2020: What a year!

2020: What a year!

Wow, what a bizarre year.

2020 began seeming much the same as any other year. Then it rapidly changed into what none of us could ever have imagined – a whirlwind of lockdowns, isolations, redundancies, and closures. 

Our Keyishoes shop has been shut for a total of four months this year. It’s not always been easy, and the last six months were perhaps the toughest. After a period of battening down the hatches on our business, we then had to think about adapting and looking for the opportunities that may be presented. Rather than worrying about what we can’t do, we concentrated on what we can do and what we could do.

Being a small business, we adapted quickly to every change thrown at us in terms of working restrictions. As Auto-Locksmiths, we were permitted to continue working to provide necessary services. So, we temporarily set up a workshop at home to accommodate customers on an appointment-only basis, taking necessary precautions including social distancing, new protective gloves with each job and sanitising works and surfaces. We even began selling our own hand sanitiser gel and handmade face masks for the benefit of our customers!

These changes meant we could support key workers, whether they needed keys cut for their home or business, or van or car keys cut or programmed, or repairs to their existing vehicle keys. 

As for our customers who are ‘locked down’, we continue to offer our Car Key Repair and Refurbishment Service. This can also be done through our postal service with a quick turnaround. We can usually repair and return on the day of receipt, and no doubt while the car is off the road, now is the ideal time to get this done! We will return it by special delivery, free of charge.

For those of you with dogs, they still need to be walked! Does your dog need a new pet tag engraved? Our engraving workshop is at our home and we can take instructions and post it to you with free postage and packaging. (Update 2023 Engraving services now at our new Millbrook Road premises)

Our Drone Services may be able to assist you in aerial inspections where you would normally need multiple people on-site. We are fully licensed, trained and registered to operate our drone to offer a safe and quick visual inspection of hard-to-reach areas; capable of accessing otherwise inaccessible or potentially hazardous places, or to reduce the cost associated with alternative methods of surveying structures. 

Diversifying with New Services

During this year, we decided to introduce a fresh new scope of services to offer some practical and professional solutions for our customers’ homes and businesses. We are pleased to announce that our list of services now includes Locksmith and Joinery.

We have a lot of experience with auto locks, but have previously been unable to supply locksmith services to our customers on a domestic level for homes and businesses… Until now! Locksmith services can help you ensure a suitable level of secure and reliable access to homes and businesses, taking into account standard insurance requirements.

As for our Joinery services, we cover a vast variety of domestic construction solutions, including door and window installation, general carpentry, kitchen and bathroom fitting, custom-fitted wardrobes… and much more!

Helping us out there are two new team members with close to 50 years of experience between them, and they are poised and ready to help us provide some top-quality services for our customers! One of our Joiners, Nathan, is a Member of the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation. Our team can serve most of Cumbria and South West Scotland, from Kendal in the South to Dumfries in the North.

Renewable Energy Investment

We are happy to announce more changes coming out of lockdown… We have invested in renewable energy to supplement and hopefully reduce the use of our petrol generator. We have fitted a wind turbine and solar panel to our unit in the Kingstown Retail Park. 

These kinds of changes can mean wonders for the environment, such as reducing CO2 emissions. Did you know shoe repairs are good for the environment too? You could save an enormous amount of waste going to landfill – and save yourself lots of money while you’re at it. Check out our blog post to find out more: ‘Save Your Soles and Save Your Planet!

As for our van, all we need now is some wind and sun!

Unit Refurbishment

Along with these renewable energy additions, we also managed to fully refurbish and rebrand our shop, with new ceiling and panelling in, old graphics removed, acrylic COVID screening added, along with new worktops, LED lighting and vinyl graphics… and lots more exciting changes to come!

Speaking of which, Kingstown Retail Park has had a handful of businesses open up from recent renovations to the site, including a B&M, Smyths Toys and a Costa Coffee. This means our Keyishoes site has now moved to a slightly different location there – where you can now find us conveniently closer to the car park exit. 

If you’re worried you won’t be able to spot us, don’t fret – you can look out for our brand-new branded van with fresh eye-catching graphics! 

With all these changes, we couldn’t be more excited for our reopening.

Throwback Over Past 11 Years

Overall, it still feels like we are going from strength to strength. And we couldn’t have done it without you! Thanks to our loyal customers, we’re here 11 years on with your support and custom. 

It feels very nostalgic looking back on how it all started, with a Trailer “Shop” bought off eBay and converted into what is now Keyishoes. We have kept on developing our business over the years and we can hardly believe how far it’s come.

So, here we are at the beginning of a New Year and another national lockdown, which means we have again had to close our shop in Kingstown. Nevertheless, Keyishoes is still providing Key Cutting and Car/Van Key services from our home address BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. You can call Simon on 07808 793418 or go to our Facebook Page to book your own appointment. 

While we really do want to serve you with all our services, we don’t want to risk putting further pressures on the NHS or putting our own health or that of others at greater risk. So with that in mind, we have limited our services to those that are essential and are encouraging customers not to leave their homes or travel for a service that really could wait until after restrictions have been lifted. 

In the meantime, we hope that 2021 is the beginning of the end to the turmoil the pandemic has brought and we hope that all our customers and family are able to stay safe during this new year!

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