Dmitri King

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | November 16th, 2020
Dmitri King (Photos by Khi Visualz)

Dmitri King (Photos by Khi Visualz)

The trajectory of your life is usually determined by the decisions you make for yourself and the odds that may be stacked against you despite those decisions. Unsurprisingly, black men tend to face these odds at a larger rate than any other ethnic category.

In high school, in Greensboro, NC, Dmitri King was traveling down the wrong path. He was hanging out with friends late at night, taking the family car without permission, and eventually ran into trouble that he couldn’t escape. After he graduated, not much changed. Things got worse even. He and his stepfather weren’t getting along due to his constant mischief and eventually he was kicked out of the house. A close friend and his family took him in and for years it seemed his life was turning around…until he got arrested and thrown in jail.

While spending time behind bars, King received a phone call from a close cousin that would change his life more than he could’ve ever imagined.

“My cousin came and bailed me out and asked me was I ready to leave Greensboro, NC now. I knew I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing. So not only did he pay my bail, but he paid to rent a moving truck, packed up all my stuff and brought me and my son down to Buford, GA put us up, and put me to work that week,” King explains. He is beyond grateful to his cousin and freely admits that he could never repay him for giving him the career he currently has and a new lease on life almost two decades ago. Perhaps he’s reimbursing him by following in his cousin’s footsteps and being a successful businessman.

King’s cousin owned an independent electrical business and taught him almost everything he knew at the time. The New Jersey native absorbed as much knowledge as he could and moved on to another company where he worked alongside seasoned electricians who poured into him. Years later he transitioned to another cousin’s business, expanding his knowledge base even further.
“I learned on three different levels and learned three different ways to run a business. They were all so smart and took their time to teach me everything about wiring and lighting and all of that,” says King.

In 2010 King felt he’d had enough hands on experience to branch out and start a business of his own. He became a Certified Electrician and opened DKing Electric, LLC under the parent company Metro Atlanta Electrical, LLC. It wasn’t easy for me, but it wasn’t that difficult because I had support.”

When one of his former employers changed directions to focus solely on commercial contracts, he referred two of his biggest residential clients to King because of his talent and the level of trust in his work.

King met several more loyal clients who gave excellent references so it wasn’t long before his clientele began to grow. Popular nightclub owners, restaurant owners, and new construction home builders all across the area came calling and then connected him with others. Soon he had more clients than he could handle. That push only made him work harder, hire more workers, and make more money.

The once troubled kid perfected his craft and is proud that he can wire an entire home by himself from ‘top to bottom’. Fortunately, he’s so busy with inspections, contracts, and clients that he doesn’t have time to do that anymore. He hires professionals whose work is just as thorough as his, so he can trust them to do a job when he’s not there. He’s currently training another cousin to one day take the rein or at the least, be his back-up.

“You’re only as good as the people you hire so I make sure I employ smart people who know what they’re doing.”

A typical day for King consists of driving from city to city, managing projects and the variety of work that has to be done on each job. “The biggest part of my day, really, is going to a [home improvement] store several times! Easy. There isn’t a day when I’m not there at least twice. Sometimes five or six times in a day. So much that I should purchase stock!” he laughed.

As busy as it is and as intricate as it can be, King can’t imagine where he would be without DKing Electric, LLC. It’s like the heart of his family. His wife lends her time to the business by handling the bookkeeping and much of the paperwork and he manages the field. His 24 year old son helps out from time to time but has his sights set on entertainment for now. His bonus-daughter watches from afar.

The life-saving cousins King embarked on this journey with have now expanded to being builders and restaurant owners, and he is itching to do the same. Don’t be surprised to soon see Dmitri King’s name on something bigger and better around the Atlanta area. Whatever it is, it will be lit. Literally.

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