage Wars: Barry Strikes back was also canceled after just one season. Since then, he has returned to the main Storage Wars series.
Almighty, well that’s about all the time that we’ve got, but we’d love to hear from you. Which reality show do you enjoy more, Storage Wars or Pawn Stars? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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