Mary Padian was one of the best-known and, based on online comments, best-looking cast members of “Storage Wars.” A&E, a cable TV and streaming production company, premiered the TV show in December 2010. Viewers received it well from the get-go, because of its exciting premise; storage locker facilities the owners of which could auction off the items in the containers if they didn’t receive the rent for three months, at least in Southern California, where the show initially took place. Over 15 cast members, mixed in with the crowd of regular people, would show up at auctions and have a few minutes, typically five, to check the container’s contents before the bidding started.
The uncertainty of the items’ value kept the tension high, but the auction winners could also make money through the volume, meaning that they could profit off hoarders, too. Either way, having a rough estimate of the worth of some items, nearly all second-hand, was pivotal. Cast members occasionally found incredibly rare or precious items, such as gold coins, jewelry, comic books, newspapers, or even safes with money inside. Mary debuted in the fifth episode of season one of the spin-off, “Storage Wars: Texas” in December 2011, was nicknamed The Junkster or The Junkyard Queen, and had similar success stories.
She purchased an antique candlemaker inside a locker in one of the earliest episodes. Instead of selling it for $50, the amount that her business partner Morris “Moe” Prigoff estimated that it was worth, she took the item to a candle shop and received an estimated price tag of $1,400. After “Storage Wars: Texas” ended the third season in 2014, Mary joined the main show and by her estimate, appeared in 100 episodes of “Storage Wars” between 2014 and 2021, specifically from seasons four to 13. However, her credits mainly include 60 to 80 episodes between seasons five and 11; for example, she made a cameo in season 14, but was uncredited for her guest appearance. Regardless, Mary is young, good-looking, ambitious, and passionate about her work, so fans are understandably curious about where she is now. We found the answer.
She still does what she loves
Mary was a business owner who ran a brick-and-mortar store called Mary’s Finds in Texas, through which she sold refurbished items, primarily home decorations and furniture. Unfortunately, while she bought those items cheaply, frequently through thrift stores, estate sales, or storage units, her store seemingly wasn’t profitable, and she made the tough decision to close it in 2014 after about four years in business. Thankfully, while it was operating, Mary was a series regular during three seasons of “Storage Wars: Texas” alongside Moe. They were a strong duo rivaling other cast members, some of whom were partners for years, if not decades.
Mary admittedly focused on antique finds such as furniture and other home items, as she had a history in architecture and design, so she never made extraordinary storage unit discoveries. For instance, a collection of newspapers from the day of Elvis Presley’s death, 16 August 1977, sold for $90,000 in the first season, even though the cast member, Dave Hester, paid about $700 for the unit. Similarly, Darrell Sheets paid $3,600 for a container in season three without realizing that it contained several Frank Gutierrez paintings valued at over $300,000.
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Nonetheless, Mary’s charm and expertise allowed her to become a series regular in “Storage Wars” while dedicating her time and energy to running her eCommerce business at www.marysfinds.com. That let her continue upcycling, a process of turning one person’s trash into another’s treasure that she calls ‘Razzle Dazzle.’ She could do it profitably without having to maintain an expensive storefront, and internationally, which permitted her to move back from California to her hometown of Dallas, Texas, where she still lives.
Leaving “Storage Wars” was a good decision
Although Mary didn’t leave the TV show abruptly, many viewers speculated whether she was preparing to join a potential spin-off, or perhaps get her own from A&E after 2019. A&E announced that the show would go on an indefinite hiatus after the 13th season, primarily because the COVID-19 outbreak made filming difficult, and drastically reduced the number of in-person auctions.
“Storage Wars” returned to the screens with season 14 in November 2021, and the two years showed Mary that she could succeed even if she wasn’t a regular. Additionally, Moe, her mentor and business partner, passed away on 4 March 2021 following a six-year struggle with an undisclosed illness. He ran a Texas shop selling upcycled furniture and other antiques, and his passing meant that Mary lacked a father figure and someone with whom she had great on-screen chemistry.
Her personality and charisma were vital, since her finds weren’t particularly expensive. The most valuable finds were 18th-century camel saddles, worth about $3,000, and a Victorian-era set consisting of mirrors, hair brushes, and a corset, valued at about $1,000. She stated that her most unusual find was a ceramic grenade dating to the Byzantine Empire, because water couldn’t extinguish its explosion; still, she admitted that it didn’t sell for much.
Her well-established social media presence was another reason that she left, and has never regretted the decision. Her Instagram account, @marypadian, had about 300,000 followers around early 2020 and is at 360,000 in the second half of 2023. Her Facebook page, @mary.padian, has about 285,000 followers. She was also good friends with several co-stars, notably Brandi Passante, and posted many selfies with the hashtag #storagewars to both accounts since 2018. That ensured that Mary stayed in the spotlight for those who wanted to follow her or buy accessories, home goods, furniture, and vintage clothing.
She openly praises her favorites
Mary’s social media activity allowed her fans to learn more about her personal life, including about her best friends, Bridget Nims, CJ Bourret, and Emily Wears Kroul, who also appeared in “Storage Wars.”
Mary also frequently mentions her parents, Teresa Ann and John G. Padian, and her three brothers, John, Luke and Conor. Additionally, she introduced her two nieces, Lilly in 2018 and Sophie in 2021, whom her brother Conor has with his wife, Lauren. Similarly, Mary never refrains from praising the people who helped her succeed, notably her two mentors. Allee Willis, a well-known songwriter, was by her side when she moved to California from Texas – Mary informed her audience that Allee passed away in 2020. Paige Rense, former Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Digest magazine, hired her as Assistant Director after Mary graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a photojournalism degree, and moved to New York City. Paige was responsible for the first iteration of Mary’s Finds, the magazine’s monthly vlogs where Mary featured affordable yet stylish and beautiful home pieces.
Mary occasionally shares the content she consumes, and brands she trusts or promotes. She’s primarily promoted clothing, well-being, and bedding companies in recent years, especially Rekucci Clothing, which mainly sells jeans and pants; Ancient Nutrition, which focuses on plant-based protein products; Elderberry Hill, a supplement company; and Sla Shop, an online store that offers hypoallergenic, biodegradable, bamboo-based bedroom essentials. On that note, Mary confessed that she’s been obsessed with skincare since high school – her recommendations for staple products are Cetaphil skin cleanser, Elta MD UV CLEAR facial sunscreen, and Vintner’s Daughter botanical serum.
She promotes several charities
Mary has promoted Ubuntu Life, previously called Ubuntu Made, a Kenyan-based charity organization, and clothing brand, since 2018. It allowed Kenyan women to use their craftsmanship to create hairbands, necklaces, “Joy Bracelets,” and espadrille shoes. The company would sell them internationally, supporting the local community and other charities and causes, including building a children’s neurological center in Kenya in 2020. Africa has always enamored Mary; she went on safaris in Kenya, and consequently agreed with actor Will Smith’s statement, ‘It feels like God visits everywhere else, but lives in Africa.’
During the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic, she promoted Maskd Health – the company sold antimicrobial face masks and donated a portion of the proceeds to hospitals and clinical workers.
Moreover, Mary brought attention to the 2022 movie “MVP,” about the mental health struggles of military veterans and former athletes. She said that ‘it was the best movie that she had watched in ages.’ Nate Boyer, the movie’s director and main star, has started a real-life non-profit organization entitled Merging Vets and Players and promoted it through the movie’s story.
Her romantic life is a mystery
Many of Mary’s fans were interested in her romantic life during her time in the show, and rightly so. She introduced a guest cast member in the ninth episode of season nine, “Mary’s Big Score,” aired on 3 May 2016. The title was suggestive already, but during 20 minutes of screen time, Mary revealed that the cast member, Dylan, was her boyfriend and was equally passionate about seeking the most profitable storage lockers. However, despite being active on social media, she has refrained from mentioning Dylan or any other romantic interest or partner since. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that Mary isn’t dating anyone. If she is, she’s kept their identity secret.