Locksmith knows key to success

Locksmith balances business, family, political life

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Joe Jackson is a one-man operation.

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Joe Jackson, the owner of Kirby Locksmith Inc., fixes a lock at Windsor Fine Jewelers on Washington Road. The Augusta Commission member bought the business 11 years ago and conducts day-to-day operations by himself.  CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
Joe Jackson, the owner of Kirby Locksmith Inc., fixes a lock at Windsor Fine Jewelers on Washington Road. The Augusta Commission member bought the business 11 years ago and conducts day-to-day operations by himself.

The president and CEO of Kirby Locksmith Inc. has been repairing locks across the Augusta area for 11 years.

“There’s probably not a lock in Rich­mond County that I haven’t touched, from the jewelry stores, to the malls, to the restaurants, to the (Augusta) National, to downtown and really all over the CSRA,” Jackson said. “I cover a lot of ground, just by myself.”

Luther Kirby started the business in 1979. Jackson, who had always wanted to own a business before he turned 30, worked for Kirby for years.

“On my 29th birthday, he gave my wife and I the opportunity to purchase the business,” Jackson said. “It’s rare in today’s time that you would give somebody that you don’t know an opportunity to succeed, without a heavy price tag.”

Kirby Locksmith doesn’t have an office location because Jackson spends all of his time in his van making repairs for clients. His wife, Mary, works from home as a secretary for the business.

In 2007, Jackson decided to run for the Augusta Commission. Between his family, social and church events and politics, he has a full schedule.

“I’m constantly asked, ‘How do you find time to do it, being a one-man operation?’” Jackson said. “It’s tough, but I think God gives you the grace to get through it. If you’ve never learned how to run a business, it’s difficult at first, but once you get up and running, it’s like clockwork.”

A former Eagle Scout, Jackson lives by the motto, “Do a good turn daily.” On many occasions, he has fixed locks for clients who don’t have enough money or any at all.

“Some days you just walk away as a gift to them or a kind gesture,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to own my own business, and I think that God has put me where I am to serve people.”

Jackson enjoys helping others and meeting new people. He doesn’t hire help because he’s not sure he can find “someone who thinks like him,” though he does have accountants to assist with the financial side of the business.

He’s grateful that Kirby had enough faith that he could run the business as he did, by respecting people and giving them a good service at a fair rate.

Despite his busy schedule, Jackson said he always makes time for his three children. On weekends, he takes them deer hunting or fishing. Once a month, his family goes camping.

“I want to spend as much time with them while they’re still young. You can always make more money, but what you can’t do is go back and rebuild that relationship with your kids from the beginning,” Jackson said.

After he won the commission race in 2007, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. As Jackson juggled the responsibilities of caring for his wife and children and running his business, he relied on his parents and his wife’s.

“It’s the family that really makes the business succeed. It’s tough. It’s fun. Would I encourage young people to do it? Yes. But you’ve got to have a business plan,” he said.


TITLE: President and CEO of Kirby Locksmith Inc.

BORN: March 1, 1971, in DeKalb County, Ga.

EDUCATION: Augusta Technical College, associate degree in industrial electrical maintenance

FAMILY: wife, Mary; children, Joseph III, Andrew and Beatrice

CIVIC/EXTRACURRICULAR: Board of Childhood Enrichment; Boy Scouts of America, board member; Augusta Commission member

HOBBIES: hunting, fishing, camping, boating, outdoor activities

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Asitisinaug 12/04/11 - 10:17 pm
Joe is a good guy who cares

Joe is a good guy who cares and always gives it his best. Even those that may not believe in his political choices respect him. He does a great job of juggling many responsibilities. For anyone to take on the task of becoming a commissoner in our county certainly means he loves a challenge. Keep up the good work Joe.

csvckb 12/05/11 - 06:22 pm
Joe Jackson ROCKS! Last

Joe Jackson ROCKS! Last Christmas we were robbed when some burglars got a copy of a key to our rental home. The police suggested we get the locks changed in case they decide to come back. Our children were traumatized and wanted to stay in a hotel until the locks were changed. We called Joe at midnight. He left his home & family, came over & changed 5 locks, charged us peanuts, gathered our family together & prayed over us and gave us a blessing! What an AMAZING GUY! We love Joe Jackson! Rick and Cindy Bannister

Riverman1 12/05/11 - 06:28 pm
Csvckb, I'm curious if he

Csvckb, I'm curious if he charged you a good price?

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