I really enjoy watching TLC’s Pawn Queens. What can you tell me about Minda Grabiec, one of the owners of the pawn shop?
—Sally Hughes, Elk City, Okla.
A lifelong antique collector, garage-sale fanatic and flea-market regular, Grabiec, 32, got her first taste of being a “pawn queen” when she was in school and held “gold parties” where women could have their jewelry’s value assessed in a social atmosphere. The idea for the Naperville (Ill.) Jewelry and Loan shop came when she and partner Nikki Ruehl were selling items at garage sales. The former dental hygienist says, “We were having a lot of sales and recycling our old stuff. So I thought, ‘Hey, what better time than now with the economy the way it is to open this kind of shop?’”