Wendy Wortham and Cindy Daniel are twin sisters who left home at a very young age. The first necessity was being able to eat so they got jobs as waitresses and then continued working in service-related industries over the years. Realizing sales “was where we were going to make our money,” they sharpened those skills and spent 30 years selling for various companies.

When Wendy’s son got married, she realized there weren’t affordable options for many people who wanted to plan an event. As Wendy prepared to have a thyroidectomy after a diagnosis of thyroid cancer, she told Cindy, “If I’m alive after this, we’re going to start a people over profit-based business and help people like us who don’t have family or friends or money and help everyone enjoy a dream event regardless of what their income might be.”

Cindy described how they encountered people who wanted them to plan an event but had no money, so Wendy rebranded and expanded to start the Pawning Planners. They took trades for event services. Having had many years of “flipping” experience, Wendy and Cindy had an idea of how much items might be worth. If a client couldn’t afford even their low-cost planning services, Wendy and Cindy would go to the person’s house, go through his/her belongings and find items they could flip to cover the expenses of planning and coordinating the event. There did come a time where they had to start qualifying people as truly needy because people started taking advantage of their desire to help everyone. That said, they do occasionally plan events for people who have nothing as they believe in giving back to their community.

Wendy and Cindy have experienced various mishaps at events over the years, especially at those with open bars. Cindy said, “Trouble usually escalates quickly…two fingers of whiskey can cause a five-finger brawl!” At this particular event, Wendy ended up getting thrown over a chair!

The sisters rebranded once again when they received a request to perform a prison wedding. Wendy went through the process to become a qualified officiant at prison and county jail weddings. Cindy remarked, “These weddings took over the majority of our business. We were busier than a one-armed cattleman during branding season!” Wendy added, “It fits perfectly with our existing clients and schedule.” Prison weddings are Tuesday – Friday during the day, and their other events are mostly on the weekends.

When asked what they would tell people over 50 who are starting a business, Wendy said. “To be versatile. To adapt. We never planned on rebranding and expanding over and over, but we did because the demand was there. As you’re older, use that education and your life-learning skills of what you’ve been through and what you’ve noticed in business, in your OWN business.” Cindy added these words of wisdom, “A true entrepreneur will use any obstacle as a vehicle for success.”