I wasn’t always in the locksmith world. Shocking, I know. I don’t think being a locksmith in New York is something you grow up wanting to become. When I was growing up I wanted to be a lawyer so that I can help others when they could not defend themselves; instead, I ended up a Locksmith. To you, being a locksmith and a lawyer might seem like two completely different roles in this world but to me they are actually very similar. In the same way that a lawyer might defend you in a life changing court case and make sure that the prosecutor does not harm you, a locksmith is there for you in your time of need to defend you from the predators in the world. What the locksmith that comes to your home, business, or car is doing is defending you and your property from the outside world and keeping you safe. When your reliable trusted locksmith shows up you feel relief and when he leaves and the job is completed you feel safe. See? They are not that different after all.
So, right now you are probably asking yourself how did I become a locksmith? The answer in short is, by accident. I was living alone in Brooklyn, and there was a break in in our neighborhood recently and it had me on edge. I asked around and found the most reliable locksmith company near me. They sent over to my apartment a really friendly technician who definitely changed my life. He did a walk through of my apartment to see if there were any areas that were leaving me and my apartment vulnerable and he recommended that I install a high security deadbolt on the front and back door of my apartment. He ran out to his car and brought out two new locks and did his thing installing my new locks on my doors. As he was working I remember thinking the whole time I wish I knew how to install a lock that so that I too can make someone else safer in their home. When he was done it felt as if my whole body had just relaxed and felt cozy in my apartment behind my newly locked doors. I was glad that I decided to take action and protect me and my apartment from a possible break in or home invasion.
It got me thinking and I started to do research and calling local locksmith companies looking for anyone that would be willing to train me even though at the time I had no experience whatsoever. All of the local locksmith companies I called thought I was nuts and were not willing to train anyone as a locksmith and even more so, a woman as a locksmith in Brooklyn. (Did, I forget to mention that part? I am a female locksmith working in a “man’s world.”) Long story short, I was venting to Adam, the salesman at the local locksmith store and he felt bad for me and started to train me on a few things here and there. Every time I would come by the locksmith shop Adam would teach me a new skill. It took me time but with Adam’s patience, I was able to learn all the basics and even started talking like a professional locksmith. Fortunately, this isn’t the case anymore. Someone interested to learn a new skill can take online training from the comfort of their home, without having to wait for someone to take out time for them. Anyway, with Adam’s assistance, I learned the lingo and knew all about cylinders, cam locks, deadbolts, slam locks, and what they all did. I was able to differentiate between a lever handle and a door knob, an aluminum door, and a wood door, when a lock can be picked and how to pick a lock and how to measure a backset.
It came time for me to gain some real world experience, so I went out and bought my own set of locksmith picking tools. Adam advised me to buy a toolbox with everything I would need to do any locksmith job in it (and make people feel safe). My friends were really supportive of my career choice and let me start out with some of their residential locks and once I got my confidence I even started to offer my neighbors my locksmith services as well. I was getting really good at figuring out what the points of access would be for an intruder and correcting the problem. In the beginning I was really slow but with time I was able to give fast service to anyone that asked. This is how I gained experience and started to love what I was doing. I was keeping people safe and helping people defend themselves. It was a great feeling.
For about two years I trained like this until I got my locksmith license. Adam’s boss (I won’t name names) hired me after I got my locksmith license and was able to prove to him what I was capable of. I surprised him with my skills and he was really impressed by a female locksmith learning so quickly. I worked my way up from residential locksmith jobs to being trusted with large commercial locksmith accounts.
Commercial locksmith was similar to residential locksmithing, but on a larger scale. The ability to schedule most of my appointments during business hours, unlike residential locksmith calls which are pretty much 24/7 locksmith service calls for emergency resident lockout situations. I worked as a locksmith technician for Adam’s boss for a few years, even after Adam had left the company. I met another technician through a mutual friend and he offered me a job working for his locksmith company and he sweetened the deal by offering to train me on Automotive locksmith services. I jumped at the idea and accepted his offer.
At the time there was a lot about the automotive locksmith service industry that I didn’t even know existed. For one thing, automotive locksmiths are more rare. There aren’t as many of these automotive specialists because there is so much to learn and not many that will teach. The automotive locksmith trade is mostly taught from one to the other. You have to know someone and that someone has to be willing to teach you his trade and all the secrets that come with it. There are very few automotive training classes available, if any. I was so lucky to have gotten this opportunity.
The only thing I did know about automotive locksmiths is that they were the ones to call to get your car door unlocked if you got locked out. A lot of people get distracted and find that they forget their car keys in their cars so this becomes a common occurrence. What I did not know is that an automotive locksmith can make a car key or remote for you on site. This is a big deal! I find that most people think that the only way to make or duplicate car keys is at the dealership.
The benefits of using an automotive locksmith to replace lost car keys are endless. I will name just a few starting with the obvious, the cost is considerably less when using an automotive locksmith vs. at the dealership. Another benefit is more about logistics, locksmiths are available 24/7 and use their mobile units to come out to wherever you are (usually at no extra cost) to make you a car key on the spot. With a dealership you would need to pay to have your vehicle with lost keys towed to the dealership so that you can have new expensive keys made for you by the dealer, with a locksmith you save on the cost of towing and get the advantage of competitive pricing. Another benefit of using an automotive locksmith to cut your car keys or program your remote is that a dealer can usually only work on one type of car brand, a locksmith is trained to work on most car types so if you ever need service again you can always use the same locksmith. All you need to do is store the locksmith phone number in your phone so you will always be prepared and even recommend to a friend.
So, my locksmith journey continued, I went on to learn (honestly even today I am still learning new things with all of the new security features that are being developed in vehicles these days) automotive locksmithing and how to cut a car key, program a transponder, match a program and car remote and car key fob, and cut a metal key for a car. It was not easy, that I can admit. There is so much to learn and memorize. The basics are connecting my computer to the vehicle and purchasing vehicle codes so that keys can be cut and programmed. The difficult things to learn were what kind of computer and programmer to use on that vehicle’s make and model, what kind of key/remote and FCC code match the vehicle, what kind of code to purchase, where to put the key when programming it, and a lot more details to remember for each year, make and model of a vehicle you might be working on. For example I have to know off the top of my head what kind of key to use for a 2016 Nissan Pathfinder and what kind of key to use for a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder. A trained automotive locksmith knows that the same key cannot be used for both of those vehicles, they each have a different FCC code with different keys and codes.
After a lot more training, practice and learning I felt that I had mastered enough of the locksmith profession to be able to open up my own locksmith shop. I worked with a realtor to find a location in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn, New York and found a perfect little shop on a busy residential street. 351 Evergreen Ave., Rear Storefront, Brooklyn, NY 11221 became the home of my locksmith store. I was beginning to feel the pressures of juggling my time as a business owner and actually doing the job that I love. I had to choose a logo, hire a company to build a website for my company, build out the store, purchase merchandise, design company uniforms, install a sign and so much more. I had a lot of support from my family and friends and am proud to say that today I am the proud owner of Instalock Locksmith.
Instalock Locksmith is a full service locksmith company serving the New York area. It is everything I dreamed of excelling in expert residential, automotive, and commercial locksmiths providing service to customers in need day or night. I am proud that all of our technicians understand the importance of treating our customers fairly just as you would treat a family member. Our technicians are instilled with the idea that what we would like to do is make everyone feel safe. I am proud to be a female owner of a reputable locksmith company and am excited for the world to see what my company and I have to offer New York and maybe one day the rest of the country.
Now that you all know how I became a locksmith, leaving my childhood dream of being a lawyer behind, I invite you to follow my journey in the locksmith industry and continue to read my blog posts.