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NW Pawn plans for grand opening
Owner of NW Pawn Shop Jeff Kritenbrink always has been drawn to pawn shops and fascinated by the style of business. But, if you would have asked him a few months ago if he was going to own a pawn shop, he would have simply replied “oh yeah, sure ….”
“The opportunity just came up,” Kritenbrink said. “Sometimes you just have to go with it if chance presents itself.”
Though not actively seeking to open a pawn shop, Kritenbrink bought the pawn shop and its inventory from the past owner after she had decided to get out of the business. Now, with his very own storefront, Kritenbrink intends to liquidate as much of the old inventory he can and before putting new items out on the floor.
“We plan to have new stuff every week,” Kritenbrink said.
Although the shop has been open since the end of May, Kritenbrink and Deborah Boettin, shop manager, are preparing for the grand opening during the first week of July. In addition to a 32-inch flat screen TV giveaway, Kritenbrink will bring out a Top Alcohol Funny Car (type of professional drag racing car) and show off a few of its tricks.
Kritenbrink and Boettin decided on a July grand opening because by then they’ll have a lot of new items out for sale.
“We have to wait 30 days before we sell anything we buy,” Boettin said. “That gives enough time for all items to be processed through LeadsOnline.”
LeadsOnline is an online investigation system used by law enforcement to recover stolen property. Both Kritenbrink and Boettin hope by utilizing Leads Online and being picky about what kind of merchandise they sell and pawn will help to alleviate some of the negative “stigma pawn shops often have,” Boettin said.
“A pawn shop can be an honest, legitimate business,” Boettin said. “We want people to be able to see that from how we operate and the things we carry.”
Sell, pawn or buy
NW Pawn Shop offers three services: buy, sell or pawn belongings. If someone wants to sell something, he or she receives a quote, settles on a price, the client is paid for the item and then shop officials wait 30 days to make sure it’s not stolen property, Kritenbrink explained. If someone wants to pawn an item in return for a loan, he or she has 90 days with interest to pick it back up before it becomes shop property and can thus be sold.
“Ron, owner of Angeles Pawn, has been great about teaching me and helping me learn how to run a pawn shop,” Kritenbrink said. “All the local pawn shops work together around here to keep reasonable rates.”
Despite being fascinated his entire life with pawn shops and a devoted watcher of the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars,” Kritenbrink is new to the industry and still is learning the ropes. Though as an entrepreneur of sorts and being self-employed for more than 30 years, Kritenbrink is confident in his abilities to make the pawn shop a success.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to keep the doors open,” Kritenbrink said. “With the economy the way it is, there is a need for this (pawn shop) in this town.”
The future, challenges and rewards
If all goes to plan, Kritenbrink anticipates outgrowing his current location and eventually buying his own property to build a space for NW Pawn Shop. However, having just opened Kritenbrink realizes the work ahead and is looking forward to winter when he’ll be able to devote more time to the shop himself as he also operates a sweeping and stripping company and is involved in the race car industry. Luckily for Kritenbrink, Boettin faithfully commutes from Bremerton to oversee the shop and help get the business off to a strong start.
Thus far, the most challenging aspects of the business are having the start-up funds and money to buy inventory and not turn people away, Kritenbrink said. One of the of most rewarding attributes of operating a pawn shop is the opportunity to help and meet people of all kinds.
“You get to meet a lot of different people and everyone has a story,” Kritenbrink said.
Satisfying his tireless curiosity in both interesting individuals and the history of their stuff is one of the main reasons Kritenbrink wanted to own his own pawn shop. The shop allows for the chance to learn about antiques, unusual coins and jewelry, arms and armor and most of all a lot of history.
“Everyday is a new day where you get to meet someone new and see something you’ve never seen before,” Kritenbrink said. “To quote ‘Pawn Stars,’ ‘You never know what’s going to walk through the doors.’”
NW Pawn Shop
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturdays; closed Sundays; grand opening first week of July
Where: NW Pawn Shop at 755 W. Washington St., Suite A.
Cost: No charge. Stop by and get a free ticket to enter to win a 32-inch flat screen TV anytime prior to Grand Opening.
More info: Call 406-4901