Tolman Media May Be Back with a New Name, But the Same Staff and Issues

Tolman Media

A few of Tolman Media’s branches, or franchises, have survived the marriage large’s epic collapse earlier this yr. Whereas Brennan Tolman himself seems as if he has tried to fade, a few of the companies he oversaw persist beneath new names, however with acquainted employees and stories of the identical issues.

Studies That the Former Tolman Media is Working Below New Names

Within the months following PetaPixel’s protection of the abrupt finish of Tolman Media, an enormous marriage ceremony images and videography operation that offered companies in all 50 states and Canada, stories have arrived that alleged that purported new marriage ceremony corporations are simply Tolman Media flying beneath a brand new flag.

Tolman Media

That is the message that Tolman Media’s company web site shared in February. It is a screenshot from an online archive, as the web site is now not energetic.

I’ve spent many hours prior to now week scouring each obtainable useful resource and placing quite a few marriage ceremony corporations beneath a microscope.

At this level, allegations that Brennan Tolman, the disgraced founding father of Tolman Media, is concerned with any of the Tolman Media zombie corporations are unfounded. Whereas it’s not possible to show that Brennan Tolman shouldn’t be engaged with these new corporations, I discovered no proof to counsel that he’s.

Nevertheless, Tolman’s namesake, Tolman Media, remains to be related to varied corporations. A few of them are owned and operated by individuals who held outstanding positions inside the Tolman Media empire in Utah, the place Tolman Media received its begin and in the end met its finish.

Maybe most significantly, there may be motive to imagine that at the very least certainly one of these companies, The Media Aisle, could not contain Tolman himself, however is falling sufferer to a few of the similar points that in the end sank the Tolman Media marriage ceremony empire.

As for Tolman, he seems as if he has tried to fade, going as far as to have his info wiped from common background verify web sites. Nevertheless, like a moth is drawn to mild, somebody like Tolman can not resist monetary alternatives, and he has popped up once more.

Is Tolman Media Nonetheless Alive?

PetaPixel has obtained stories suggesting that some marriage ceremony picture and video corporations are simply Tolman Media with a brand new identify.

This allegation could be understood to imply a few various things.

One option to strategy that declare is to imagine that Brennan Tolman is pulling the strings of varied now non-Tolman Media corporations, like some puppet grasp.

For anybody holding onto this concept, I’ve discovered no proof to again it up.

A much less conspiratorial interpretation of the Tolman-adjacent marriage ceremony corporations, one which maintains that there are corporations energetic at the moment that had been as soon as Tolman Media corporations, is correct. PetaPixel has seen emails despatched to former Tolman Media photographers that explains the corporate is now The Media Aisle.

There’s additionally the utterly justified concern that even when Tolman Media branches have new logos and names, they might be committing a few of the similar misdeeds as sure Tolman Media branches did whereas beneath the Tolman Media identify.

Tolman Media Rebranded: Again from the Useless or By no means Gone at All?

The corporate that instigated this investigation is The Media Aisle. It’s a marriage ceremony picture and video firm whose web site has a really Tolman Media-esque look. Regardless of having a well-recognized presentation, the corporate has tried fairly exhausting to distance itself from Tolman Media, and understandably so.

As The Media Aisle tells PetaPixel, it was a Tolman Media franchise however has nothing to do with Brennan Tolman. Whereas I’ve motive to query some points of the corporate’s operations and the way it conducts enterprise, I don’t doubt its distance from Brennan Tolman himself.

The Media Aisle’s transfer away from Tolman Media branding began earlier than Tolman’s downfall. Final autumn, PetaPixel obtained an e mail outlining that Tolman Media Weddings, a department of Tolman Media that included operations in 5 states — Illinois, Iowa, New York, Ohio, and Georgia — was rebranding to The Media Aisle.

The Media Aisle, LLC was included in American Fork, Utah on October 24, 2022, lower than three months earlier than Tolman Media imploded. The Media Aisle LLC is registered to Jonathan Robert Day.

Tolman MediaThe Media Aisle LLC’s enterprise entity registration | Supply:

The e-mail PetaPixel noticed about Tolman Media Weddings rebranding to The Media Aisle was despatched to a photographer from a Tolman Media worker named Heidi.

This seems to be the identical Heidi that’s listed on The Media Aisle’s web site as its proprietor. After a shocking quantity of effort, PetaPixel positioned Heidi Day, the spouse of Jonathan Robert Day.

As for Tolman Media Weddings LLC, though Tolman Media Weddings LLC companies are inactive in Illinois and Missouri, Tolman Media Weddings LLC in Texas stays energetic. All three companies have been registered to Lindsey Parker and in some circumstances, additionally her husband Forrest Parker.

Tolman MediaIvory Grove LLC is registered in Utah

Nevertheless, Lindsey Parker doesn’t seem like related to The Media Aisle.

Lindsey Parker has not left the business. As a substitute, Parker is on the helm of Ivory Grove LLC, which operates in Texas and Missouri and makes use of the previous accounts of Tolman Media Houston and Tolman Media Missouri, respectively.

Tolman Media

On Ivory Grove’s Texas account, @igtx, tagged images present that, as Parker explains, Ivory Grove took over current Tolman Media social media accounts.

“Our unbiased enterprise used to hold the Tolman Media identify as a result of we had been a licensee of Tolman Media. These social media pages and marriage ceremony vendor web sites had been arrange after we operated beneath the names of Tolman Media Missouri and Tolman Media Houston. They at all times represented our enterprise and after we formally separated from Tolman Media and have become Ivory Grove, these social media pages remained ours,” Lindsey Parker tells PetaPixel in an e mail.

Talking of shared accounts, The Media Aisle nonetheless makes use of Tolman Media’s previous accounts on common marriage ceremony vendor web sites corresponding to The Knot and Marriage ceremony Wire. It hosts its operations on a renamed Tolman Media Instagram profile.

Tolman MediaIt’s the similar scenario with The Media Aisle — it’s utilizing current Tolman Media social media accounts.

This makes excellent sense on condition that The Media Aisle started its rebranding effort final autumn.

Complaints Abound

This deep dive into The Media Aisle was set into movement following a grievance from a photographer that that they had not been paid by The Media Aisle. This grievance was quite common throughout quite a few Tolman Media branches.

There are additionally many complaints in opposition to The Media Aisle from clients, alleging lots of the points that plagued The Media Aisle in its former kind as Tolman Media Weddings. Beneath are only a pattern of the detrimental opinions in opposition to The Media Aisle which can be obtainable on The Knot.

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A standard theme all through the detrimental opinions is poor communication. Whereas PetaPixel was in a position to attain The Media Aisle by way of Instagram, the corporate’s personal web site doesn’t have a usable contact kind, doesn’t supply individuals a telephone quantity, and doesn’t embody an e mail tackle. The one option to ship a message to the corporate by its enterprise web site is to have already got a buyer account with login info.

There’s a By way of-Line Between Tolman Media and Quite a few ‘New’ Marriage ceremony Picture and Video Firms

Alongside shared on-line accounts, The Media Aisle can be operated by somebody who was very a lot concerned with Tolman Media Weddings, LLC: Heidi Day. Nevertheless, there isn’t any document that Heidi Day or her husband personally owned any Tolman Media branches.

As for Ivory Grove, the scenario is a bit murkier. As I’ve outlined, Ivory Grove’s proprietor, Lindsey Parker, did personal Tolman Media corporations, and the itemizing for certainly one of them, Tolman Media Weddings, LLC in Texas, remains to be energetic for no matter motive.

“We did personal two Tolman Media licenses (Missouri and Houston). We operated these two areas beneath the authorized identify Tolman Media Weddings, LLC. Tolman Media Weddings, LLC was not the mother or father firm of Tolman Media,” Parker explains. “In November of 2022, we legally separated from Tolman Media and have become Ivory Grove, LLC.”

Tolman MediaTolman Media Weddings LLC paperwork in Illinois

Additional, Tolman Media’s former Chief Monetary Officer (CFO), Alice Ferrell, works for Parker at Ivory Grove. Parker herself was excessive up inside Tolman Media, having had the title of “Space Supervisor” for over three years.

Tolman MediaIvory Grove’s Alice Ferrell was CFO for Tolman Media

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Like The Media Aisle, Ivory Grove was adamant that it has nothing to do with Brennan Tolman.

“Brennan Tolman shouldn’t be concerned in any method, form, or kind with Ivory Grove,” Parker tells PetaPixel.

Whereas Tolman Media Weddings’ social accounts appear to now fall beneath the purview of The Media Aisle regardless of Tolman Media Weddings’ proprietor Lindsey Parker nonetheless working a marriage picture and video firm, the account Parker’s Ivory Grove operation in Texas makes use of was as soon as that of Tolman Media Houston, which is listed because the energetic buying and selling identify for Tolman Media Weddings LLC in Texas.

Tolman Media Houston can be registered to a “Registered Brokers Inc.” operation in Austin, Texas. The identical tackle used for Tolman Media Weddings LLC in Texas can be used with a separate firm, Pleasure Picture and Video LLC, registered to John R. Leonard.

Tolman MediaPleasure Picture + Video additionally makes use of Registered Brokers, Inc.

Tolman Media

Earlier than contemplating Pleasure Picture and Video, what’s Registered Brokers Inc.? A registered agent service, like these provided by Registered Brokers Inc., permits people to register an organization with a bodily tackle in a state the place they don’t have an tackle. File this info away for a second.

Pleasure Picture and Video LLC has inactive enterprise registrations in a number of states, together with Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. It maintains an energetic itemizing inside Texas, Florida, and California.

Tolman MediaA latest evaluate of Pleasure Picture and Video on The Knot.

Curiously, Pleasure Picture and Video LLC acted beneath the buying and selling identify Tolman Media Houston LLC inside Texas for a spell in 2020. Parker’s firm, Tolman Media Weddings LLC, started utilizing Toman Media Houston as a buying and selling identify beginning in September 2021.

Tolman Media Houston’s social media profiles at the moment are operated by Ivory Grove in Texas. Except for each having used the identical buying and selling identify at totally different instances and utilizing the identical registered agent service in Austin, there isn’t any obvious connection between Leonard and Parker. They don’t seem to be listed on any of the identical particular person enterprise registrations.

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Leonard’s Pleasure Picture and Video LLC companies are registered to him and Registered Brokers, Inc. It seems that Leonard resides in Texas, however he nonetheless makes use of the Registered Brokers Inc. tackle for his enterprise in Texas. Leonard additionally seems because the registrar for Tolman Media Los Angeles North LLC, albeit together with his center preliminary omitted.

The Utah Connection

As talked about, one motive somebody would possibly register an organization of their identify however use the tackle of a registered agent service is that they want a bodily tackle inside the state the place they want to do enterprise.

That’s not particularly uncommon in and of itself — think about The Media Aisle. The corporate does enterprise with shoppers in 5 states, so it could be odd if the proprietor had an tackle to register the corporate inside all 5 states. That stated, in The Media Aisle’s case, it is just registered in Utah anyway.

Utah comes up loads. It ought to be clearly acknowledged that there’s nothing flawed with Utah.

That stated, it’s odd that a number of marriage ceremony corporations pitching companies in states all through the nation and exhibiting up in listings for marriage ceremony photographers in Illinois, Missouri, Texas, and so on., are owned and operated in Utah.

Tolman MediaIvory Grove’s Lindsey Parker was open with PetaPixel, and seems to have many pleased clients, however there may be nonetheless one thing that doesn’t sit proper with me about an organization working in Utah portraying itself as working in Missouri, together with utilizing a Missouri telephone quantity.

It’s noteworthy that when checking web sites for corporations like The Media Aisle and Ivory Grove, there isn’t any indication that the businesses don’t exist in any possible way inside the states they declare to serve. In reality, there may be typically proof to counsel in any other case.

The websites listing their house owners — within the type of a primary identify and images — and when a telephone quantity is obtainable, it has an space code that is smart for the state the place the corporate sells its companies.

Tolman MediaUtilizing simply your first names on your online business web site could appear informal, however it actually simply portrays an absence of transparency.

Nevertheless, the individuals in cost are exterior Illinois, Missouri, or Texas. They’re in Utah. It’s by no means talked about in biographies or “About Us” info that potential shoppers are hiring somebody who doesn’t dwell the place it looks like they dwell.

When planning the proper marriage ceremony, individuals usually wish to cope with somebody who lives of their space, so I can perceive the smoke and mirrors. Full transparency would possible lead to fewer shoppers.

One other instance is Kathryn Pyne, who took over as Occasion Supervisor of Tolman Media Ocean Bay in September 2022. The transfer wrested management of the Boston market from Tolman Media Boston, which Tolman Media’s public relations director, Ashley Tew, claimed had been underperforming.

Like so many others, Pyne was not primarily based within the area she was servicing however was in Utah. Pyne now works at Candy Haven Productions, a marriage vendor that allegedly operates out of Chicago however, shocker, is registered in Utah.

I requested Parker about working a marriage enterprise remotely from out of state.

“We personal Ivory Grove and we dwell in Utah. We bought the Missouri and Houston areas (licenses) as a result of they had been the perfect ones after we began our enterprise,” Parker explains. “The photographers and videographers on our group are all native to the areas they serve within the Midwest and Texas.”

On condition that I needed to sleuth out the identities and areas of the individuals working these marriage ceremony picture and video corporations, these corporations function as if they’ve one thing to cover. My hackles are raised if I have to dig for fundamental particulars about an organization, like its location.

In scripting this story, I requested a number of individuals in the event that they had been in search of a marriage photographer of their space and an organization popped up in search outcomes, claiming to work in that space and by no means outright saying in any other case, would they really feel misled to search out out that the corporate that they had been working with didn’t exist of their space? Each particular person stated that sure, they’d really feel deceived. All however certainly one of these individuals was unfamiliar with Tolman Media.

This manner of working shouldn’t be distinctive to the rebranded marriage ceremony corporations — that is how most Tolman Media branches have traditionally operated. With few exceptions, all Tolman Media branches hint again to operations in Utah.

Think about Timeless Media, LLC. It was Tolman Media Bridal Veil Weddings. Now Timeless Media LLC, which operates as Timeless Picture + Video, sells its companies within the Washington D.C. metro space.

Tolman MEdiaTimeless Picture + Video enterprise registration.

Timeless Picture + Video nonetheless makes use of Tolman Media’s social accounts. Particularly, Timeless Picture + Video makes use of what as soon as was Tolman Media DMV’s accounts. Timeless Picture + Video is registered to Bradley G. Hanson in Highland, Utah.

Tolman MediaFrom Timeless Picture + Video’s social media web page, the corporate rebranded Tolman Media DMV.

Did Tolman Media Really Dissolve?

When Tolman Media abruptly shut down earlier this yr, it was broadly reported that the corporate did, in truth, shut down. Additional, it was reported that Tolman Media had “gone bankrupt.”

I’ve been unable to search out any document of chapter filings.

Tolman MediaTolman Media Empire LLC remains to be energetic in Nevada.

I’ve, nevertheless, discovered energetic listings for Tolman Media corporations registered to Brennan Tolman. One such instance is Tolman Media Empire, LLC in Nevada.

This firm is registered as a department of Tolman Media Empire, LLC in Utah, which has expired as of June 12, 2023, and its resignation was filed on February 17, 2023.

As for Tolman Media Empire, LLC in Nevada, the officers embody Brennan Tolman, Chelsea Kemp, and Michael Miller. Kemp and Miller have addresses in Utah, whereas Tolman makes use of his Nevada dwelling as his tackle. In March, PetaPixel reported that Tolman had disappeared to a house in Nevada. He bought the house in mid-2022.

Tolman MediaWhereas I’ve obscured the tackle, Taipei Investments LLC is registered to the identical tackle as Tolman’s home in Nevada.

The registered agent shouldn’t be Tolman himself however Taipei Investments, LLC, which has the identical tackle as Tolman’s Nevada dwelling. Taipei Investments, LLC is an organization that seemingly doesn’t really do something and is registered to Tolman and Jie En Chang, Tolman’s spouse.

Taipei Investments, LLC has a registered department in Hawaii, though this department, included in 2021, doesn’t contain Jie En Chang. The State of Hawaii additionally considers the enterprise not in good standing on account of delinquent submitting.

The first level right here is that Tolman Media Empire, LLC has not disappeared solely as the general public was led to imagine. Whereas some registrations have lapsed, expired, or been outright terminated, not all are inactive.

The Tolman Media Empire, LLC in Nevada is because of submit an annual report by the top of the month. It stays to be seen if that can happen.

Tolman Media Empire LLC can be a defendant in a courtroom case in Cobb County, Georgia.

IOU Monetary supplied a mortgage of $250,000 to Brennan Tolman, Jie En Chang, and Tolman Media on December 6, 2022, for industrial enterprise operations. As of February 27, 2023, IOU claims Tolman Media Empire, LLC defaulted on the mortgage.

At the moment, on account of curiosity and different charges, Tolman Media Empire, LLC owed simply over $252,000. Assuming continued failure to pay, that quantity has solely elevated.

Introducing Vitamin B

Throughout this investigation, I discovered Brennan Tolman. Whereas recognizable by his bodily look, voice, and the way he usually carries himself on the web, he now not goes by Brennan Tolman.

Tolman MediaSay “hello” to Vitamin B.

Tolman as an alternative goes by Vitamin B and calls himself a celeb videographer. He additionally claims to be co-owner of Aloha Amplified Inventive Media Company, an organization, like others Tolman has been related to, that doesn’t seemingly do a lot.

Tolman, or Vitamin B, appears to concentrate on paid collaborations, though there may be proof of some marriage ceremony picture and video work, too. He markets himself as offering storytelling by ads.

If there may be any doubt as to the identification of Vitamin B, Tolman, for some motive, used an equivalent picture on Instagram as was featured in a puff piece interview he did final December as himself.

Tolman MediaVitamin B makes use of the identical picture as this picture of Tolman from an interview final yr, though with a brand new filter over it.

Even stranger is that Vitamin B follows one other Vitamin B web page, @vitaminbtolman, which is Tolman’s previous Instagram account from a few years in the past. On that web page, Tolman linked to a now-defunct Tolman Media firm web site. I don’t know why Tolman of at the moment would observe certainly one of his previous accounts.

Vitamin B could be very energetic on Instagram. IOU Monetary could also be enthusiastic about Tolman’s latest publish, which he shared on August 21.

Tolman MediaHe claims his payments are paid, however filings counsel in any other case.

Tolman claims that each one his payments are paid. Given the excellent debt in Georgia, one thing tells me that could be deceptive, at finest.

What Now?

This investigation began as a result of somebody claimed that The Media Aisle stiffed them and was simply Tolman Media with a brand new identify.

PetaPixel shouldn’t be getting concerned in that first declare, though individuals are inspired to learn buyer opinions for The Media Aisle on The Knot. Focusing solely on opinions from late 2022 and early 2023, following the corporate’s transfer away from Tolman Media branding, reveals loads of unhealthy experiences.

As for the second declare, is The Media Aisle simply Tolman Media? No.

That stated, there are fewer levels of separation between The Media Aisle and Tolman Media than the common shopper could hope for by way of the employees.

Maybe most damningly, there may be vital proof that there’s minimal or no separation in how photographers and clients really feel about their interplay with Tolman Media versus The Media Aisle.

The corporate has a brand new identify, a brand new emblem, a brand new web site, and a few “new” individuals listed as house owners, however the issues that in the end sank Tolman’s empire-like fleet of Utah-based ships that moored all through the nation didn’t observe Tolman out the door — they survive beneath a distinct identify.

Is This a ‘Ship of Theseus’ Scenario?

First talked about by the traditional thinker Plutarch, and later made well-known by Thomas Hobbes, the favored “ship of Theseus” paradox underlies many important analyses of identification in metaphysics.

At a fundamental stage, one model of the paradox goes like this: Suppose there’s a ship. Over time, a plank on the ship rots and is changed with a brand new plank. Then one other rotting plank is changed. And one other. Finally, all of the planks that comprised that ship have been changed. Is it nonetheless the identical ship?

To allege that Tolman Media and its branches are the identical corporations with new names requires individuals to rigorously think about exactly what made these branches what they had been within the first place.

What issues in identification? Is it the identify, Tolman Media? If that’s the case, then The Media Aisle and Ivory Grove, amongst others, are totally different.

If the true essence of Tolman Media was not Brennan Tolman himself, however the individuals who ran the franchises that he oversaw, then those self same individuals are nonetheless working companies totally different from Tolman Media franchises in identify solely.

I suggest that what made Tolman Media so dangerous for photographers, videographers, and {couples} was by no means Brennan Tolman however the way in which by which particular person Tolman Media branches operated. The patterns of poor communication, deceptive enterprise web sites, and the very individuals concerned have persevered in a number of circumstances.

That stated, the great enterprise practices of some Tolman Media branches have persevered beneath new names, too. Not each franchise dedicated the identical wrongdoings to the identical extent.

Maybe the ship of Theseus paradox ought to have been targeted extra on the crew of the ship and fewer on the ship’s development, because the crew are those who decide the security of all these aboard. A few of the earlier crew have new ships, or at the very least new planks, however that doesn’t change the danger of getting onboard.

Sensible Steering for Marriage ceremony Pictures

As is at all times the case, individuals ought to do vital analysis earlier than forking over 1000’s of {dollars} to anybody, particularly a enterprise you might be trusting to look after you in your huge day.

Extra importantly, individuals mustn’t go away one thing as vital as hiring a photographer to the bottom bidder. That lowest bidder will not be wherever close to as near you as you assume in additional methods than one.

Some individuals are clearly pleased with The Media Aisle, Ivory Grove, Timeless Picture + Video, and others.

Ivory Grove’s opinions on The Knot are particularly spectacular.

If buyer images and social media accounts are to be believed, these corporations repeatedly rent proficient photographers, even in circumstances the place clients have points with communication. In fact, if a buyer struggles to achieve somebody at an organization like The Media Aisle, a photographer could, as PetaPixel has been informed, have issues, too.

Practically everybody is aware of somebody who has been married in recent times. Ask them for suggestions. Discover somebody native your self, meet them, and be sure you really feel snug with each a part of the method. If an organization makes discovering some basic details about them right into a wild goose chase, that ought to provide you with pause.

As for Brennan Tolman, he has by some means seemingly escaped comparatively unscathed. Whereas being sued, he appears to be preserving busy together with his new life as Vitamin B. Then once more, appearances could be deceptive.

So far as I can inform, Tolman by no means went bankrupt, which has made it much more difficult for the many individuals who really feel that he and Tolman Media screwed them over to hunt authorized recompense.

Finally, there are loads of twisty roads within the Tolman Media saga, and virtually all of them lead again to Utah.