Brandi Passante became a star because of her memorable appearances on Storage Wars, the popular A&E show that depicted people bidding on the contents of abandoned storage lockers.
Passante seemingly became the show’s breakout star. The List dubbed her “our favorite treasure hunter.” Plenty of viewers probably felt the same way about the plucky Passante, who was born on May 16, 1980, in Harris County, Texas.
So what has she been up to since leaving Storage Wars? We did a deep dive and found that Passante is a dedicated activist and loving mother who has navigated a significant health crisis.
Passante And Then-Boyfriend Jarrod Schulz Had Their Own Spinoff Show
Passante and Schulz earned their own spinoff, Brandi & Jarrod: Married to the Job, which focused on their relationship rather than their work life. Their time on Storage Wars evidently whetted people’s curiosity about their time off-camera. It aired for one season, consisting of eight episodes, in 2014.
Passante contributed to the podcast Happening Now With Hammer starting in 2021. On one recent episode titled “Dogs are Greater Than People,” she and the other co-hosts, Hammer and Adam, discussed the joys of owning a dog.
Hammer’s beloved 14-year-old rescue Maltese, Gracie, had just passed away. He was lamenting her loss while encouraging the audience members, as did Adam and Passante, to adopt a dog from a shelter and give it a loving home.
On another episode of the podcast, Passante talked about how she and Schulz got their start on Storage Wars. “It was just kind of a weird fluke,” she said. “We had a mortgage company and it was around 2007. You know how that went,” Passante added, referring to the major meltdown of the economy at that time.
“Jarrod’s aunt worked for public storage. She said, ‘Have you ever been to these auctions?’ He just started going and got hooked and was bringing all of this stuff home.” Passante said. The couple opened a secondhand store to sell the profusion of items they were amassing.
This endeavor led to offers to be on-camera, including one from A&E. Passante and Schulz had low expectations for their TV gig, she recalled. “We didn’t think it was going to go anywhere,” she said. The show turned into an offbeat, bonafide hit. The rest is auction history.
Passante said she doesn’t really have a favorite find that she has unearthed at an auction. “I’m a bird-in-the hand kind of person,” she acknowledged. “Any kind of money, I’m happy to find. Anything that I can get rid of quickly, that’s what I want. That’s the whole point of it.”
She Revealed That She And Schulz Had Broken Up In 2019
Passante announced her split with Schulz in the premiere of Storage Wars season 13 in 2021. “I’m not with Jarrod anymore,” she declared.
Passante candidly admitted that seeing her ex at auctions was “not comfortable” (per PopCulture). Still, however, she soldiered on with her trademark sassy brand of wheeling and dealing that viewers loved.
She has full custody of her two children, daughter Payton and son Camren. As she indicated to host Danny Jordan on The Dad Diaries, she cares greatly about being a mom who is present in their lives.
Passante still rues the fact that she had to miss many of their precious milestones. When Storage Wars began, the kids were small and she understandably had her hands full with filming.
“I missed a lot when they were little when we first started he show,” Passante reflected. “It killed me. It was brutal.”
She continued, “I missed a Mother’s Day fashion show thing that they do in elementary school. I missed quite a few things.”
Both youngsters had serious health scares early on that stretched Passante’s stamina even further. She said that Payton was born deaf with a cleft palate and had a speech delay. Camren had a mass on his kidney. Passante was there for them through every step of the way back to health.
Passante Is An Advocate For Victims Of Domestic Violence
Pasante posted a pic on Instagram that showed a tattoo on a woman’s hand [presumably Passante’s] comprised of the word “Free” in flowing script along with a graceful little bird in flight.
The photo’s caption said in part: “To me, [this tattoo] means that somehow, by the grace of god, I managed to escape a very difficult situation, that so many people fall victim to. I will be eternally grateful, for the life and freedom, without fear that I get to live now. I am also grateful for the empathy and grace, that I am able to give others as a result of the things, that I have endured! I love you all & thank you for all the support!”
There was also a hashtag for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, plus one that said “free as a bird.”
Passante’s fans might have been puzzled by exactly what she meant by that and how it related to her own life.
In May 2021, TMZ reported that they were told by law enforcement sources that Schulz allegedly had an emotional confrontation with Passante on April 30, 2021, at an Orange County bar, where she was in the company of some pals.
She reportedly asked Schulz to make himself scarce. TMZ claims that he did not do so, and he “allegedly pushed Brandi twice … while yelling at her and her group.”
Police were summoned, according to TMZ, although Schulz was gone by then. He reportedly denied shoving her when he spoke to them shortly after the alleged incident.
He was charged with “1 count of misdemeanor domestic violence battery.” What happened after that is unclear.
Passante supports Women’s Own Worth, an organization that helps survivors of domestic violence. She once described the services they provide to women impacted by domestic violence: scholarships, lawyers, housing, therapy, and even clothes suitable to wear to job interviews.
Passante emceed the organization’s marquee event, WOWapalooza, in 2019. Held at the governor’s mansion in Arkansas, the gala raised over $100,000. She declined to accept a cut of the proceeds, according to The Saline Courier.
Passante noted that there were silhouettes representing slain victims of domestic violence in Arkansas on display throughout the residence that evening. “It was kind of staggering,” she said.
Being there “was such an amazing experience,” Passante remarked. “I would love to continue to help them any way I can.”
She Has Been Battling An Autoimmune Disease
Unfortunately, an internet troll’s cruel comments about Passante’s raspy voice led her to disclose in an Instagram story that she had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease (per Outsider).
Vocal issues are only one symptom of Hashimoto’s, which makes the immune system attack the thyroid gland. Other manifestations can include tiredness, weight gain, and a sluggish heart rate. It can be treated with medication.
Passante seems to be handling her autoimmune disease with her usual feisty determination. It hasn’t appeared to stymie her one bit.
Brandi Passante has faced a slew of challenges in her life. She has bravely met each of them head-on. The tougher the going became for her, the scrappier she seems to have gotten. This courageous, compassionate lady has our admiration and attention as she continues to share her no-frills fortitude with loyal fans everywhere.
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