Locksmith find key to steady success
Locksmith Theresa Pedro is a self-confessed people person.
“I love communicating with clients,” the owner of Bermuda Security Services Ltd said. “That is my biggest thing.”
Earlier this month, she was named locksmith of the year, and an IPN #1 Contractor in the Island Property News Contractor Awards, organised in conjunction with the Construction Association of Bermuda.
A panel of peers from various sectors of the construction industry chose hers from a pool of three local locksmith companies.
“They said it was for being on time and always doing good work for them and different things like that,” she said. “I'm not normally a person who likes attention, but it is nice to have your work recognised.”
Right out of high school, she started out as a jeweller, but was made redundant after 13 years in the industry. At the time, her father, Keith Pratt, a former police mechanic, was working for Barnes Locksmith.
“A position came up and he said do you think you would be interested in doing locksmithing,” she said. “I said what do you think?”
She and her father shared a love of hands-on work, so she joined Barnes and learnt the trade there.
“I took to it very well,” she said. “In this job you are always learning something every day. I am still learning.”
But after seven years her father went out on his own and bought Bermuda Security Services from Hamilton “Sandy” Saunders, another former police officer.
“The day after he left, I was fired,” Ms Pedro said. “They said there was a conflict of interest.”
When her father fell ill, two years later, she left a post at Island Glass to help him with the business. It was supposed to be until he got better, but he died two weeks after she made the move.
She decided to take on the business herself.
“I sent letters out to all his customers saying I was taking the business over,” she said. “If they wished to stay with me, they were more than welcome, if not thank you very much for being loyal customers.”
It took time for people to accept her in the new role, but her first customer was Coral Beach Club. In the 20 years since then, she has built up a dedicated customer base.
“I am very grateful for all my customers, they have been fantastic,” she said. “It has just grown from there.”
Ms Pedro works out of a small workshop at the back of her home.
She admits she still doesn't know everything. She's not particularly good at cracking safes, for example.
“I can crack some safes, but I can't crack them all,” she said. “There is a lot to opening safes. Other than that I will tackle anything and do the best job I can.”
When she runs into something she hasn't encountered before, she has a locksmith friend in Texas, who helps her out.
“He has been fantastic,” she said. “Any time I have any issues I contact him, and he will send me diagrammes or whatever, or just says it's not in our field.”
A lot of what she does is replacing locks for people who have lost keys. With businesses, a lot of her work revolves around replacing filing cabinet locks.
“People lose the keys or people leave and don't pass their keys in,” she said. “I have been on the cruise ships, changing safe combinations. I have done a bit of everything really.”
Ms Pedro loves dealing with the elderly.
“When they call, I never charge them the full amount,” she said. “I don't have the heart to do that. A lot of times when I go to places and they dispose of the locks and they are in good shape, I will keep those locks to give to the elderly or people who are in need who can't really afford to do it.
“I try to keep my prices down as best as possible because I know people are suffering out there, and it is hard times.”
• For more information call 337-3235, e-mail email@example.com or check her out on Facebook under Bermuda Security Services