Like most people of the world, I knew nothing about pawn shops all my life. I was taught a pawn shop was just not where you wanted to be. The person who taught me that lesson was my mother. She always taught me you work your butt off, and you should be fine in life. My mother was also the same person who untaught me that lesson in life when we discovered the show Hardcore Pawn. Till this day we still make jokes saying, “Hey how about we unplug this 15 year old TV and see if Les will give us ten bucks for it.”
Hardcore Pawn is about the day-to-day operations of American Jewelry and Loan, a family-owned and operated pawn shop in Detroit, Michigan’s 8 Mile Road. American Jewelry and Loan is owned by Les Gold, the grandson of a pawnbroker who once owned Sam’s Loans, now closed down on Michigan Avenue in Detroit. Les first opened American Jewelry at the Green Eight Shopping Center on 8 Mile Road in Oak Park in 1978, and in 1993, he moved the store to its present location.
As featured in a few episodes of its fifth season, in 2011, American Jewelry expanded to its second location after acquiring Premier Jewelry and Loan in Pontiac. This location was also shown in season six when Seth tried to sell the place without telling Les. (Sorry for bringing it up Seth, but hey it had to be done)
Speaking of Seth, that brings us to the topic of business partners. Les has two business partners in American Jewelry. If working with other people is not hard enough, here’s the twist. His business partners are his two children! Seth Gold and Ashley Broad.
Seth Gold is an alumnus of the University of Michigan and has been a co-owner of American Jewelry since graduating from school. Seth handles the shop’s marketing and claims that if it were not for him, the shop’s only marketing would be “an ad in the Yellow Pages.” (This would be a lot funnier if you have seen the show… seriously just click over to Tru TV tonight and catch an episode)
Then there is Ashley Broad, the co-owner who runs the place with a strong iron fist. Ashley has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Michigan State University and she later earned her graduate diamond certification from the Gemological Institute of America. What I find most impressive is she wrote her first pawn ticket at the age of 7 in her dad’s store! Now that is family bonding.
A major part of the show is the sibling rivalry between Seth and Ashley. They make it no secret that they both are trying to be in charge of each other. Ashley was the original manager but left for three years to start a family. That is when Seth came in after he graduated from college. He took over, but hey guess what Seth… She’s baaaackkk, and she’s ready to take charge again. The only problem with Ashley’s plan? Seth will not let it happen on his watch. The way these two go at it made me and my siblings look like angels!
The series premiered on August 16, 2010, packing in two million viewers, setting a record as truTV’s most-watched series premiere ever.
That brings us to present day, this week we got a chance to speak with Les and Ashley in The Hot Zone! Of course, we had to ask what their craziest experience was. Ashley recounted a tale of one man in particular from season three. There was a man with a bear tattoo on his stomach… No, that isn’t the weird part just yet. The bear in the tattoo had a rabbit and used it as toilet paper. Yeah, now it just got super weird! Well, that man was very loud and made a show whenever trying to make a deal. That was not the thing that made him get on Les’ bad side though; it was the fact that he was encroaching on Les’ business! That’s how you thank Les for helping you out with a deal?! The nerve of some people!
Hardcore Pawn is back with the second half of its eighth season! The show has moved from Tuesday nights to Wednesday nights at 10pm. When we asked Les and Ashley what fans can expect from the new season… well here’s a clip of how that went down:
Did you like that? Good I am glad; let me tell you it was not an easy thing trying to keep that camera steady while laughing. Hey, I mean come on! I love this show to death and to see the stars in front of me?! I was star struck to say the least.
If you heard Les in that clip, we can expect excitement in the new season, Les even reveals there’s a new family member coming and Ashley is not too pleased about that. Don’t worry Ashley; to me you are still Queen Bee. I mean if that even counts I am just one loyal fan.
Well, Les and Ashley could not give away too much of the new season, so we just have to stay tuned and see what drama unfolds, because trust me on Hardcore Pawn there is always drama. Here’s the full interview for your enjoyment! Only on Thehotzoneusa.com