Initially, it was just a day job. Then it became all day, every day. Mark Gabel did locksmith work to “support my addiction to martial arts,” he now says with a laugh. But the locksmithing expanded into a custom safe and saferoom business called Safe and Sound. Now, in addition to a warehouse, he’s opened a new showroom along Tamiami Trail in Naples, as his business has been booming during the pandemic. “Everything took off,” he says. “People started looking around and thinking about what they needed.
Turns out, luxury homes need luxury safes. Safe and Sound can refurbish an existing safe with fresh paint and shelving, or create a fully custom safe to fit the space needed. Safe room design has also been popular. Gabel works with an Italian door manufacturer that produces bulletproof doors that also look stylish. He can create a separate room as your safe room, or secure a bedroom with heavy-duty doors, walls and windows. “Most people won’t even be able to tell if it’s fully bulletproof,” he says.
The Naples native has come a long way since starting in 2008. A serious bout with the flu a few years later caused him to step back from martial arts, but it forced him to focus more on his business. He continued with locksmith work, but he had developed an interest in safecracking, even taking classes on how to break into the supposedly impenetrable. That led to creating his own safes. It opened up a new market for him: Wealthy clients concerned with personal security. The panic rooms evolved from there. “It gives people peace of mind,” he says.
He hasn’t practiced martial arts in a couple of years, but says the discipline and mindset he developed during those years always comes in handy when running a business. If anything, he takes competition and challenges head-on. “I’m always ready for a fight,” he says.