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Meet Julie Yanez of All Lady Locksmiths in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Yanez.

Julie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am the owner and head locksmith for all Lady locksmiths. I’ve been licensed locksmith for 20 years license through the Bureau of Homeland Security in Sacramento California. I carry a 30-year FBI background clearance. I also carry a police permit through the Van Nuys police department. All Lady locksmith has been in business since May 5th 2007.

Our business specializes in restoration of vintage and antique locks and lock Hardware. We do everything from computer database locks fingerprint readers biometric scanners to Restoration of old vintage lock. The Pasadena Heritage Society and the Alhambra preservation group uses as a restoration resource because we prefer restoring the old lock Hardware as opposed to replacing it with new hardware.

In 1977, I went to school for locksmithing before I graduated I was hired on by a third-generation Locksmith Company in the San Fernando Valley. I apprenticed with them for a few years before moving to Arizona and working for the City of Phoenix at Sky Harbor Airport. I was one of two locksmith who handled all of the locks on and around the airport. This is where I got my FBI clearance and my experience with computer database lock. But working for the airport we created and installed multiple level Master systems for all occupants of the airport such as FedEx UPS customs all the airlines as well as City staff and vendors. After moving back to Southern California, I opened all Lady locksmith creating a service for women in an industry that is usually dominated by men. My father was the one who named the business all Lady locksmith. The title has drawn many people mostly women who feel more secure with a woman in their home. We specialize in communication with our customers. As a locksmith I find the communication with my customers is key to a good quality relationship. First, we assess what your lock issues are. And then I provide several options. Nobody likes to be told what to do. But most people find it comforting when you give them options as opposed to telling them.

Old lady locksmiths is open 7 days a week for the convenience of our customers who have 9 to 5 jobs on Monday through Friday, this is how we created such a large customer base was by working weekends and not charging more.

We specialize in restoration the old vintage Hardware in my opinion is stronger than most Hardware on the market today. And in the years, I’ve been involved in repairing and restoring this Hardware I found that the majority of these locks only need a little TLC. Nothing beats the quality of vintage locks with solid steel parts. The majority of today’s locks or piece together and don’t have the strength or the Integrity of the Vintage locks. Living in the Pasadena area and surrounded by homes from the early nineteen hundred there is a high demand for repair of the Vintage locks. Unfortunately, they’re not very many of us that will venture into working on these locks mostly because it’s an unknown area. There are no service manuals or directions on how to repair these lock, I look at it more or less like it’s my own personal jigsaw puzzle. It’s challenging but I truly do love what I do for a living. No two days are ever alike, no two locks are exactly the same. Some days I find things I’ve never seen before that’s kind of exciting. Keep in mind even though we specialize in restoration of vintage locks we also work on safes we do repairs and recombinations as well as openings through manipulation on safes. By that I mean we don’t drill the safe I usually hearing set and manually go through the numbers one by one to gain access.

We also remove existing Hardware take it to have it plated and then reinstall.

Residential electronic locks seem to be a big seller these days. 8 years ago, when I installed mine it was $350. today these locks go for between $150. to $200. depending upon the features you choose. There are variety of electronic locks on the market, some are smart locks meaning they work with an app on your phone. Some of them are electronic keypad locks that have a key override. Most all of them are Standalone systems battery-powered.

Some of our customers include the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, the Heritage Square Museum on Homer Street off the 110 in North East LA, the Bissell house in South Pasadena.

Has it been a smooth road?
Breaking Through The Stereotype that a locksmith has to be a man. I guess the hardest part about this is when it comes from a woman. 25 years ago, when I became interested in locksmithing it was a field dominated by men. In the beginning when I would go to conferences and conventions to take classes to advance my knowledge, I found I was the only woman enrolled in the classes. Most of the men would ask who I worked for, when I told them I own my own business they were shocked. I think that’s what made me work harder and want to accomplish more. A part of it was to prove that women could do anything and part of it was to prove to myself that I could do anything. Every now and then I still get grief from people over being a woman and a locksmith. But in today’s day and age I think it’s important for young girls to have role models and to know that they can do whatever they choose

We’d love to hear more about your business.
All Lady locksmiths is a full-service Locksmith Company. We install and repair locks both mechanical and electronic. We work on safes.

We specialize in vintage lock restoration. I believe the older locks have much more strength and integrity than the new hardware. I guess if I had to pick something that I’m most proud of in our business it would be that we take non-functional keys and old Hardware restore and install them into homes to become functional Hardware again.

I believe what sets us apart from other companies as we are on all woman owned and run company. I usually say that we specialize in restoration of vintage Hardware but the reality is we specialize in communication with our customers.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I fully believe the LA is one of the best places to start a business. If you have the determination and a market for whatever your business is you can make it work. I guess the best piece of advice that I could give anybody is love what you do. If you’re starting a business and it’s something that you love doing then you’ll never work a day in your life. I work 7 days a week and enjoy the heck out of what I do no two days are ever alike. And there’s always a challenge something that makes me twist my brain and try and figure out what it is that needs to be done to make this lock work.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Julie A. Yanez

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