Hey everybody. My name is Glenn and I am am a co-founder of Peregrine Security Solutions, a Ashland, Oregon based locksmith and security oriented door hardware company. I had been planning on giving a less formal (and slightly more historical) introduction for a while now. Hopefully shedding some light on who I am, where I came from, what the heck am I doing and why is Peregrine Security Solutions different. And since we have recently gotten the blog portion of the website active I decided that there was no better time than now.
My career as a locksmith really began when I was teenager as I developed an interest in lock manipulation and eventually locksport. In short, locksport is a competitive sport. One in which numerous participants lock picking skills are put to the test and challenged to defeat a lock faster than their opponents. Locksport can also include key impressioning competitions, another form of lock manipulation that produces a functioning key from a blank key, without the original key present.
I can still remember my moms face when I asked her if I could give her money to order me my first lock pick set from southord.com. As you would imagine, she freaked out. I was only 14 and she couldn’t understand what I wanted with these things much less why I would ever want to know how to pick locks. But since I had a job and the money to pay for it myself, she helped me out with the order. I’m forever thankful that she eased up on it too. I mean, I could have gotten into the trade another way eventually, but you never know. I definitely identify that period of my life as the beginning of my path into the world of locksmiths.
Naturally this hobby stuck with me well into my early twenties. However, I had a heck of a time finding a clear avenue to work as a locksmith professionally. Every now and then I would call a locksmith that I would find online, and ask if they were hiring. It always seemed that I was speaking with the most disinterested person on the planet. Little did I realize I was looking in the wrong place. Later in my career I would learn more about the epidemic of scam artist locksmiths — most likely the “locksmiths” I had been reaching out to for employment. These companies flood the internet with ads for “cheap and reliable service”, charge insane amounts of money for cheap product, and even go as far as to attempt to drive customers to the ATM to get cash for payment. It’s totally jacked up. I’ll have write more on that later.
Anyhow, I even searched online for locksmith schools and was bombarded with websites promoting locksmith correspondence courses. Many of these websites were asking for $700 – $1,000! These costs would supposedly cover the course and training material. While I was completing a degree in graphic design and print I shelled out the money for one of these correspondence courses for locksmiths that was being advertised through my local junior college. I received a photo copied “text book” and about $20 in the low quality tools. I felt a little ripped off, to say the least. But I completed it within a month, took the test, and passed. I thought “who knows what will happen, maybe I would enjoy this more than graphic design.”
Fast forward a few years and I’m living in California, attempting to compete in the world of graphic design with seemingly every other person in the Bay Area. At this point I really needed consistent work because my partner and I were expecting a child. We were absolutely ecstatic while at the same time kicking into gear and attempting the be as prepared as possible to bring our first kid into the world. I eventually had to make a decision as to the direction and form my career was going to take. It helped that I found a locksmith shop that was a short drive away (against traffic!) and was actively hiring. Also I was learning more and more every day that the market for graphic design was truly a global one. No joke, I had North American customers expecting me to compete with $5 an hour. My decision became easier every day…. I applied for the job, accepted it, and officially began my career as a locksmith.
Since that first shop I had been employed by a few others. All of them had much to teach me about the trade, business, industry related problems, you name it. The good, the bad and the ugly. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people throughout the years. Some have been in the industry for their whole adult life, and with that comes a wealth of knowledge. Others seemingly were born into locksmithing as the trade spans multiple generations of their family to present day. I have worked for companies that truly foster a working environment that is very similar to being among family. I have found locksmiths who push me to be better, I have made new friends, and I’ve grown to have a very strong respect for the trade and those who take care of it.
Although my interests have evolved over the years as I have gotten older and grown professionally, I have managed to maintain that child like awe and amazement at the new challenges and the advancement of the craft that is locksmithing. Now the things that catch my attention most are master key systems and commercial door hardware, not just picking locks. But it is that continued wonder at the trade that drives me to learn more and to continue to study and explore both old and new elements of the industry.
I am excited to be stepping into the world with the company I’ve helped create, continuing my contribution to Southern Oregon’s security needs.