Every day is a surprise for the Smiths. They could come across anything from a 4-karat diamond or a four-wheeler.
As owner of Five Star Pawn Inc., Sean Smith, with the assistance of his father, Everett, buys and sells everything from guns and tools to electronics and jewelry.
Part of the attraction in opening their second pawnshop, Sean Smith said, is "the mystery of what might walk in the door next, as far as merchandise. You never know if it's going to be a 4-karat diamond or a $10 skillsaw."
Father and son opened their first store in Florida 20 years ago and ran it for about a decade. After they closed the shop, Sean Smith worked as a home inspector and remodeler. He said he missed dealing with people, the stability of daily work and air conditioning.
His father also worked in the home remodeling and construction industry. The elder Smith is working at the pawnshop to offer his expertise, though he said he's ready to retire.
Everett Smith has owned the building, which he had built to house a pawnshop, for 10 years and decided it was time to actually open the shop. Keeping the place clean, organized and friendly are among his priorities.
"We look at everyone the same, whether they come in and buy something or pawn something," Everett Smith said. "You've also got to have a pawnshop that services different classes of people.
"You've got to have service for people today that can't afford to put gas in their car. And you've got to have service for someone coming in to buy a nice piece of jewelry or good equipment or an ATV - and can afford it."
Sean Smith said business has been steady at Five Star Pawn since it opened about two months ago.
What makes his pawnshop different than others in Forsyth County, he said, is its clean, upscale nature. There's no clutter, the showcases are lit with track lighting and the merchandise is new, clean and in good condition.
"We won't buy junky stuff, or outdated items as far as technology," Sean Smith said. "We price our stuff below most of the competition and we're negotiable on our prices. Nothing here is set in stone."
Over his time in the pawn industry, the younger Smith has seen an extensive collection of merchandise, from gold and fine jewelry to a pressure washer.
Perhaps the most memorable customer was one who tried to pawn his driver's license. The conversation did not go well for the seller, he recalled.
"He wanted about $25 and you can get one for $15, so it wasn't a great bargain chip he had," Sean Smith said.
The shop's name is based, in part, on the negative stereotypes often associated with pawn shops.
"When a lot of people think of a pawn shop, they think of a dirty, dingy place where the guy sitting behind the counter is smoking a cigarette or cigar," said Sean Smith, adding their environment couldn't be more different. "It's a very friendly, customer-driven service-related pawn shop."
He said Forsyth County is a great location for his business, citing residents who are "very friendly and understanding."