Hardcore Pawn: Ashley says, ‘We 100% do care’
Fans of truTVs Hardcore Pawn will recognize Ashley (Gold) Broad as the tough-talking, do-not-mess-with-me-manager of American Jewelry and Loan, the largest pawn shop in Detroit. But, many fans may not think about the fact that, after working in this pressure cooker every day, Ashley goes home to her own family every night.
“It’s great,” she says of finishing up her day and knowing she has a family who loves her waiting at home. “I can’t wait to go home. It’s basically, once I get in my car, I switch gears. I go from work mode and I switch a gear onto wife and mom mode.”
Her kids, she says, may well find themselves loving American Jewelry and Loan as she does one day.
“My kids do go to the pawn shop often, just like I did when I was a little kid. I used to go with my dad all the time when I was little. I used to clean, because I wasn’t tall enough to work at the showcases or help the customers at the pawn windows, and my kids do the same. They’re trying to follow my footsteps just like I try to follow in my dad’s footsteps.”
Ashley says she enjoys having her kids with her at work, and feels that it benefits them, as well.
“It’s a lot of fun. If I can give my kids a little insight of what I do, just like my parents did, it gives my kids a little insight into a world different from their own.”
Ashley runs the jewelry department at American Jewelry and Loan, and it definitely gets its share of troublemakers on Hardcore Pawn. However, no particular part of the pawn shop is more troublesome than another, Ashley confirms.
“You have to understand that all customers that come in to get a loan, they’re not that happy. So, if someone comes in wanting $20 at a given time, they come to the window wanting $20. And, if we’re unable to give them the $20 they initially wanted when they walked in that front door, they’re not going to be happy walking out. Of course, they’re not going to be happy. If we have to give them $10, they’re going to be a little upset, and sometimes a little more than a little bit upset.”
And, while some of the scenes seem to be over-the-top, Ashley said she would like to assure fans of Hardcore Pawn that what they see IS real.
“You can’t make this stuff up. You really can’t. People come in all the time and stuff happens when they’re there, and they’re like, ‘You know, Ashley, you’re right; I always thought this stuff was fake.’ … It’s really not scripted. Come in and take a look for yourself. It’s really not scripted. This is actually real life, what goes on, day to day, in our pawn shop.”
There are a few customers, she agrees, who may play to the camera, hoping for their minute of fame, but, she says, the staff doesn’t even notice the camera any longer; it’s just always there.
One important point that comes across when speaking with Ashley one-on-one is how important the customer really is at American Jewelry and Loan, and that they really do try to help where they can.
“Not everybody has a bank account,” she explains. “So, if people need a couple extra bucks, they give us what they have, and we are there. We are there. We are their source of money. We are very grateful that people trust us. They trust us with their belongings and they feel safe. We provide a service. We 100% do care about our customers. Some of them get out of hand, and we have to deal with them accordingly. Not everybody who walks in is going to leave happy, but a lot of customers who do walk in unhappy do leave happy, and that’s what matters. Just because you walk in needing $20, not everybody leaves with $20, but at least we can give them a little extra cash in their pocket.”
Everyone, of course, wonders about the relationship between Ashley and her younger brother, Seth, seen arguing virtually every week on Hardcore Pawn.
“Nobody has your back like family,” Ashley says. “But, at work, we have two different ways of running a pawn shop. We have two VERY different ways of running a pawn shop. But, our main goal is to make it very successful. Of course, my way is the right way and his is the wrong way,” she laughs. “So, you definitely do see a lot of bickering between him and I. Unfortunately, many times you see us yelling and screaming and tears are flowing. Outside of work, we do get along. But, inside of work the camera does catch a lot of fights that go on between my brother and I.”
Although a large part of the premise of the show is, “Who will take over the shop, Ashley or Seth?” fans do not have to worry about Les being gone from the picture anytime soon. Ashley says that her dad will never retire as long as he can get to the store.
“We tend to drive him crazy,” she laughs. “Sometimes he does blame it on us that he doesn’t have a lot of hair.”
As she continues, the respect for her father is obvious in her voice. “We have learned a hell of a lot from my dad, and there’s still a LONG way to go. He’s got some big shoes to fill and I don’t know if we can actually fill them.”
But, will Les ever actually retire?
“My dad, ‘retire’ is not in his vocabulary. He’ll be there ’til the end. He will never retire. Ever, ever ever. … we make a joke about it,” she says, laughing, “that we will sell counter space, ‘American Jewelry and Loan Retirement Home.’”
In the end, it is clear that American Jewelry and Loan really is all about family for Ashley, and she wants people to understand that, while the snippets they see on Hardcore Pawn do focus largely on the fighting, there is a lot of happiness at the shop, as well.
“Between the fighting that you do see, we do have a lot of laughter.”
Hardcore Pawn airs on truTV on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.
Image: Courtesy truTV
Originally published: http://www.huliq.com/10473/hardcore-pawn-ashley-says-we-100-do-care