FRANK MASSA is the president of Worldwide Jewelry and Pawn and Facet Music, Jewelry and Pawn. In business since 2002, his company has 10 stores located in Indiana, Ohio, and Florida.
National Pawnbroker (NP): How did you get started in the pawn industry? Frank Massa (FM): My entry into the pawn business was quite accidental. While I was traveling as a fine jewelry salesman, an acquaintance introduced me to a pawnbroker who had a pawn shop that was just beginning to grow and needed capital for expansion and improvement. My experience and knowledge of the fine jewelry business and my misconceptions of the pawn business made me hesitant to loan money to this type of establishment. I ended up loaning the money and wound up owning the store. Luckily, a young man by the name of Roy Miltenberger was in place at the time and taught me about the business. Roy and I are still together, and he is still teaching me the business!
NP: What makes your stores different from other pawn stores in the area?
FM: We sincerely try to put ourselves in our customers’ shoes. It is important that we understand our place in the community and our importance to our customers. They may come in with what can seem like an item of little value. If we turn them away, we destroy their hope of getting what they may vitally need. It is important that we never forget that, and have made this an integral part of our company’s mission statement.
NP: What are the biggest challenges facing pawnbrokers today?
FM: The biggest challenges are the misconceptions that surround the pawn business by those who have never used its services. These misconceptions
have caused our industry to suffer the wrath of politicians, law enforcement officials, professional business people, and the average citizen.
NP: How has the new Military Lending Act (MLA) rate cap affected your company?
FM: Because of the MLA, we have developed a comprehensive procedure to address and implement it. It is important we support our men and women in the armed forces; however, this regulation has certainly slowed down the loaning process. Our stores have always offered special rates to military and law enforcement as a sign of our appreciation for their service. In addition, we offer special retail pricing for this same group of individuals.
NP: What is the best advice you have ever received?
FM: My mom and dad raised my sister and me by being living examples of what it means to have faith in God, work hard, live within your means, and
give of your time, talent, and treasure. I find those four attributes to be invaluable, not only in the running of our companies, but also at home where
my wife, Lori, and I have raised our eight children.
NP: What is your favorite thing about being a pawnbroker?
FM: My favorite part is helping people. I am an absentee owner and I know that our managers cringe whenever I come into a busy store and start waiting on the customers. It is inevitable that I end up over loaning on items. I love the tremendous feeling I get when I help that pawn customer, and that’s what keeps me excited about this business.
NP: How does your company give back to the community?
FM: When we first started Worldwide Jewelry and Pawn, our slogan was “Spend money wisely and live within your means.” The message has always been important to me, and one way we help to convey the message is by teaching the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course for free to those in the community who have interest. We even provide childcare and an evening meal to attendees, so all who need access to the course can attend. We also contribute to many outreach programs within our communities as they pertain to mother and child health, child safety, food for the less fortunate, law enforcement, and a variety of religious organizations.
NP: Why are you a member of NPA ?
FM: We are members of NPA because it has allowed our industry to come together and share our successes and pains. I have been able to meet fellow pawnbrokers from all over the country, have learned from them, and have tried
to teach what little I know. The voices of our nation’s pawnbrokers are louder and more in sync because of the NPA, and I am hopeful that more organizations and individuals will learn the value of what the pawn industry offers because of our unity.