As the current owner of three commercial properties and two residential properties, Diana Engman has always had a niche for managing and maintaining small businesses. Her most recent endeavor was the purchase of Hack’s Key Shop last December. “I enjoy developing a business, making it grow and staying ahead of all of the other people in the industry. I also enjoy my employees and helping them,” said Engman. Hack’s Key Shop opened in 1921 and moved to its current downtown location in 1945. Engman still has some of the book keeping records and receipts dating back to the 1940s. Another local business owner once told Engman stories of how the phrase “hacked up” started. She described how it became popular for local high schoolers in the area when they wanted to date a “locked up” or taken girl. “It’s a landmark business. Everyone that talks to me talks about their memories of Hack’s,” she said. “Being in business for as long as I have, I realized the value of the brand. (Hack’s has) been around for almost 100 years. People know it, they trust the name.” Engman likes to stay very involved with all aspects of her business. Her average day consists of everything from working with professionals and people at Lansing Community College (LCC) and the small business development center, answering the phone and taking orders for clients, and keeping track of accounts payable and receivable. In the next five years, Engman hopes to not only grow her business, but also to develop it into a diverse company with multiple divisions. She also hopes to have several crews of employees to install digital equipment and keys, electronic access control and surveillance systems. Her best advice for potential small business owners is, “Just do it. Don’t ever give up. If it doesn’t work out then it’s just a learning experience.” She also said, “Keep a good attitude, that’s the key to life I think.” Before attending LCC, Engman was raised in Escanaba and now lives in the greater Lansing area. She continues to stay involved with the Lansing community by participating in the Rotary Club of Lansing, Civitan and End Violent Encounters (EVE). “Everyone always thinks that business owners are successful and wealthy but really we’re just trying to make the best business that we can and take care of our employees and people,” she said. Engman also enjoys the fun aspect of her business. She described how her employees feel like heroes after they help people unlock their doors after getting stuck. “It’s a win-win business,” she said. “The challenges are rewarding.” For more information on the services that Hack’s Key Shop provides, visit their website at www.hackskeyshop.com.
A senior at Michigan State University pursuing a career in communications and public relations, Danielle enjoys cooking, traveling and all Middle Eastern food.