“You don’t look like a PI” is a comment that is always made when I tell someone what I do for a living. When I first got into the industry, I took that comment as an insult and found it very condescending.
Almost 15 years later, I love it when people say this to me. I have found pride and passion in not looking like a typical Private Investigator. When a person thinks of a Private Investigator they often think a balding overweight retired law enforcement officer who wears a trench coat drives a fast car and is crawling through bushes. I am the complete opposite of that – Although I do crawl through bushes if I needed. The point of a Private Investigator is to blend in, not stand out. If I walk into a bar to covertly observe a subject, the odds are with me. No person at the bar will think that I am there to spy on an individual. If anything, they think I was stood up by a date. If I am approached while doing surveillance, the person is more likely to think that my car broke down than an investigator. When serving papers, people are more likely to open their door for me, which why Arkeo Investigations is successful with serving papers. While doing statements, I am able to gain the persons trust, which allows them to feel comfortable with me to share their side of story. So, my gender, age and overall appearance has helped me achieve the results my clients need.
Out in the real world whether it’s a celebration of winning a case or a networking event, I find that it helps me market myself. The PI industry is no longer just male. There are a lot of woman in this industry and we are damn good at it.
When I tell any person that I am a Private Investigator, I prepare myself for them to get nervous and walk away or ask the usual questions:
Do you carry a gun?
No, I do not carry a gun. There is no need for me to have a gun while working the cases I take on.
How did you get into Private Detective work?
I got into this industry after college and an internship at the Public Defenders Service of the District of Columbia. I fell in love with investigative work. At the age of 24, I thought I would try a “normal job” at a law firm. I ended up working at 3 law firms in 3 months. The 9 to 5 life is just not for me. After working for large nationwide investigation companies, I had to follow my drive and go into business for myself. I started Arkeo Investigations in 2013 after receiving my license from the NJ State Police. As I sit here typing this, I can honestly say I would not change a thing.
Have you ever been caught?
Yes, I have been caught. People are smart and are more and more aware of their surroundings as time goes on. If I do get caught I play coy and most of the time the person is no longer suspicious.
As a female, with no law enforcement background with a true appetite for investigative work, I created my niche and brand around that fact that I prove the stereotype wrong.
After all isn’t not looking like a PI the whole point of being a PI?