By Sophie Pappas
By the looks of the unassuming jewelry shop at 190 South Main Street, nobody would know that inside Midwest Jewelers and Estate Buyers there sits a psychologist, a philanthropist, a minister and a jeweler.
But those are all things that owner Brian McCall is.
“My faith keeps me from being predatory,” McCall said. “My faith makes this business a ministry.”
And what a ministry it is.
For more than 20 years, McCall has been buying and selling jewelry, and anything of much value, from people suffering from grief, divorce, or poverty.
“I’ve learned to have great compassion on people,” he said.
Started in the garage of his Indianapolis home, McCall began buying gold from people and giving them wholesale deals unlike any other “Cash For Gold” shop in the Indianapolis area.
McCall said that business grew so fast he expanded his storefront and has been in Zionsville ever since, even buying items such as a golden Emmy award from Los Angeles.
“It’s just a blast, I love it,” he said.
But beyond the day-to-day buying and selling, McCall works for a higher purpose and uses his shop to minister to those in need. He said he sees most people at the worst time in their life, and he knows that he needs to be sensitive.
“We go through a lot of Kleenex around here,” McCall said. “I buy a lot of engagement rings from women who were married to idiots. It just breaks my heart.”
Karen Edney, an employee of Midwest Jewelers and Estate Buyers, said that McCall’s life is very unlike other jewelers in the area.
“His story is so wonderful,” Edney said. “He is an all around good guy.”
McCall has branched out beyond the gold and fine item business, and is now a committeeman for Fountains of Hope, a nonprofit that installs water purification systems in places of need.
This month McCall is embarking on his third trip to Kenya, where he hopes to install five purification systems over the course of 12 days.
“It’s a calling and it’s a blessing to do this work in the shop, and give back in places like Kenya,” McCall said. “By the grace of God, I’ve been able to realize that there’s a lot more going on in this world than just selling or buying a gold ring. I think this helps me keep people focused on what’s important in life.”
McCall said that when he buys jewelry he always reminds his clients that all of the things around them don’t bring happiness.
“Everything I do here is about stuff, stuff that you don’t need and I don’t need for happiness,” he said. “I’m able to say this with a lot of integrity to my clients, that everything here is just stuff.”
He said that working in the shop is more than just a job; it is a calling.
“The stories of crappy guys leaving their wives never ceases to amaze me,” McCall said. “And I really had to ask God, ‘How is this job my calling?’ He told me that this is where He wants me. This is where he will bless me. This is my ministry and this is how I can bless others.”