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Steph Daniell, Court Security Locksmiths – Women in Locksmithing

Steph Daniell of Court Security Locksmiths

First day back at Court Security after 16 years (2021) with flowers from her Dad

Our latest interview in the Women in Locksmithing series features Steph Daniell, who works alongside her sister at their family business, Court Security. Based in London, Court Security is an MLA Approved Company.

Tell us a bit about you and your business.

At Court Security, we pride ourselves on being a family-run business owned by my dad, Alan. My sister Kimmy and I, work together to ensure everything runs smoothly, with Kimmy managing the day-to-day operations.

Steph speaks warmly of her sister Kimmy: ‘Kimmy is without a doubt the heartbeat of Court Security. Alan (Dad) is the owner, but without Kimmy, Court Security wouldn’t be where it is today. Her knowledge of locksmithing absolutely blows my mind on a daily basis. ‘

How did you become interested in locksmithing, and what led you to pursue it as a career?

I first came to the business as a school leaver, Dad offered me an opportunity to work to build my skills whilst I decided what I wanted to do career-wise.

I fell in love with the people and the buzz of working in and around Central London, but I did then get an opportunity to work in property which I did for 16 years before returning to the family business a few years back.

Court Security Locksmith Shop

Court Security Locksmith Team

What was your biggest challenge starting out? And how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was initially being accepted to cut customers’ keys – some customers would even request for a male colleague to cut them, I can only assume they thought it could be done better.

Initially I would ask my male colleagues to do what the customer requested, but over time my confidence grew, and I was able to tell the customer, I was just as skilled as my male colleagues and politely asked if I could continue.

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What advice do you have for other women who are considering a career in locksmithing?

I genuinely don’t think women should question it – gender equality is so big now – we are seeing so many more women take on, what would have been previously predominantly ‘male’ roles, and I think it’s fantastic. Go for it and embrace it.

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Can you share a memorable success story where your locksmithing skills made a significant impact?

I can’t think of one specific, but I often get praise from customers for helping them track down where they can get there registered keys cut, when they have been told by others just a simple ‘no we can’t cut them because they are restricted’.

I have spent hours in phone and email communication with suppliers, for the pure reason that act of helpfulness would hopefully make the customer remember us when it comes to their next security requirement.

How do you approach customer interactions, and do you find that being a female locksmith influences these interactions in any way?

I would say I approach customer interactions in the same way I would approach anything – with confidence in my own ability and knowledge.

I’m also not scared to say ‘I’m actually not sure about that, let me find out the correct answer and come back to you’.

What changes would you like to see in your trade?

Exactly the same as what Kimmy has said – no more 49’s locksmiths overcharging and more public awareness of the MLA.

I actually get so cross when customers tell me their story on how they were promised one price and ended up paying sometimes 10 times more than what they were originally quoted.

How has being a member of the Master Locksmith Association helped your business?

Being able to say we are an accredited company I feel has sometimes helped us win business – much the same as my time in the property industry – knowing you have the backing and support helps a long way.

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