Let's go wayyy back because this is a true family business and we should start at the beginning.
Joel and Jeni met long ago working at a grocery story at age 23 and 19 respectively. Joel was supposed to train Jeni (could you imagine Joel as Jeni's boss??) to take his management position as he got promoted... by the end of their first week they kissed after work in the parking lot... actually Jeni kissed Joel... and it was 2am.
As they dated they both went to Orange Coast College while Joel explored and found photography and Jeni worked toward a BA. Jeni also took an interior design class because she always enjoyed it but after starting was confused at the idea of learning many different styles of interior design as she just wanted to do what she loved and was true to her heart, not learn how to copy others. So she dropped it.
Later they wed (1998) and started their family by adding two children, Bailey and Caysen, and eventually dogs Lucy, then Missy and Willy. As they ventured through their early life it was important to them for Jeni to be with the kids full-time so they scraped by on Joel's beginner photographer wages. Jeni had a wonderful time decorating their first house- the nursery especially. As Joel's photography business began to grow they bought their first home and Jeni had big plans to make it cozy and comfortable- a place the kids would always yearn to return to for the feeling of a foundation. If it were up to Joel they wouldn't have even gotten that house- when they made the offer on it they had $13 in their bank account. You will find that Jeni is an amazing woman who makes goals and achieves them even when they seem impossible (luckily that was pre-recession and stated income was a thing).
cozy & comfortable & welcoming.
After a few years in the home office Jeni found the perfect spot for Joel's blossoming wedding photography business... the back half of a run-down pawn shop in a 100+ year old dilapidated building. Jeni had the whole build out and design in her mind as they first stood in the pile of rubble that would eventually be the middle of the most amazing photo studio/ art gallery/ community gathering space the OC ever saw.
After many years of client visits, photo shoots and Fullerton Art Walks every month a wonderful wedding planner came for a visit after meeting Joel at an event and seeing images of the studio. As she got her tour she asked if the farm tables in the front room could ever be rented to her clients... Joel and Jeni looked at one-another and shrugged and Jeni said
"I get paid and I get to keep the pieces? -- Yes!"
She left and Joel began to research vintage and one-of-a-kind furniture for rent in the US- not a single company. Jeni did find an article in the current Martha Stewart Weddings magazine with ideas on how to find vintage and antique furniture for events- none were very practical but it showed demand for this style of furniture for rent.
Joel and Jeni brainstormed names for the new company and quickly came up with Found... Jeni had a business license by the end of the week for the very first vintage rental company in America. This gave her a green light to start buying lots of stuff and they quickly built a small website with images Joel shot of the entire inventory in the field across from their house- a whopping 55 items.
Joel had been in the wedding industry for over ten years at that point and reached out to Amy at Wedding Chicks. Amy replied that maybe she'd get a post up in a couple weeks. After sending her reply she took a better look at the inventory and had a blog post ready the next day!
As soon as that blog post went live people were calling to do photoshoots and Jeni never said no. There were wonderful, supportive people like Jose Villa and others who used pieces in shoots and at workshops and helped spread the word- that was priceless.
It wasn't long before the entire photo studio was filled with furniture, Jeni hired Dean to help on deliveries, and the growing inventory moved to a small nearby warehouse.
Over the next ten years the growth was staggering- more amazing people were hired and new, larger warehouses were acquired. At the start of 2020 Found Rental Co had about eighty employees, about seventy thousand square feet of storage between Los Angeles and San Francisco warehouses filled with amazing furniture + props from around the world, and use up to twenty trucks on a weekend.
Are they grateful to the wedding planner that put that initial idea in Jeni's head?