Introduction To Eazy Locks
Carl Roberts emigrated from Jamaica to the United States in 1996 when he was 19 years-old. In his own words, Roberts came here to follow the “American dream.” Twenty-three years later, he can confidently say that he has fulfilled that dream. When he first arrived to New York City, he started off working at a Burger King, and eventually secured a job working at Empire Hardware here in Rockaway. Not long after, he got a new job working as a locksmith shop in Manhattan. It was at this time that he began saving his money for economic security. After saving for several years he learned that Empire Hardware was going out of business. Seeing a potential business opportunity, Roberts decided to use the savings he had accumulated to buy the Empire Hardware property and transform it into the thriving business it is today--Eazy Locks. Yet still, the transition from shop staff to shop owner was not easy and Roberts faced many challenges when embarking on this new path. Being an immigrant, he lacked credit which led him to rely on people in the community to get his business started. He was also a self-taught entrepreneur so there were many things to learn when trying to start his own shop. In the beginning, Roberts ran everything on his own: for instance, when he had service calls he had to close up his store to take them. It was not easy working alone for those first few years.
Through all of the challenges, Carl Roberts was not going to let his American Dream fail. Today he operates three shops in Rockaway: King Cabinet, A-Mac of New York Construction, and Eazy Locks. His businesses have become a staple in the Rockaway community and he stands as a figure of inspiration to anyone looking to become an entrepreneur. Being a successful, self-made, Black business owner is no small feat and it should bring the Rockaway community great pride that one of our own residents has built himself up to such standing. For those just starting out, Roberts has some advice: “First, have a plan. Second don’t give up. Third, do what you have a passion for and also what you’re good at. Lastly, when people think you’re going to fail and doubt you, use that to drive you.” Carl Roberts and his shops provide hope for a future of successful Black entrepreneurs in Rockaway and supporting Black businesses like this one should be a focus for the entire community.