We were so over the moon excited to launch our new business HITCH photo booth in November of 2016! We purchased our 1965 Aristocrat Land Commander in Sonoma last June. My amazing husband Jeff spent 5 months completely renovating and restoring it, using up all the time he had on nights and weekends... and the final product was absolutely GORGEOUS!
We had a few holiday events in December which were so much fun for us, after all of the hard physical work that had been put in to the project it was so wonderful to see the joy on peoples faces while they were in the booth - it was exactly as I dreamt it up to be! The most adorable vintage trailer photo booth!! We even got to meet with a local venues her in Petaluma, they were so kind and wonderful and welcoming. We tucked Betty Jane away for the winter in our RV lot, and then BOOM. The winter storms began, we worried about it a little but knew we would go check on the trailer every few days to make sure there was no leaking or anything... never did we expect that a TREE would fall on the trailer and completely destroy it!! I will never forget January 3rd... My heart broke immediately more so because I knew how hard Jeff had worked on the renovation. Needless to say, we were devastated.
We of course had to quickly think on what to do next, we had our first event booked for April 15th... so there was no time for another self renovation. After reaching out to everyone we could, we found someone who could get it done for us quickly and fairly reasonably priced... if we found a new trailer to start with. We quickly set that plan in motion; we found a very similar trailer near LA (1965 Aristocrat Mainliner), and began the multiple trips to So Cal to get it taken care of. When we picked it up, there was still a lot of work to be finished... but it was in MUCH better shape than when we first found it! We spent the next month finishing up the Betty Jane II project and we were ready a few weeks BEFORE our first event. It wasn't easy, and we certainly wish it hadn't happened... but I am so thankful that neither of us were out there at the time of the accident checking on the trailer or adjusting the tarp and that no one was hurt.
We get asked a lot if insurance covered all of this, and the answer is that we did get a small payout from insurance but it covered only a portion of what it takes to make a vintage in to a fully restored photo booth trailer. We are still keeping our fingers crossed that we will get reimbursement from SMART train since the trees were located on their property, the process is ongoing but we are hopeful! And yes, the trees have now been completely removed and will not be falling down on Betty Jane II (pretty please, universe!).
Even as all of this was happening, we both knew that we wanted to take the leap and keep pushing forward because this business is one that we really believe in. I love getting to be a part of these extremely happy days and adding to the whole feel of the events, and I love that this is a business that I can run while having little ones start to fill our life. That is the other beautiful part of this story... in the midst of all of this crazy trailer renovation round 2, we found out that we are going to be having our first baby in October 2017!
I am so grateful that we already have hit the goal number of events for 2017 that I had set (we still have plenty of room to add more, of course!), and even already a few booked for 2018! The fun part has officially begun now that this wedding season has kicked off... We can't wait to be a part of your special days and to capture the memories of the people who adore you the most having so much FUN!!