What Was Brandi Passante From Storage Wars Like Before The Fame?

When Brandi Passante helped introduce television viewers to the cutthroat world of storage auctions on the A&E series “Storage Wars,” she was originally part of a team known as the “Young Guns.” She and her former partner, Jarrod Schulz, had a tendency to butt heads, which made the couple a perfect fit for reality TV.

Brandi gained a reputation as the more level-headed of the pair when it came to spending money, while Jarrod had a tendency to overbid and earn an eye roll from his exasperated partner. Fans enjoyed their banter and bickering, but learned that all was not well behind the scenes in 2020. On “The Dad Diary” podcast, Brandi revealed that she and Jarrod had split up by describing herself as a single mom. Their breakup got ugly in April 2021 when Jarrod was charged with one count of misdemeanor domestic violence for allegedly shoving Brandi during an altercation inside a bar, per TMZ. Jarrod denied touching her and pled not guilty.

Brandi decided to continue appearing on “Storage Wars” as a solo bidder, so it does not look like she’s ready to step away from the spotlight. While she’s used to being a celebrity by now, it was not the life she expected. “I really honestly didn’t think that it was going to go anywhere,” she said of the show. However, after the first episode aired, she was already getting recognized. Read on to find out what Brandi was like before “Storage Wars” changed everything.

Brandi Passante got beat up a lot as a kid

Long before Brandi Passante was haunted by the word “YUUUP,” the Houston, Texas native considered pursuing a career as a chef. During a 2013 interview with My Lifetime, she confessed to possessing a personality that isn’t exactly ideal for television. “This may come as a surprise to some people, but I’m actually a very shy person,” she said. Growing up, she devised a way to ensure that people kept their distance from her. “I was even shy as a child — I used to give everyone dirty looks!”

In a Facebook video, Brandi revealed that she played softball for nine years growing up, so she has always had a competitive side. She described her childhood as “tumultuous” on the “Spirit Talk” podcast, but it prepared her for her future in a way — she found herself being forced to learn how to survive while surrounded by too much testosterone. “I grew up with brothers, and they used to beat the crap out of me when we were younger, and I think that toughened me up a bit!” she told My Lifetime. However, her first job didn’t require the aggressiveness that she later needed to hold her own against the likes of Dave Hester. In 1999, she worked at carpet-cleaning company (via The Orange County Register). There, Jarrod Schulz pursued her even though he was her boss. “He wore me down. He was persistent,” Brandi told The Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Brandi Passante didn't like being a stay-at-home mom

After Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz started a family together, she quickly discovered that staying at home with the kids did not work for her. “I used to be a stay-at-home mom and it was very difficult for me,” she told My Lifetime. “I love my kids, but I felt alienated and depressed when I didn’t have a career, so I think I’m a better parent because I work.” When she and Jarrod opened their second-hand store, Brandi worked there part time. During her “Dad Diary” interview, she revealed that she still had plenty of free time to spend with her two kids, Cameron and Payton, and even volunteered in their classrooms. This changed when she joined the “Storage Wars” cast, however. “I missed a lot,” she said.

The mothers of Cameron’s classmates used to avoid Brandi when she walked him to school. “I would be kind of standing out there by myself, and all the other mothers would kind of congregate in a little — you know, and just leave me kind of standing there,” she recalled. She speculated that they thought she was a nanny because she looked so young, saying that they gave her “a hard time.” But, once she was on TV, they probably wished they had been nicer to her. Suddenly, she was receiving invites for a “mom’s night out” from the women who used to give her dirty looks. An interestingly timed change of heart, for sure!

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