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Kimmy Daniell, Court Security Locksmiths – Women in Locksmithing

Kimmy Daniel of Court Security in Locksmith Shop

Our latest interview as part of our women in locksmithing series is with Kimmy Daniell of Court Security, an MLA approved locksmith based in London.

Tell us a bit about you and your business.

My name is Kimmy, I am the manager of Court Security Ltd (my Dad’s company). Dad started out in our very same shop in St Annes Court when he was just 15, as an apprentice.

He ended up buying it some years later, changing it from a shoe repairers & key cutters, solely to a locksmiths so that he could specialise in the industry

“Dad personally celebrates 40 years as a member of the MLA in July this year, which is a great achievement for him and the company also.”

I left school after completing my GCSE’s, with the ambition of being a Hairstylist. I went to college and got my NVQ2 & 3 in Hairdressing. I went on to work in a salon in Epsom, and then onto Urban Retreat Salon in Harrods, so locksmithing was the total opposite end of the scale for me at 19 years old, but as Courts was a family business, it was always close to my heart.

I still do hairdressing now in my spare time for friends & family, I also do beauty and my favourite thing to do is make cakes! So I guess I am not what you’d class as your stereotypical ”locksmith” My favourite game to play is ‘Guess my job’ when talking to new people… They never guess, lol 🙂

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

I first came to help Dad out at work when one of his staff members had given notice that he was leaving, approximately 15 years ago. I was supposed to help the shop for a week or two while Dad found his replacement… & I never really left.. haha!

I genuinely never thought I would become a locksmith, but I then came to love the people that I worked with and what it was all about – It soon became a passion of mine and how I could be involved in making a difference in a small but large community, like Soho & the surrounding areas.

Kimmy Daniel and Dad in Court Security Locksmith Shop

Kimmy and her dad (Alan)

Kimmy Daniel of Court Security with Team

Christmas Jumper Day with Kimmy, Dad (Alan) and 2 other engineers

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

At the very beginning, I could honestly say that I knew very little about the industry, so that was daunting enough itself. I helped out in the shop, helped with some small admin jobs and did some running around for the engineers. At the time I thought what I was doing was irrelevant, but I learnt more & more each day and my capabilities grew.

However, the most vivid challenge to date is having people trust me to give them advice & guidance.

Being female, this was never going to be easy and I have encountered challenges with both other staff & customers accepting me. But I found that I overcame that by ignoring the negative feelings & pushing myself to learn more so that my knowledge could not be beaten, regardless of whether I was male or female!

I like to improve on my industry knowledge daily, and running Dads company makes that both a challenge at times but also extremely rewarding.

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Have you faced any specific challenges as a female in the locksmithing trade, and how have you overcome them?

There have not been too many challenges for me personally. One thing that used to stand out for me is when certain customers would approach me on the workbench and ask if there is ‘someone else’ here to cut their keys (for example) almost implying that they expect I could not be of help.

But honestly, Soho is like a little homely village and most of our customers know who I am now. Either I have just learned to ignore it, or it doesn’t happen as much as it did 15 years ago. I guess I wouldn’t know because I no longer think about it.

What do you think of locksmithing as a career choice for women?

Any woman can do locksmithing, just like men can. In my opinion, gender does not matter.

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

Go for it 🙂

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Connect with other women in the industry, join our Women in Locksmithing Facebook Group.

Women in Locksmithing Facebook Group

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

Our clientele ranges as large as the Crown Estate, JLL, Soho Housing Association, Capital Maintenance Ltd, Delfont Macintosh Theatres, The Horniman Museum and many more, right through to smaller independent companies all over London.

“So there are many memorable success stories, projects & impacts that I can comfortably say that we have made, just in my 15 years alone.”

We carry out all kinds of security tasks to keep buildings/residential properties safe & secure, which understandably have chargeable services in order to pay the bills and wages (like everyone).

However, we still understand that it’s important to give back in ways that are not necessarily spoken about, which aren’t always about making money, but more helping people in need. I will provide one example, where a local resident who suffered with dementia, would often lock himself out of his home, forget where he was and end up at the ‘Locksmiths‘ he always knew.

There would be mornings where I would arrive at work, in the middle of December, almost freezing temperatures, to find this gentleman standing at our door, in his vest, pajama trousers and slippers.

Myself or someone from the team would welcome him into the workshop and offer him a cup of tea to warm him up. We would then accompany him to his home around 7 minutes away, to let him back into his home. No damage and no charge.

I think we did this approximately 30 times across the space of half a year. The point is not that we did something for nothing, it’s that we cared enough to continue doing the same thing until it was no longer needed, because sometimes a kind gesture is all that someone may need.

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

I approach them as a locksmith, a person with knowledge & understanding, not as a woman. I used to be aware that I was the ‘female locksmith’, but not anymore.

What changes would you like to see in your trade?

No more 49’ers!!! More media & public awareness of the MLA, which could start to stop these rip-off companies who leave people with extortionate bills at the end of a job (£1000+ for a Yale 88 open & replace, for example..)

They really frustrate me with how they sting vulnerable people! I believe this happens simply due to the urgency of our trade and customers don’t always know what or who the MLA is.

Changing the public’s perception of Locksmithing. If they did, maybe they would call someone accredited.

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

Myself & my team, often make it known that our company is audited & accredited by the Association.

This gives new & current customers peace of mind, knowing the security company they are working with is reputable.

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To find out more about Court Security Locksmiths, visit Court Security Locksmiths Company Profile

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