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Meet Mike Bron and Boris Bron of Art Carl Jewelers and AC Loan in Malden

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Bron and Boris Bron.

Mike, Boris, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The story of Art Carl’s is an interesting one. Art Carl’s has been in Malden for at least 100 years. My inquiries to city hall have unfortunately not come back successful as their records don’t go back far enough. But I have spoken to lots of customers well into their 70’s that remember going to Art Carl when they were young. I reckon the shop has been around since the early 1900’s. Arthur and Carl were father son duo who ran the shop until 2000. In 2000 my father took over the business because Art was moving to Florida and retiring. My father was walking with a friend of his who lived in Malden at the time when they walked by Art Carl and saw that it looked like it was going out of business. Little did he know that he was just a conversation away from starting his ownership of Art Carl. Paperer were signed licenses were issued and dad became the new owner of Art Carl.

Since then he built the shop from a small jewelry pawn shop to what it is today. A little over 2 years ago we moved from our original location due to new renovation to just a rocks throw away on the same street in Malden Square. We now boast a 2000 sq. ft. shop where we offer jewelry, antiques, collectibles, musical instruments and equipment, vintage items, new apparel, sports memorabilia, and so so much more. My dad was on the way out of a small cubicle shop in downtown Boston and scared that Art Carl may have been a little more than he can handle. But, like everything else he has ever done, he worked hard day in and day out and eventually made the shop into the success it is today. I (Boris) joined full time about 7 years ago due to medical issues dad was having and since then we have been able to go a bit more mainstream with the internet gaining some attention. Just last year we won #1 wicked local readers’ choice for jewelry store and #1 wicked local readers’ choice for gift shop in Malden and I couldn’t be prouder of where we are headed.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has been less than smooth and that is putting it lightly. Medically my father has been battling illness since he was 32 and beating it time and time again. He is now 56 and always dealing with it but always optimistic and hopeful. Financial woes have come and gone, debt has crept up and blindsided us but we power on. The job of a pawnbroker is never a dull one. From seeing customers when they are down and out to having customers serves us with their certain “thoughts and opinions” we are always on our toes. But we wouldn’t do anything else, this is our job, our livelihood, and our lives.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Art Carl Jewelers & AC Loan – what should we know?
Our shop is a multi-faceted business. We are pawnbrokers on the outside but we aren’t your everyday pawn shop that you might have a preconceived notion or stigma about. When you walk in you will see a variety of products all for sale. We have been told numerous times our shop resembles that of a museum because of the unique rare items we have. Lots of antiques and vintage nostalgic items. We specialize in loaning money for collateral pawned loans. People come in with jewelry, high end music instruments, high end professional photography equipment, high end laptops, etc and received monetary value for a certain amount of time. This way they can buy groceries, gas, pay bills, or whatever the need and not lose their items. NO credit checks no wasted time just a federal ID and collateral. We also buy just about anything of value. When you are looking to get rid of something but don’t want to throw it away, don’t want to eBay or craigslist or let go, we are here to buy your items for a fair value so that you can make some money as well as us. We are also a full retail shop with thousands of items for sale in the likes of the merchandise I mentioned above. We are a family shop and I think we treat our customers with respect and like family which is different than most pawn shops where there is a neutral feel. We talk to you about your day about your kids about your wife husband or whatever. We don’t set out to take your stuff and hope you don’t come back, on the contrary we want you to come back and get your stuff and we try our darndest to get you back in the shop to do so. Our business motto is “Family pawn you can count on” and we live that to the T.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My mentor is my father. We came to America in 1991 from Moldova with no money and nothing to live with. 5 people in total (myself at 6 years old my parents and one set of grandparents). My dad worked 3 jobs tirelessly for years with no car just walking to where he could no sleep no rest just work. He was diagnosed the year after we arrived to America with cancer and has been beating it time and again for the last 25 years. He did everything he could do make my life and later my sisters life a better one. 7 years ago when he was running the shop on his own and I was running a store with my wife he was again diagnosed and needed to go into surgery. We moved back here and since then I have been working full time with my dad. It’s not always rainbows and sunshine working with my father but it is a blessing to be able to see him daily. His work ethic is second to none and that is where I get my motivation from and how I try to work as well. He did it on his own and gave me the opportunity to make it better so I try to every day.

Contact Info:

August 27, 2015. Malden, MA.
Immigrant Entrepreneurs Revitalizing Malden: A Story Tour Join MAPC, Mayor Gary Christenson and The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) for a dynamic walking tour of Malden’s downtown immigrant business community.
Hear first-hand stories of migration and business generation. Learn how the city is connecting and partnering with its immigrant small-business owners to revitalize the square for the entire community to visit and enjoy.
Metropolitan Area Plannong Council. MAPC.
© 2015 Marilyn Humphries

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