Krystal Walker is the owner of 1st Amazon Construction Services LLC in Baltimore. She opened the construction and roofing company in 2020 after gaining over a decade of experience in the industry. (Courtesy Photo)

By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
msayles@afro.com

After 18 years in the construction industry, Baltimore native Krystal Walker has one particular project that stands out as her favorite, her porch project. 

She demolished and rebuilt the porch from scratch. Once the renovation was complete, the homeowner was ecstatic and informed Walker that her neighbors were hounding her for having the best porch on the block.

“She was ecstatic. She actually gave me a couple other opportunities to give her a price for other projects in her home,” said Walker. 

Walker is the owner of Baltimore-based 1st Amazon Construction Services LLC, which she established in 2020. Her company works with clients from pre-construction to post-construction and offers services, including roof repair, roof replacement, exterior siding, exterior painting, carpentry and power washing. 

She first got involved in the construction space back in 2004. At that time, she was job searching and ended up securing a position with a Baltimore roofing company 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 job scheduling to setting up construction materials and managing her own projects. 

Walker eventually realized she was already doing all of the work required to run a roofing business, and this conviction led her to become an entrepreneur. 

Krystal Walker is the owner of 1st Amazon Construction Services LLC in Baltimore. She opened the construction and roofing company in 2020 after gaining over a decade of experience in the industry. (Courtesy Photo)

In the United States, 1.58 million people comprise the construction industry. However, over 95 percent of the workforce is male, and the average wage gap between men and women in the field exceeds $5,000. 

As a Black woman in the industry, Walker said the challenges never cease. Despite her years of experience and deep knowledge about the space, it’s difficult to earn the respect and trust of customers. 

“A lot of people actually don’t even think I’m a Black woman until they actually see me… it’s like a surprise to some of them,” said Walker. “Males always expect that we don’t know what we’re talking about, and then being Black-owned, [customers] don’t expect you to be educated in the construction field.” 

Fortunately, Walker is resilient and has remained confident in her craft. 

For women wishing to disrupt the construction industry, Walker advised that they stay consistent, exhaust all of their resources and never give up. 

“The legacy I would like to leave is that women do it better,” said Walker. “Everything I post and say is always: ‘When women get involved you get these kinds of good results.’”

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