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Pawn queens: Tales and treasures from women pawn shop owners

When you imagine a pawn shop, what do you think of? Maybe a gruff dude behind the counter, giving you as little money - and as much attitude - as possible. After all, it's a male-dominated industry, and t.v. shows like Pawn Stars reinforce the stereotype.

But in this episode of Audacious, join Chion as she gets to know the kindness, compassion and sense of humor of Sandy Meier. She runs Pawn Queen on the Berlin Turnpike in Wethersfield.

Then, meet Lauren Kaminsky, a third-generation pawnbroker who is playing a huge role in changing the vibe of the pawn industry.


  • Sandy Meier: Owner/operator of Pawn Queen on the Berlin Turnpike in Wethersfield, CT. She is joined by her friend, Cathy Risigo-Wikline from Wolcott
  • Lauren Kaminsky: President of EZ Pawn Corp, and founder of ByGOLDGIRL. She also runs the pawn shops at Beauty & Essex in various locations where visitors can shop before heading to the restaurant or lounge. In 2023, she launched a vintage-inspired jewelry collection  

Jessica Severin de Martinez, Khaleel Rahman, Meg Fitzgerald, Meg Dalton, and Catie Talarski contributed to this show.

Audacious with Chion Wolf is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Tune In, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.

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Jessica Severin de Martinez is a producer for Audacious with Chion Wolf.
Khaleel Rahman is a producer for 'Audacious with Chion Wolf.'
Meg Fitzgerald is the senior project manager for Radio and Storytelling Originals. She works with Connecticut Public's senior director and talk show producers to ensure our audio stories are represented digitally. She helps strategize digital audience growth with other departments for our radio programs and podcasts. Meg also helps to manage and co-produce special projects like StoryCorps CT, NautiWeek, Where Art Thou?, and other programs produced by our storytelling unit.
Meg Dalton is the director of audio storytelling and talk shows for Connecticut Public where she oversees the station’s talk shows and podcasts, including the limited series 'In Absentia'.
Catie Talarski is Senior Director of Storytelling and Radio Programming at Connecticut Public.
Chion Wolf is the host of Audacious with Chion Wolf on Connecticut Public, featuring conversations with people who have uncommon or misunderstood experiences, conditions, or professions.