Pawn City celebrating twenty-fifth year
Those in the Greater Valley Area who have ever needed a quick loan or decided to get rid of some of their old items of value have most likely heard of Pawn City. The locally owned and operated Lanett store has just entered its twenty-fifth year.
Owner Scott Hilyer decided he wanted to have his own pawn shop after working in his brother Deke’s rent to own store shortly after graduating from Auburn University in 1991.
“I didn’t want to deliver furniture my whole life,” Hilyer said. “[My brother] had a friend who was bragging about how much money he was making in the pawn business so my brother and I got together and said ‘Let’s give it a try.’”
Originally from Opelika, Hilyer and his brother looked in nearby cities for a location they could start their business. In January of 1993 they settled on Lanett’s Valley Plaza Shopping Center. Hillyer’s father helped his two sons run the business for the first nine months.
Since opening, Hilyer and his staff have loaned, traded and sold consistently, keeping Pawn City’s redemption rate higher than the national average — as high as 75 percent — according to Hilyer. In 2003, the store was moved to its current location off of Highway 29.
Amanda Tittle has been the manager at Pawn City for 12 years and takes pride in what the store means to Lanett and surrounding areas.
“It’s somewhere that you can come and get a loan quickly and easily,” Tittle said. “We do a little bit of everything.”
Tittle has lived in Lanett for most of her life and says the best part of the shop is how it has become a fixture of the city.
“Being here, I get to see a lot of people I know, a lot of people in the community,” Tittle said. “I get to see a lot of people I went to school with, people I’ve known from other jobs. That’s what I like about it, just being part of the community.”
Hilyer echoed her sentiments.
“We enjoy helping people,” he said. “I enjoy making friends, and it’s just a lot of fun up there.”
To celebrate their 25-year anniversary, Pawn City will be giving out hot dogs to the first 300 people who come by Saturday, May 26.
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