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Here's How Storage Wars Found Brandi And Jarrod

Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz were fan favorites of the popular A&E reality show Storage Wars from the very first episode. The couple were among the series' original cast members — standing out against huge personalities like Dave "The Mogul" Hester, Darrell "The Gambler" Sheets, Barry "The Collector" Weiss, and more. But between Passante's bubbly personality and Schulz's impulsive bidding on the show, their unique dynamic (and frequent quibbles, playful or otherwise) won viewers over in a heartbeat. But how did the adorable couple arrive on the small screen in the first place? How did Storage Wars producers come across Passante and Schulz and convince them to join the series?

Quite fittingly, the producers of Storage Wars first met Passante and Schulz at a storage auction in California. In an interview he gave to IOLSchulz revealed, "We were already out there running a business and buying storage units when we were approached by the executive producer at an auction. We were asked if we could speak for a few minutes on camera. And I guess we said the right thing!"

Jarrod Schulz came to the industry quite by chance

That first encounter with the minds behind Storage Wars must have felt like destiny, especially since Passante and Schulz weren't always in the storage auction industry. The couple actually first met in 1999, when they were both working at a carpet cleaning business. Shortly afterwards, Schulz decided to go into the mortgage and real estate industry. While he experienced some success for a few years, things fell apart when the industry collapsed in California. Meanwhile, Schulz was also working as a clothing designer for his own brand Outlaw Apparel, a company that's still thriving today. 

As fate would have it, Schulz's aunt, who worked at a storage facility, suggested at the time that perhaps he should look into getting involved with storage auctions. He had already bought his first storage unit while still working in the mortgage industry — which, by his own admission, was a purchase made "kind of just because I had nothing to do all day." (We can't think of a more perfect sentence to sum up Jarrod Schulz.)

Upon his aunt's encouragement, Schulz thought he would give the storage auction biz a genuine try. In the beginning, he brought everything home to his and Passante's house. It was at the urging of city officials, who saw that the couple were living somewhat like hoarders as a result of Schulz's collecting, that Schulz and Passante opened their first thrift shop, Now and Then Second-Hand Store. The store would later go on to feature on many episodes of Storage Wars

Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz are a package deal

When Storage Wars producers first went to scope out Schulz, they were looking for only him to join the show. But after meeting Passante at the couple's store, the Storage Wars team decided they they had to have the bubbly blonde on the series as well. The couple's fun-loving rapport went on to provide for great entertainment for viewers — so much so that in 2014, the producers decided to give Passante and Schulz their own a spin-off show, entitled Brandi and Jarrod: Married to the Job. Unfortunately, the series, which followed the pair as they juggled their busy personal life raising their two kids with their jobs at auction and running the store, wasn't as big a success as people hoped it would be. Brandi and Jarrod: Married to the Job lasted just a single season.

Even after their spin-off ended, Passante and Schulz remained immensely popular with fans of Storage Wars — not just because they were excellent at bidding wars, but also because they were a well-oiled machine together. Schulz once said he would have to make sure he had a "read on Brandi to decide on how far [he could] go" during auctions. Passante has also explained that she and Schulz quickly learned not to take arguments from the job home with them: "You learn not to take your work home with you. You can't stay mad about things. We are together all the time, so you have to learn to let things go quickly."

Brandi and Jarrod made a pretty penny on the show

Following their fateful meetings with Storage Wars producers, Passante and Schulz profited greatly from being on the show. The duo are reportedly each worth approximately $2 million – wealth they likely wouldn't have been able to accumulate if not for their careers as reality television stars. 

During their tenure on Storage Wars, the couple decided to open a second Now and Then Second-Hand Store location in Orange, California. Sadly, that location never turned a profit, and Passante and Schulz closed it while still appearing on Storage Wars. As of early in 2019, it seems that the original store is also closed, but their Storage Wars riches are undoubtedly helping the pair maintain a more-than-comfortable lifestyle.