It sounds like you feel the need to let them know that a woman will be showing up, true?
Not necessarily, I tell them my name and I will be the one showing up.
Did you feel that way before you started locksmithing; that you had to prove yourself?
Yes, because I’ve typically worked in male dominated fields. I’ve done landscaping and also worked for a delivery company as a driver. Back then it wasn’t as common to see a female driver as it is now. I’ve always liked doing physical work.
Are there times when being a woman does limit what you’re able to do?
Yes, like when I have to deliver or move a safe. Sometimes I won’t be strong enough to do something but it has nothing to do with skill. It’s just a matter of strength. (I am small, you know.)
What changes in locksmithing have had the biggest impact on you and your business?
Transponders, without question.
If you could work all the time on anything you wanted to, what would it be?
I’d be doing car work if that was the case.
Since you’ve been on your own, have you ever had as much business as you’d like?
No, not yet. I still drive a school bus to supplement my income. I’m a one-woman mobile service and I’ve only been in business for myself a little more than two years.
How do your customers learn about you? Where does most of your business come from?
The Yellow pages, word of mouth. There are a couple of car dealerships I do work for. This town has a Community Day and I spent the day cutting keys for people so they’d get to know me and I gave out brochures. I wanted to get my name out in the community; I’ve had articles written about me too and my reputation is slowly growing.
Did these articles feature you because you’re a woman?
No, they were written because I contacted them. One of them was about ways to work from home and the other was about staying safe in your home.
Does being female ever work to your advantage in business?
Yes, there are times they call me because I’m a woman.
Are you going to do anything different from here on with regards to your business?
I’m going to get more involved with my community, get my website up and running and continue to build by clientele.
What would you like your fellow locksmiths to know about what it’s like to be the only woman around most of the time? Are there insulting things said around you?
They really can’t know what that is like. I only ask to be treated as the professional I am. Not so much insulting, the jokes go on around me and if I feel it’s out of line (for any reason, not just because I’m a woman), I’ll say something. Most of the guys I meet do treat me with respect and are there to answer questions I have and help me out if I need it.
Jared Urman, Access Locksmithing
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