It all started on a cruise ship while waiting in line for waffles. Amir and Iris (with her sister Stephany) were on vacation with family. Little did they know what was in store for them on that ship…
Amir from California and Iris from Honduras did not know each other before boarding the cruise ship for their winter vacation, but the first morning of the cruise changed that entirely as they both waited for waffles in that breakfast line. Amir cracked jokes from behind and Iris patiently waited her turn in line, slightly annoyed, she turned around only to find that the jokester was rather cute.
They began chatting and realized that both were on their own that morning and decided to accompany one another over breakfast. Once their bellies were full and they had filled an hour with chatter they both went their separate ways with no intention on seeing each other again, especially since they were meant to be spending time with family. But as fate would have it, the two continued to bump into each other throughout their vacation.
As each day passed, the more the two found themselves spending time with each other and sneaking away from family, like Jack and Rose in the popular film Titanic. As you may have guessed these two feel deeply in love and tied the knot. And for the sake of Escape Room lovers everywhere, you’ll be glad they did!
After getting married, Amir and Iris began building their lives in Florida. Sister Stephany tagged along and to make a love story even sweeter she fell in love with Amir’s brother! Yep. Those sisters married brothers, I told you that cruise ship would change their lives forever!
The sisters come from a family that is deeply rooted in education so choosing a school quickly was at the top of their list once they were settled in the states. All three of Amir’s siblings were Full Sail University graduates, so without much thought Amir, Iris and Stephany attended a tour at Full Sail and knew by the end of the tour that, that was the University for them.
As creative minds would have it, Amir was constantly coming up with ideas and business plans, but it wasn’t until he stepped into his first Escape Room that a real plan for the future began to take root. He could not stopping thinking about one day owning and running his very own Escape Room.
Iris says many business ideas came and went throughout the years as they all crept closer to graduation, but the idea of owning their own Escape Room is the one and only that continued to return. The three graduated successfully from Fullsail – in fact both Amir and Stephany were valedictorians in their class.
Amir graduated with a bachelors in Mobile Development, Iris with a degree in Computer Animation and Stephany with a degree is Media Communication and although these all play a vital role in the titles they each have now, owning their own Escape Room didn’t happen over night.
Although Amir and Iris did believe that they would one day run their own Escape Room, they didn’t know when. What they did know is that they wanted to gain as much knowledge as they could before even considering it.
Amir and Iris began exploring local Escape Rooms and then both accepted positions at Mindquest Escape Rooms right out of college, Amir as a Software Developer and Iris as a Game Master.
Stephany went in an entirely different direction and began working for the The Nature Conservancy, working on a particular project called The Monarch Initiative.
As they all set out to pursue their different career paths, fate again had other plans. Amir and Iris were very vocal about their future plans and with the owners of the Escape Rooms being aware of this, they let them know that there was someone looking for an Escape Room to take up space in the Seminole Towne Center Mall.
Amir and Iris quickly jumped at the opportunity and their dreams were well on their way to becoming a reality. Being that they are owners with a hispanic heritage allowed the team of Locksmith Escape Games to work with an organization called Prospera. And Amir’s work as a software developer for Mindquest opened the doors for them to receive a grant that paid for the creation of their business plan. Amir’s app, Kiwi Escape Master (can be found in the App Store), is currently being used across the United Stated and in Canada. With these opportunities, the two were able to quit their jobs and focus entirely on their dream, something that Iris admits would not have been possible in Honduras.
As little girls Iris and Stephany grew up watching shows like Legends of the Hidden Temple, so you can guess what Stephany’s answer was when Amir and Iris asked her to be a part of the team. And what a team they are!
Amir is so kind and very much Mr. Smiley and can be found greeting guests at the front desk and is of course the software developer behind Kiwi Escape Master. Iris does all the graphic art for the app and escape room. And Stephany works more on the business end as well as media handling and public relations. I told you, they were quite a team and that their degrees would play a vital role in their current positions.
The passion and knowledge that they each have can be seen as they watch you try to solve their hand built Locksmith tutorial,”The Locksmith’s Workbench“. Which is free for all to try and sits next to the check in desk in the lobby for all to try, whether you’re a first timer and you’re just curious about what an Escape Room is or you’re an avid Escape Room goer and you want to test your skills.
The three hope to guide those who have yet to step foot in an Escape Room and are just not sure what it’s all about. They are constantly educating and want everyone enjoy their experience from the moment they walk through the doors. So be sure to stop in and ask all the questions you may have and test out their tutorial and better yet, try to escape a room. I did!
I had the pleasure of working together with my family to Escape their room What Happened in Raven Woods.
We had sooo much fun! It was a challenge and like all Escape Rooms, I’m blown away by the creativity. I’m happy to report that we did make it out, with time to spare. GO US!
I have to say that Amir, Iris and Stephany simply made us feel right at home and very welcome. We are so grateful to all of them and can’t wait to return to try out one of their other 2 rooms (with one more on the way).
If you’d like to learn more about the rooms they offer, or learn more about their process from start to finish, be sure to check out their website (blog coming soon) and Instagram page, where you’ll also get to see when their new room is ready, when they have specials and when their packages become available to the public.
They have plans on partnering with other businesses in the mall for the perfect gift package, for example a Bachelorette party package and more! A party room is available as well if you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate your birthday or debrief after a team building experience.
Whatever your reason may be, we hope you’ll stop in and test your Escape Room skills! This is one of my favorite things to do with family and friend. Every single time my husband and I take someone for their first time they are so pumped and quickly ask “when can we do another”.
UPDATE February 2020: P.S. Locksmith now has 8 Virtual Reality Games as well as 25 Arcade VR Games. Also, the majority of the actual Escape Rooms at Locksmith are wheelchair friendly as is the VR room. Have fun!!
Locksmith Escape Games
102 Towne Center Circle
Sanford, FL 32771
Located in Seminole Towne Center
1st floor, next to Dillards