Published: 06:00, 04 April 2021
The owners of a locksmith shop which launched during lockdown have opened up on the challenges of starting a new business during a pandemic.
Wayne Thorp, 30, and Kaj Darby, 34, welcomed customers into their security venture, The Lock Hub in West Street, Sittingbourne, last Monday.
The pair met two years ago while working at Timpson key cutters and decided to try striking out on their own.
They began planning for the store, on the site of the former Emmaus charity shop, last May - just two months into the coronavirus pandemic.
Wayne said: “We’re really good friends and met at a previous employer’s where we meshed really well and started speaking about having a shop together.
“We were always asked why we would consider opening a retail space in the current climate but we stuck with it because nobody knew where this pandemic was going to go.
“It’s become more than just a locksmiths and more a security hub. We are always available to offer any advice to people.
“Opening in the pandemic has helped us capitalise on other similar types of businesses which have decided not to open, so it’s worked out in our favour.”
The shop sells everything from security locks, cameras and windows, but their biggest seller is their key cutting service so far, an essential service allowing them to open under lockdown rules.
Wayne, who was born in Margate but now lives in Sittingbourne, has been overwhelmed by the positive response from customers. He said: “There was massive stress in the background about whether it would work out or not, and it’s been a challenge, but we felt the risk was necessary.
“We were both nervous and excited at the same time to open, but I’m happy we’re open and started now.”