1st Amazon Construction Services LLC is one of the only black women-owned construction companies in Baltimore
By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
After 18 years in the construction industry, Baltimore native Krystal Walker has one particular project that stands out as her favorite project, her porch project.
She tore down and rebuilt the porch from scratch. When the renovation was complete, the landlady was thrilled and informed Walker that her neighbors were pestering her for the best porch in the neighborhood.
“She was over the moon. She actually gave me a couple more opportunities to give her an award for other projects in her house,” Walker said.
Walker is the owner of Baltimore-based 1st Amazon Construction Services LLC, which she started in 2020. Her company works with clients from pre-construction through post-construction and offers services including roof repair, roof replacement, exterior siding, exterior painting, carpentry and pressure washing.
She first got involved in the construction industry in 2004. At that time, she was looking for a job and ended up getting a position with a roofing company in Baltimore that had been in business for decades.
Walker started as a receptionist and her skills grew from there. She went from taking phone calls for construction planning to laying out building materials and managing her own projects.
Walker eventually realized that she was already doing all the work necessary to run a roofing business, and that belief led her to become an entrepreneur.
In the United States, 1.58 million people make up the construction industry. However, over 95% of the workforce is male, and the average salary gap between men and women in the field exceeds $5,000.
As a black woman in the industry, Walker said the challenges never stop. Despite his years of experience and in-depth knowledge of the space, it is difficult to earn the respect and trust of clients.
“A lot of people don’t even think I’m a black woman until they actually see me…it’s like a surprise to some of them,” Walker said. “Men always expect us not to know what we’re talking about, and then to be black-owned,
] don’t expect to be educated in construction.
Fortunately, Walker is resilient and has remained confident in her craft.
For women wishing to disrupt the construction industry, Walker advised to stay consistent, exhaust all your resources, and never give up.
“The legacy I would like to leave is that women do it better,” Walker said. “All I post and say is always, ‘When women get involved, you get these kind of good results.'”
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