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Life & Work with James King

Today we’d like to introduce you to James King.  

Hi James, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My journey into business ownership came right after I discharged from the military and started contracting for the military as a maintenance man for flight support equipment. I served 12 years in the air and engineering departments so I was good with my hands. At the same time, I was separating from the military I bought a house which was built in 1966 and of course needed a lot of work. So, every time I needed some work done on my house I would assist, watch, and ask the repairmen questions as well as film. I was very interested in the work and picked it all up fairly fast so I started practicing on my own home. Work was starting to take a toll on me due to the racist practices that we are all familiar with as well as my father falling ill and having to take him in our care. These two things paired off with the pandemic lockdown cut my family’s income in half if not more so I needed to produce more income to keep the home and lifestyle that we created for ourselves. The decision to leave the hostile work environment and work for myself while creating my own schedule was just too good to ignore any longer. I made a few connections with a few employees who had done various projects on my home and CLK Renovations was born. Today CLK Renovations LLC has officially been in operation for over 3 years and is BBB accredited. We service our community with the best prices for high-quality work and the best customer service in town. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The road has definitely not been smooth but we know business and we know how to adapt and overcome without sacrificing quality. One of the main struggles with being a Black-owned handyman service is that there aren’t many of us out there so there is usually a trust factor to overcome. It’s hard work! Manual labor isn’t for everyone and it isn’t the most respected form of work so finding dedicated employees and customers who respect the work can be an issue sometimes but often times the customers just need to be educated. Of course, operating costs are always a struggle so I cashed out my retirement account and bought a work truck, special tools, uniforms, advertisement, and a bookkeeper. I’d say my biggest obstacle was my support system. I had to realize that those whose support I wanted the most didn’t feel the same way about supporting my business in the beginning and there was nothing I could do about it. Nowadays my previous and repeat customers give me more than enough support needed and I am so very grateful 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
CLK Renovations LLC is an unlicensed contractor/handyman service. We specialize in interior painting, drywall repair, plumbing, demolition, installations, Kitchen and bath upgrades and full remodels, and routine residential and commercial maintenance. What we are most proud of is our finishes. We leave the customer satisfied with high-end professional finishes. What sets us apart from others is our attention to detail. We have done and continue to do the necessary research to provide a professional product and we care about the small details. Also, we believe in investing back into the business so we always have the most up-to-date repair and safety equipment available. Customer service is the backbone of our business. We will never sacrifice customer service and we are BBB accredited as a result 

What was you like growing up?
I had older siblings but I grew up as a loner because of the age gap between us. I didn’t come from the best conditions so information and having a certain level of knowledge on topics was imperative. I hung around a lot of adults who talked to me as if I was an adult and I was always a good listener. I’ve always been able to collect information from all sides and form the best plan of action for myself and I have never cared about or tried to achieve someone else’s goals in life. Personality wise I am an entrepreneur. I don’t like to dream about getting paid. I like to take big risks, work my plan hard, and receive the results from that hard work and proper planning. My interests nowadays are starting more businesses and sharing my success and experience with others like myself. 

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