The popularity of pawn shops has reached a fever pitch and it is because of one simple thing – they are the very fabric of Americana. There is nothing so pure as a place that you can bring in your valuables and get a loan or even sell it without all the hassles. More importantly there is nothing so sweet as like when you walk into a pawn shop and see all the cool stuff you wish you had the money to buy right then and there. When you need cash the ONLY two options which are still make any sense is pawn shop and title loans because the interest rates are within normal means and the ease of getting the loan is simple. Low dollar loans = pawn shops. High dollar loans = title loans.
As in any industry some companies lead the pack. The leaders in the title loan industry is 800LoanMart and the leaders in pawn is American Jewelry and Loan in Detroit at 20450 Greenfield Road, Detroit MI 48235 and Pawn stars aka Gold and Silver Pawnshop at 713 Las Vegas Blvd, South, Las Vegas NV 89101.
American Jewelry and Loan
This show was made famous by two things – The Gold families incredible savvy business sense and the show that highlighted this Hardcore Pawn.
Ashley reminds me of my sister actually. She is direct and thick skinned and actually quiet pretty. What amazes me about this woman is her ability to take garbage from people who act insane. Sure at some point she stops putting up with it but she has this incredible way of smiling in the face of clear abuse. She also shows her sales skills in so many ways and her passion for her job is off the charts. When she has the camera’s eye, everyone wants to hear what she will say and how she will react.
Seth is another very handsome and smart businessman. He always is eclipsed by his father Les but the man truly embodies all that all sons want… to be respected for what he does and what he brings to the table. Strong willed and says what needs to be said when it needs to be stated, he shows courage rarely found in businessmen of today. No afraid to stand up to his father or anyone, he brings the future to the business, even in clear opposition to his progressive ideas.
Both Seth and Ashley show how amazing their father is because if it wasn’t for him, they would not have developed into the people they are today. Fearless and stoic businesspeople that clearly is role models for business owners of today.
Les is of course the power house of the pawn shop. Starting with his image of showing that a man can still look classy at any age; he wears bling like it should be worn and clothes which compliment his body. But that’s not wear he stops impressing. He is a character unlike any other. Clearly unique and powerful his wisdom is only surpassed by his razor sharp vision of the future. Les is able to show that no matter who the person is, respect is a requirement but also gratitude is as well. In his tenacious business style, he has undertones of humility and family unity which draws so many strong personalities together. This is the mark of a true leader. A man directly connected to his business and knows every heartbeat it makes. Sure he can listen more to his son and allow him some room to expand the business in his own way and sure he can treat Ashley with a little more dignity at times understanding that she has a heart of a king, but this man IS American Jewelry and Loan and without him, the business would simply not exist.
Gold and Silver Pawnshop
It all started here and clearly what happens in Vegas is no longer staying in Vegas… and we are all thankful.
I’ve been to this pawnshop and actually called a couple times looking for a title loan sign (no one could help me although it is clearly on their building at one point and I wanted to buy it!) and I can say that the place is crazy busy! It now is more a tourist attraction then a pawn shop with ropes to cattle chain the endless parade of people wanting to make that human connection to a show they love. I have watched every episode and will be hooked on this show for some time.
Here we have 4 players.. The “Old Man”, Rick, Corey and Austin “Chumlee”.
The star of course is Rick. He is like everyone’s older brother. A true kid at heart, he strives to bring in cash to the company. His facial expressions are priceless because at times you can see the little boy in him. He is funny and makes you laugh when he laughs (which is almost all the time). His nature is cool and fast.
Corey is like Seth… wanting to be like his dad, each show he increases his ability to buy things and make decisions that are smart. Clearly he is the future of the business If he can pull away from Austin, his friend.Corey is a guy you want to hang out with outside of business because he looks like he would be fun to do things with. This can be taken advantage of so fast and it does on the show.
Austin was fun when he started. The dumb kid that says funny stuff and everyone jokes with. But Care-bears where loveable at one point and not any more and Chumlee is heading this route. I think America wants to see him transform himself now and he is stuck with the same character that is now like an old tired joke.
The Old Man is everyone’s grandfather. Love this guy. My 80 year old mother likes him more because she connects with his references of the past. What I love about this guy is although it is clear he is a senior, he is no idiot. The guy is a hero and like Les, the reason for everything being what it is. I admire this guy and hope that I turn out like him. Classy. Good taste in everything and he shares my love for Silver.
In the end, PAWN IS RED HOT and title loans is right behind them! Watch… this is the next big thing. The stories that come up in title loans is as funny or funnier than the ones that come up in pawn shops but until title loans becomes an icon in America, you can count on pawn shops being there to wave the flag!