When Mark Williams needed money to start up a surf-apparel line, he turned to an unlikely lender, offering a prized possession as collateral-his solid 18-carat gold Rolex watch.
As banks become more stringent and loan interest rates soar, Williams and others like him are instead taking their treasured items to institutions like South Maui Gold & Loan for the funding they need, according to store Manager Adam Azoulay.
"Whether you're an entrepreneur looking to embark on a new business, need a few hundred more dollars to make that special family vacation that much better, or just looking to sell a valuable item you no longer use, South Maui Gold & Loan can help," Adam said.
(Left to right) Adam Azoulay, Raul Martinez and Penaia Bennet aim to make your pawn experience enjoyable at South Maui Gold & Loan.
You'll be amazed at their inventory: guitars, 'uku-lele, violins, high-end home audio, fishing poles and reels, surfboards, paddle boards, tools of every description, signed gallery-quality artwork, laptops, digital cameras... the list goes on.
But the crown jewel of the business is just that... jewels. Several glass display cases are filled with them, from a magnificent, vintage, gold Ming's butterfly and dragon bracelet to diamond encrusted men's and women's Rolex watches to custom rings, necklaces and earrings-many with precious stones.
"Our goal is to bring value to the community," said Penaia Bennett, who, along with partner Dan Reardon of West Maui Gold & Loan in Lahaina, owns the business. Penaia worked for Dan in Lahaina for five years before they opened the store at the South Maui location three years ago. West Maui Gold Corp. has been in business for 23 years in Lahaina.
South Maui Gold & Loan also does online buying and selling, and will help customers put their high-end items on eBay. Along with floor sales, employee Raul Martinez is responsible for that part of the business.
"We understand the fear that comes along with selling a valued item online," Raul said. "We've worked hard to perfect the process of qualifying buyers and getting the most for your items. We have achieved top-rated seller status on eBay and have 100 percent positive feedback."
"We pride ourselves on professionalism," Adam added. "We understand that to our customers, nothing is more important to them than discretion and the security of their items. You'd be amazed at how easy the selling or loaning process is."
And the loan is same-day-no filling out of forms; no waiting for approval. What you bring in to secure the loan serves as collateral, be it a diamond ring, surfboard, power tool or any number of other items.
"We've worked really hard to establish ourselves in this community," Adam continued. "It is our mission to make the pawn experience as enjoyable as possible."
And enjoyable it was, even though most of my conversation with Adam and Penaia took place at a jewelry counter located in front of a rather ominous-looking blowgun-with real darts.
Go check out South Maui Gold & Loan in North Kihei and enjoy the experience!
South Maui Gold & Loan's hours are Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Give them a call at (808) 270-1545.