Wounded Warrior Becomes Pawn Store Owner

Purple Heart Pawn & Gun

Purple Heart Pawn PhotoNational Pawnbroker (NP): Tell us about your background and how you got started in the pawn business.

Mike Meyer (MM): In 2007, I stumbled upon an ad for a management position at College Station Pawn.  I fell in love with the business and scrapped my plans of becoming a teacher/coach to be a pawnbroker. After graduation, I worked for EZ Pawn in Dallas, TX.  A year later, my father and I opened Purple Heart Pawn & Gun in Fort Worth.  I took the small, personal feel of College Station Pawn and the structure of EZ Pawn to form a successful pawnshop.

 

NP: How did you come up with your store name, Purple Heart Pawn?

MM: I joined the Marines after high school and served with the 1st Marine Division in Iraq as an Infantryman (0311).  While sweeping a field for our supply convoy, I was shot eight times by a single Fedayeen soldier in a small village southeast of Baghdad called Al Azziziah Iraq.  Later, I was awarded the Purple Heart medal and decided it would be an interesting story for our customers. We get a lot of veterans who come in just for the name.

NP: How do you keep on top of all the business decisions you have to make every day?

MM: With as much regulation, compliance, and logistics that go on in the pawn and firearm industries, you really have to pay attention to the details. My best advice is:

  • Delegation – While in the Marines, I learned to delegate tasks to others.
  • Checklists – I’m sure most of your readers have at least one or two in their office to help them remember the many things they need to do.

NP: What is your vision for your company?
MM:  We’re actually under contract to buy our second pawnshop in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, so we’re obviously pretty excited for the opportunity to grow and expand our company.

NP: How do you get customers into your store?

MM: We advertise through Yellow Pages, Yellow Book, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and we’re not ashamed to ask our customers to give us reviews.  Our online presence has been very successful.

NP: How do you give back to your community?

MM: We donate money and merchandise to several area schools and also donate to several law enforcement organizations.  We think it’s vital to have a good relationship with your local law enforcement, and who doesn’t like helping kids?

NP: Why are you a member of NPA?

MM: We joined the NPA when we opened because the (Member) Forum that the NPA provides is a great place to share and to learn from other pawnbrokers. Most importantly, we needed a combined voice that our one store couldn’t provide.  The ability to join forces with other pawnbrokers to help protect our business is extremely vital.