Tolman Media Could Be Again with a New Identify, However the Identical Employees and Points

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 number of the companies he oversaw persist underneath new names, however with acquainted employees and reviews of the identical issues.

Stories That the Former Tolman Media is Working Underneath New Names

Within the months following PetaPixel’s protection of the abrupt finish of Tolman Media, an enormous wedding ceremony pictures and videography operation that bought providers in all 50 states and Canada, reviews have arrived that alleged that purported new wedding ceremony firms are simply Tolman Media flying underneath a brand new flag.

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That is the message that Tolman Media’s company web site shared in February. This can be 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 wedding ceremony firms underneath 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 firms are unfounded. Whereas it’s not possible to show that Brennan Tolman isn’t engaged with these new firms, I discovered no proof to counsel that he’s.

Nonetheless, Tolman’s namesake, Tolman Media, continues to be related to varied firms. A few of them are owned and operated by individuals who held outstanding positions throughout the Tolman Media empire in Utah, the place Tolman Media bought its begin and in the end met its finish.

Maybe most significantly, there may be cause to imagine that no less than one in all these companies, The Media Aisle, could not contain Tolman himself, however is falling sufferer to a number of the identical points that in the end sank the Tolman Media wedding ceremony empire.

As for Tolman, he seems as if he has tried to fade, going as far as to have his data wiped from well-liked background test web sites. Nonetheless, like a moth is drawn to mild, somebody like Tolman can’t resist alternatives to squeeze cash from individuals, and he has popped up once more.

Is Tolman Media Nonetheless Alive?

PetaPixel has acquired reviews suggesting that some wedding ceremony photograph and video firms are simply Tolman Media with a brand new title.

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

One solution to method that declare is to imagine that Brennan Tolman is pulling the strings of assorted now non-Tolman Media firms, 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 wedding ceremony firms, one which maintains that there are firms energetic at present that have been as soon as Tolman Media firms, is correct. PetaPixel has seen emails despatched to former Tolman Media photographers that explains the corporate is now The Media Aisle.

There may be additionally the utterly justified concern that even when Tolman Media branches have new logos and names, they could be committing a number of the identical misdeeds as sure Tolman Media branches did whereas underneath the Tolman Media title.

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 wedding ceremony photograph and video firm whose web site has a really Tolman Media-esque look. Regardless of having a well-known 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 cause to query some facets 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 acquired an electronic 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 incorporated 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.

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The 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 situated 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.

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Ivory Grove LLC is registered in Utah

Nonetheless, 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.

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

“Our unbiased enterprise used to hold the Tolman Media title as a result of we have been a licensee of Tolman Media. These social media pages and wedding ceremony vendor web sites have been arrange after we operated underneath 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 electronic mail.

Talking of shared accounts, The Media Aisle nonetheless makes use of Tolman Media’s outdated accounts on well-liked wedding ceremony vendor web sites corresponding to The Knot and Wedding ceremony Wire. It hosts its operations on a renamed Tolman Media Instagram profile.

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It’s the identical state of affairs with The Media Aisle — it’s utilizing current Tolman Media social media accounts.

This makes good 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 towards The Media Aisle from clients, alleging most of the points that plagued The Media Aisle in its former kind as Tolman Media Weddings. Under are only a pattern of the adverse evaluations towards The Media Aisle which can be obtainable on The Knot.

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A typical theme all through the adverse evaluations is poor communication. Whereas PetaPixel was capable of attain The Media Aisle by way of Instagram, the corporate’s personal web site doesn’t have a usable contact kind, doesn’t provide individuals a telephone quantity, and doesn’t embrace an electronic mail tackle. The one solution to ship a message to the corporate by its enterprise web site is to have already got a buyer account with login data.

There’s a By-Line Between Tolman Media and Quite a few ‘New’ Wedding 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. Nonetheless, there isn’t any document that Heidi Day or her husband personally owned any Tolman Media branches.

As for Ivory Grove, the state of affairs is a bit murkier. As I’ve outlined, Ivory Grove’s proprietor, Lindsey Parker, did personal Tolman Media firms, and the itemizing for one in all them, Tolman Media Weddings, LLC in Texas, continues to be energetic for no matter cause.

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

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Tolman 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.

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Ivory 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 isn’t concerned in any approach, form, or kind with Ivory Grove,” Parker tells PetaPixel.

Whereas Tolman Media Weddings’ social accounts appear to now fall underneath the purview of The Media Aisle regardless of Tolman Media Weddings’ proprietor Lindsey Parker nonetheless working a marriage photograph 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 title 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, Joy Photo and Video LLC, registered to John R. Leonard.

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

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Earlier than contemplating Pleasure Picture and Video, what’s Registered Brokers Inc.? A registered agent service, like these supplied 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 data 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.

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A current evaluation of Pleasure Picture and Video on The Knot.

Curiously, Pleasure Picture and Video LLC acted underneath the buying and selling title 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 title beginning in September 2021.

Tolman Media Houston’s social media profiles are actually operated by Ivory Grove in Texas. Except for each having used the identical buying and selling title at completely different occasions 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 along with his center preliminary omitted.

The Utah Connection

As talked about, one cause somebody may register an organization of their title however use the tackle of a registered agent service is that they want a bodily tackle throughout the state the place they want to do enterprise.

That’s not particularly uncommon in and of itself — take into account The Media Aisle. The corporate does enterprise with purchasers 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’s only registered in Utah anyway.

Utah comes up rather a lot. It ought to be clearly acknowledged that there’s nothing mistaken with Utah.

That stated, it’s odd that a number of wedding ceremony firms pitching providers in states all through the nation and displaying up in listings for wedding ceremony photographers in Illinois, Missouri, Texas, and many others., are owned and operated in Utah.

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Ivory Grove’s Lindsey Parker was open with PetaPixel, and seems to have many comfortable 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 firms like The Media Aisle and Ivory Grove, there isn’t any indication that the businesses don’t exist in any possible way throughout the states they declare to serve. In actual fact, there may be typically proof to counsel in any other case.

The websites listing their house owners — within the type of a primary title and photographs — and when a telephone quantity is on the market, it has an space code that is sensible for the state the place the corporate sells its providers.

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Utilizing simply your first names on your enterprise web site could seem informal, but it surely actually simply portrays a scarcity of transparency.

Nonetheless, 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” data that potential purchasers are hiring somebody who doesn’t stay the place it appears like they stay.

When planning the right wedding ceremony, individuals typically wish to cope with somebody who lives of their space, so I can perceive the smoke and mirrors. Full transparency would seemingly lead to fewer purchasers.

One other instance is Kathryn Pyne, who took over as Event Manager 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 based mostly within the area she was servicing however was in Utah. Pyne now works at Sweet 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 stay in Utah. We bought the Missouri and Houston areas (licenses) as a result of they have been the perfect ones after we began our enterprise,” Parker explains. “The photographers and videographers on our workforce 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 wedding ceremony photograph and video firms, these firms function as if they’ve one thing to cover. My hackles are raised if I have to dig for primary particulars about an organization, like its location.

In scripting this story, I requested a number of individuals in the event that they have been on the lookout for 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 seek out out that the corporate that they had been working with didn’t exist of their space? Each individual stated that sure, they’d really feel deceived. All however one in all these individuals was unfamiliar with Tolman Media.

This fashion of working isn’t distinctive to the rebranded wedding ceremony firms — that is how most Tolman Media branches have traditionally operated. With few exceptions, all Tolman Media branches hint again to operations in Utah.

Take into account Timeless Media, LLC. It was Tolman Media Bridal Veil Weddings. Now Timeless Media LLC, which operates as Timeless Photo + Video, sells its providers within the Washington D.C. metro space.

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Timeless 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.

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From 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 extensively reported that the corporate did, in reality, shut down. Additional, it was reported that Tolman Media had “gone bankrupt.”

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

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Tolman Media Empire LLC continues to be energetic in Nevada.

I’ve, nonetheless, discovered energetic listings for Tolman Media firms 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 embrace 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.

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

The registered agent isn’t 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, integrated in 2021, doesn’t contain Jie En Chang. The State of Hawaii additionally considers the enterprise not in good standing attributable to delinquent submitting.

The first level right here is that Tolman Media Empire, LLC has not disappeared completely 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 tip of the month. It stays to be seen if that can happen.

Tolman Media Empire LLC is also a defendant in a court 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 business enterprise operations. As of February 27, 2023, IOU claims Tolman Media Empire, LLC defaulted on the mortgage.

At the moment, attributable to 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 typically carries himself on the web, he now not goes by Brennan Tolman.

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Say “hello” to Vitamin B.

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

Tolman, or Vitamin B, appears to deal with paid collaborations, though there may be proof of some wedding ceremony photograph and video work, too. He markets himself as offering storytelling by ads.

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

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Vitamin B makes use of the identical photograph 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 outdated 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 present would observe one in all his outdated accounts.

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

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

Tolman claims that every one his payments are paid. Given the excellent debt in Georgia, one thing tells me that may 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 title.

PetaPixel isn’t getting concerned in that first declare, though persons are inspired to learn customer reviews for The Media Aisle on The Knot. Focusing solely on evaluations from late 2022 and early 2023, following the corporate’s transfer away from Tolman Media branding, reveals loads of dangerous 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 important 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 title, 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 underneath a unique title.

Is This a ‘Ship of Theseus’ State of affairs?

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

At a primary degree, 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 firms with new names requires individuals to fastidiously take into account exactly what made these branches what they have been within the first place.

What issues in id? Is it the title, Tolman Media? In that case, then The Media Aisle and Ivory Grove, amongst others, are completely 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 persons are nonetheless working companies completely different from Tolman Media franchises in title solely.

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

That stated, the good enterprise practices of some Tolman Media branches have continued underneath 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. Among the earlier crew have new ships, or no less than new planks, however that doesn’t change the chance of getting onboard.

Sensible Steering for Wedding ceremony Pictures

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

Extra importantly, individuals shouldn’t depart one thing as vital as hiring a photographer to the bottom bidder. That lowest bidder is probably not wherever close to as near you as you suppose in additional methods than one.

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

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

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

Practically everybody is aware of somebody who has been married lately. Ask them for suggestions. Discover somebody native your self, meet them, and be sure to really feel comfy 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 in some way seemingly escaped comparatively unscathed. Whereas being sued, he appears to be protecting busy along with his new life as Vitamin B. Then once more, appearances might 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.

In the end, there are numerous twisty roads within the Tolman Media saga, and nearly all of them lead again to Utah.