Owner Spotlight: Bob Nonnemaker of Experimac of Huntington Beach, CA




We recently sat down for a talk with the owner of Experimac of Huntington Beach, CA, Bob Nonnemaker, and his son Kevin, the store manager. This classic father-son duo had previously worked together running some small e-commerce businesses. Their Experimac location has now been open just a few months; they opened their doors on October 10, 2016. With franchises across the country, Experimac is a trusted tech source for Apple® product repairs, upgrades, pre-owned sales and trade-ins for iPhone® devices, iPad® tablets, iMac® computers, MacBook® laptops and more. Additionally, we also sell accessories for these devices and offer same day service for repairs and upgrades. We are often able to fix your device while you wait. Experimac offers a 90-day warranty on all repairs because we want all of our customers to experience the Experimac difference.

Life as an entrepreneur is not new for Bob. He’s owned a broad array of businesses, franchise and non-franchise, for the last 30 years in countless industries, everything from insurance and mortgages to financing and automobile tag registration and notary services. Thankfully, Bob and Kevin work well together because Bob is still operating two other businesses so Experimac is Kevin’s baby. Bob has taken on the task of helping run the back office, taking care of administrative tasks, and offering guidance with some sales and marketing thrown in too. Kevin has customer service experience from a related industry so he’s enjoying working with the customers and learning the repair side because he likes technology and has always had an interest in that. Learning the ins and outs of Apple products has been exciting for Kevin. Bob and Kevin get along really well and working together has been a positive experience for both of them which will undoubtedly help them be successful and keep them busy. Here is some more of what they shared about their experience as the owner and manager of Experimac of Huntington Beach, CA.

EXPERIMAC: Why did you choose to open your business in Huntington Beach, specifically Fountain Valley?

Kevin: I moved out to Huntington Beach about a year and a half ago and fell in love with the area and just knew it would be a great area because there are so many people in this area. The population in Orange County is so large that I knew it would be a good area for pre-owned Apple product sales and repairs. Everyone has Apple products out here. And we’re only two miles from the beach!

EXPERIMAC: Have you done any community outreach stuff since opening?

Bob: Community outreach has been going on since the day we opened. We’ve all done some at different points. As an example, we’ve handed out about 2,000 business cards in and around the local community just stopping in at businesses of all kinds and sizes to introduce ourselves. We sponsored a local golf tournament and have been “feet on the ground” introducing and re-introducing ourselves in the area. This is something I really believe in. This week, we’ve started going back out with a flyer and new information they haven’t seen before to remind that we’re here since we’re so new.

EXPERIMAC: What would you say is the most interesting part of owning an Experimac?

Kevin: I would say learning about all the different computers and the repairs. When we get in something we don’t know, it’s fun to learn new things and to troubleshoot things and once you figure it out, it’s a really good feeling when the customer is thrilled. We’ve had a couple of products that the Apple store couldn’t fix or that they had told the customer that it would cost more than the computer itself, for example. And we were able to fix it for a reasonable price and the customers were happy.

EXPERIMAC: On the other side of that, what would you say is the most challenging part of owning an Experimac location?

Kevin: I think just the nature of this business, finding the best products for our inventory and finding the best product.

Bob: I would add to that, although I’m not the technical guy, I’ve seen these guys dealing with some of the technical things like fixing something and then you realize it’s not actually fixed and you have to tweak it. There’s definitely some fine tuning and some learning even though they’re technically oriented, there were some things that caught us off guard. It’s a learning process, there’s a learning curve. There was more of that than I anticipated because I’m used to selling intangibles but it’s been okay.

EXPERIMAC: It seems like Kevin and some other technicians do the repairs. Bob, you don’t really do any repairs yourself, is that correct?

Bob: No sir Steven, we’d already be shut down and bankrupt if I was doing the repairs (chuckling).

EXPERIMAC: Have there been any kind of events that you’ve attended representing the Experimac brand?

Bob: There was a holiday gift boutique sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce which we’re members of. It gave us an opportunity to have a table and present our services to the community.

Kevin: Coming up on February 22nd, we’re having our Grand Opening event with the Chamber of Commerce. We’re inviting all of the customers we’ve already served to come out, we’re going to have some food, drinks and raffles.

Bob: We’ve also had an opportunity through some of our networking and cold calling to go around the community to do some mini presentations in front of groups like realtors. We went in to a real estate office and asked if we could present ourselves at a weekly or monthly meeting and they said, “Yes!” so Kevin and I had an audience of 40-50 realtors who we were able to give a presentation to. We’re trying to do more things like that.

EXPERIMAC: What kind of feedback have you gotten from customers overall?

Bob: The feedback has been generally very positive. There are certainly some customers you can never please and there have been some glitches with some devices that haven’t gone perfectly. Kevin does a great job of smoothing it out but the general feedback has been, I think, very, very positive. People saying, “We’re glad you’re here, we’re glad to know you’re here, glad to know you do this” and thrilled with our service and what we’re able to provide. We’re certainly hearing the good feedback in the store and we’re starting to see repeat customers in the store already after only 3½ months which is always encouraging and to me, that’s what will make the business really grow.

EXPERIMAC: Have you guys noticed any patterns in terms of the work your customers need done? Have you seen more foot traffic for iPhone repairs or upgrades or is it more computer sales?

Bob: Well, the repairs are what bring the people through the door. Most of the initial foot traffic is about the repairs. There’s no question about it. And mostly, phone repairs. But, certainly, there’s a mix, maybe 70% phone and 30% computer. Give or take. And that just spins off into the computer or phone sales after the fact typically. Definitely, the repairs are the draw, I would say. We’ve done a Groupon offer and that has picked up our in-store traffic and our phone is ringing more. The repairs are definitely the main draw initially anyway. I think that will change but that’s what’s bringing people to us now.

EXPERIMAC: In terms of customer demographic, are you finding that the people that are coming in are primarily college students that broke their phone, is it families that have clumsy kids?

Bob: I’d say it’s all over the board. It’s definitely not just college students, definitely not just kid’s phones, it’s all shapes and sizes and ages. We certainly haven’t tracked demographics that much but it’s definitely a little bit of everything. I don’t think there’s been any kind of pattern. We’re not right across the street from a school or college although there are some around but it’s really just been a mix.

EXPERIMAC: How many hours do you typically work per day?

Bob: In the beginning, I was probably here 6 – 8 hours per day but now, I’m here 3 – 5 hours a day. Kevin is here 9 hours a day, 6 days a week.

EXPERIMAC: When you’re not working or inside the store, do you have any hobbies or things you enjoy doing?

Kevin: I like to snowboard, go to the beach, play video games, take my dog for a walk, etc.

Bob: That’s what he would enjoy if we would give him some time off (chuckling). For the most part, there’s no really taking the day off at this point. That’s just the way it is when you own your own business.

EXPERIMAC: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Bob, you clearly have some expertise in this area.

Bob: I would say number one is sales and marketing acumen. At the end of the day, no matter what kind of business it is, you’ve got to be able to market your business inside and out. That’s what has helped us here. Kevin does a great job inside and I do the outside work. I would say number two for Experimac would be Apple product knowledge and technical aptitude to do this work.

Kevin: Number three would be customer service.

Bob: Once you have them in your store, then it is about knowing how to treat them and deal with the different personalities that come through whether you do a perfect job or not. You have to enjoy dealing with people.

As you can see, Bob and Kevin Nonnemaker have been working hard for the last several months but have enjoyed working together to make their Experimac location a success. Come on in to their Huntington Beach location, we’re sure Kevin will dazzle you with all he has learned about Apple repairs and upgrades. Bob’s business background will undoubtedly continue to prove to be useful as they move forward. If you’re in the area, remember to join them for their Grand Opening on February 22nd, it’s sure to be loads of fun!

Fact or Fiction? Put your phone in rice to dry it out.


Cell phones have revolutionized the world and have become everyone’s favorite pocket-mate. They have become an essential part of our lives, and we invest a lot in them to be able to connect to the world around us.

However, phones can also cause a lot of panic should your phone get wet from a rainy day, fall into a pool or get splashed on in the bathroom. Water can destroy a phone very quickly, and usually important components can become damaged the moment they come into contact with a liquid. Warranties don’t usually cover water damage either. This leaves many users desperate for ways to fix water-damaged phones.

There are many suggestions about how to fix a water-damaged phone at home. One of the most popular ones dictates that you should put your phone in rice to dry it out.

Unfortunately, this is a MYTH.

The idea is that the uncooked rice will absorb the moisture from the phone. However, putting a water-damaged phone in a bag of rice is not a good idea for several reasons. Despite the common myth, dry, uncooked rice will not help your phone or tablet dry out. Phones sometimes turn on after water exposure, regardless of whether or not it was put in rice afterwards. Regardless, the rice will not absorb all the moisture and water from the phone, but can instead cause rice grains and particles to get lodged into small places in the phone and cause further harm and long-term damage.

It’s essential to take your phone to your local Experimac store right away so that the phone can be dried and cleaned properly before the internal components have time to corrode from sitting in the water.

Home remedies aren’t easy and usually don’t work; in fact, they typically allow for more damage to be done. The easiest way to fix your phone is to drop it off with the highly-trained professionals at Experimac, who offer same-day service and a 90-day guarantee on all services.

Is Your iPhone® on a Recall List? Let Experimac Guide You


Apple® Inc. is famous for the reliability and quality of their varied products. However, no company is without faults or errors. In the last year, Apple Inc. has added varied items to their recall list. In efforts to make amends for these errors, Apple Inc. has offered the following four exchange and repair extension programs:

  • iPhone® 6s Program for Unexpected Shutdown Issues
  • Multi-Touch Repair Program for iPhone® 6 Plus
  • Apple® USB-C Charge Cable Replacement Program
  • Apple® AC Wall Plug Adapter Recall Program

The most recent program is being offered in response to recent unexpected shutdown issues with the iPhone 6s device. Apple Inc. has discovered that iPhone 6s devices manufactured between September and October of 2015 may unexpectedly shut down, and require a battery replacement.

If you have experienced this issue, your phone may qualify for Apple Inc.’s iPhone 6s device Program for Unexpected Shutdown Issues. This past November, Apple Inc. announced that they will replace your phone’s battery free of charge should your phone qualify. There are several steps to ensuring your phone qualifies for the Replacement Program, including examinations, data back-up, and contacting Apple Inc., your service provider and technical support.

Not being able to rely on a faulty iPhone 6s device is stressful enough. The highly trained technicians and friendly sales staff at Experimac can easily assist you with the Replacement Program process. Let us guide you every step of the way and get your iPhone 6s device working properly again. Call or stop by your local Experimac store today to see how we can help.

Cracked Screens Need to be Repaired Quickly, Experimac Can Help


Fixing cracked screens on iPhone® devices as soon as possible is imperative for varied reasons. A cracked screen could just be a cracked screen, however, usually it means trouble for other parts of the phone. It’s always best to take action right away. Don’t wait!

The display assembly is made up of several parts: the upper glass, the digitizer, the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and a bezel. The upper glass is fused to the digitizer, which is used to interpret finger movements relative to information provided by the LCD. The upper glass and digitizer are considered one piece and are the first to break in most incidents. The LCD is located right below. It is located in a precise location so it can synchronize with the digitizer. Anything that causes these parts to move or be misaligned can lead to severe functionality issues. For clarity’s sake, since the parts involved are fused together, when your iPhone device’s screen is repaired, both the LCD and the digitizer are replaced. This ensures a complete repair and will help avoid further issues down the line.

A cracked screen could lead to additional problems with use and exposure. By continuing to use a phone with a cracked screen, you could worsen the damage and cause a bleeding LCD, LCD failure or even a broken digitizer. How? When pressing down on a cracked screen when typing and swiping, you can easily cause the LCD to break and leak. Having a cracked screen also exposes the internal parts of the phone to dust and moisture, meaning that parts that did not break at the time of the crack, could still get damaged.

Here at Experimac, we know how important it is to fix a cracked screen right away. We will diagnose what is broken, and even offer same-day service on most repairs. All of our services are backed with a 90-day guarantee, making not fixing your phone the only risk involved.

Owner Spotlight: Krishan Bibra from Experimac of Laguna Hills, CA

Laguna Hills Owner

We recently sat down with Krishan Bibra from Experimac of Laguna Hills, CA to talk about his experience running an Experimac store. The Laguna Hills Experimac store opened in June 2016 so he’s been working very hard for over 6 months. Prior to owning this Experimac store and becoming an entrepreneur, Krishan worked in the Aerospace industry for 30 years. Experimac is a trusted tech source for Apple® product repairs and upgrades, pre-owned sales and trade-ins for iPhone® devices, iPad® tablets, iMac® computers, MacBook® laptops and more. Additionally, we also sell accessories for these devices and offer same-day service for repairs and upgrades. We’re often able to fix your device while you wait. Experimac offers a 90-day warranty on all repairs because we want all of our customers to experience the Experimac difference.

Krishan explained that having lived just a few miles from Laguna Hills for almost 30 years now, this seemed like a great neighborhood in which to open a business. All Experimac locations are locally owned and operated by people living in those communities. For Krishan, although the days are long, he’s found it all very interesting. He has learned a lot along the way and specifically, a lot about these Apple products that were new to him as he was a PC user for 30 years. Here is some more of what he had to share with us:

EXPERIMAC: Do you do the repairs yourself or is it all done by your technicians?

Krishan: Right now, it’s all done by the technicians but I’m able to do them if needed.

EXPERIMAC: Have you been able to get involved in the local community in your area? Have you joined any networking groups, chambers of commerce, etc.?

Krishan: I have recently joined the Chamber of Commerce in the area.

EXPERIMAC: Have you participated in any local events to get to know the people in the community more?

Krishan: I haven’t done anything in regards to events yet but as I get more involved with the Chamber of Commerce, there are certain events they help organize that I will get involved with.

EXPERIMAC: What kind of feedback have you gotten from customers?

Krishan: We’ve gotten great feedback about excellent customer service. We have customers that have come back again and again for help with other issues. They’re happy and are recommending us to other people. We’re focusing on finding new customers.

EXPERIMAC: Have you noticed any patterns in reference to the kind of work Experimac customers need done – more screen repairs, less upgrades, for example?

Krishan: It’s mainly screen repairs and MacBook repairs for us here in Laguna Hills.

EXPERIMAC: Is there a “typical” Experimac customer?

Krishan: Not really. We’ve seen customers with a wide variety of needs.

EXPERIMAC: How many hours do you personally work on an average day?

Krishan: I’m here at the store Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm and 10am-5pm on Sundays. I’m here all week. It’s pretty much a 24/7 job.

EXPERIMAC: When you’re not working, do you have any hobbies or favorite pastimes?

Krishan: I enjoy going to the movies but right now, I don’t have much time for that.

EXPERIMAC: What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Krishan: At the top of the list would be marketing skills to be able to get your business the attention it needs, putting it out there. You have to know how to do that. Also, you need to know your products inside out. You want to be able to advise customers properly. If they’re not a Mac® user, for example, I want to be able to give them the right advice. Lastly, it’s important for you to know how to do all the jobs in your business yourself, as the owner, so you can hold people accountable.

Krishan Bibra is a hard-working entrepreneur who clearly knows what it takes to be successful as a business owner. The long hours and dedication to always be present in his store sends a strong message to his customers as well. They know they can count on him. Remember to stop by his Laguna Hills Experimac store if you need your phone, laptop, tablet or computer repaired. He and his team can also help you find a great pre-owned device at an excellent price. We’re sure your visit to Experimac Laguna Hills will be a wonderful experience.

Setting Up iCloud® Service: Experimac to the Rescue


Lots of computers and laptops have been given and received as gifts over the holidays. We know this means that are a lot of people now wondering how to set things up the best possible way. Make sure you are getting the most out of your Apple® devices by taking advantage of iCloud service and connecting all of your devices to your new computer or laptop. This fantastic Apple service is designed to keep all of your Apple devices in sync; imagine being able to synchronize your iPhone® device, iPad® tablet, iPod® device and computers.

The iCloud service works by keeping all of your photos, files, and even videos stored on iCloud.com, your iOS® devices and even on Windows® computers. Its ability to share iTunes® files and iBooks® files between six family members through the Family Sharing® service makes it extremely convenient for families. Parents can even track the location of other iOS devices when they’ve been misplaced or when they’re looking for their teenager who doesn’t answer calls or text messages. Additionally, parents can even set up their credit card information for their kids’ app store purchases. By synchronizing your Apple devices with iCloud service, you can prevent data loss while increasing availability to your family members and to the files, photos and other items you need and love.

Here is a brief description of how to set it up:

  1. Make sure your device is running the latest version of iOS software
  2. Turn on iCloud service by following the instructions in the setup assistant
  3. Enable automatic downloads

Setting the iCloud service up and connecting all of your Apple devices can be challenging for the average user. If you’d rather not risk an improper setup or just don’t have the time, you can stop by your local Experimac to get help with setting up the iCloud service on your device. In addition, we’ll be happy to troubleshoot any issues you’re experiencing with and of your Apple devices.

Experimac’s Favorite Apps: Keep Your 2017 Goals on Track


New Year. New You. The new year means you get a chance to start fresh and work towards the goals and resolutions you set for yourself in 2017. Here is a list of our favorite apps for iPad® tablets and iPhone® devices to help you stay on track with the goals you set for the new year. Make 2017 a year to remember!

  1. “Happy Scale” for weight loss

A popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. Download Happy Scale to help you make that resolution a reality. This app helps you create achievable goals, smooth out fluctuations and monitor progress. This app can work in conjunction with other apps you may already be using such as Apple Health.

  1. “FitStar” for getting fit

Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or just starting to workout, this fitness app will help you personalize workout plans that meet your needs. No gym or trainer required to get in shape in 2017, just this app!

  1. “MyQuit Coach” to quit smoking

LIVESTRONG has revolutionized the way to quit smoking with their physician approved app, MyQuit Coach. You can choose how quickly you want to quit, and create realistic and attainable goals based on your needs. With this app, you will be able to track your smoking and have access to progress charts in addition to motivational tips and pictures. MyQuit Coach even offers a social support circle to help you through this transition.

  1. “Elevate” for sharpening your brain

A new year means a year older. Keep your mind fresh and sharp with Elevate. This app is designed to improve your memory, reading comprehension and concise writing through the use of short games and activities. Elevate will track your progress and create a personalized “workout” plan based on your strengths and improvements.

  1. “Duolingo” for learning a new language

Have you dreamed of speaking another language? Broaden your language skills with Duolingo, an app designed to teach you new languages through games. Track your progress and even program daily challenges to assert that you use your newly acquired vocabulary a little each day. You can pick from a variety of languages including Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Irish, Dutch, Swedish and English.

  1. “Travelocity” to help you afford traveling and see the world

Use your newly acquired language by traveling the world this new year. Travelocity could make traveling the world a reality for you this year. With this app, you will save time and money when booking flights, hotels and other traveling needs.

  1. “Linkedln Job Search” for getting a better job

Improve your career with LinkedIn, an app designed to connect people to new job opportunities. This app provides you with all of the tools you need to find your dream job such as a quick job search, recommended jobs based on saved searches, notifications when new jobs are posted and a simple application process.

  1. “Mint” for budgeting help

Manage your money better and save more with this app in 2017. Mint is a free financial tracker app created by the makers of TurboTax and QuickBooks. Track your expenses, spending and savings easily and even check your credit score with this one easy-to-use app.

  1. “Debt Payoff Assistant” to help manage debt

Learn how to pay off your debt with this app. Debt Payoff Assistant can track your debt payments, chart your progress and even scheduling your payments in an easy-to-use format.

  1. “Pacifica” to help reduce stress, anxiety and depression

The daily stressors of life oftentimes can snowball and create stress, anxiety and even depression. Learn how to relax and take control of your mood and thoughts with Pacifica. There is no quick-fix for reducing stress, anxiety or depression; take control through Pacifica’s tools daily to ensure progress and insight.

The 10 Most Common Ways People Break Their iPhone® Devices




We all love and depend on our smartphones in this day and age. We take it with us everywhere, unfortunately exposing it to many perilous situations. We have all either feared or experienced the heart-break that comes with breaking our iPhone device. The average iPhone device is destroyed or damaged in just ten weeks after its purchase and in under six weeks for the iPhone 4® device or iPhone 5® device, according to a recent survey. Here are the 10 most common ways people break their iPhone® devices:

  1. Dropped

The most common way iPhone devices get destroyed is by being dropped. Whether in a rush, juggling too many objects at the same time or simply a case of butter-fingers, thousands of iPhone devices have been dropped. Dropped iPhone devices can suffer from a variety of issues including a cracked screen, broken back glass, etc. Luckily for you, Experimac can often fix these while you wait and offer a 90-day guarantee on any of our services.

  1. Thrown

The next most common way iPhone devices bite the dust is by being thrown. Whether by accident, or in spite, iPhone devices getting thrown is not an uncommon occurrence. Screens shatter the moment the iPhone device hits the wall or floor.

  1. Crushed

Sat on, stepped on or shoved into a packed purse or backpack: another common way people have broken their phone is by crushing it. A broken home button, crushed charging port, or crushed screen can easily be fixed at your local Experimac.

  1. Pocket Dive

The small size of iPhone devices make them convenient pocket-mates. However, this can go very wrong when their owner bends over, squats or jumps. Pocket dives account for many broken iPhone devices.

  1. Liquids

Any iPhone device that is not the iPhone 7® device runs the risk of water damage. Whether it is a spilled drink or a plunge into the pool, water damage accounts for several destroyed iPhone devices. Experimac specializes in fixing iPhone devices that have been damaged by a variety of liquids, and can have your iPhone device up and running quickly.

  1. Children

iPhone devices make a great handheld source of entertainment for young and old alike. However, iPhone devices require gentle care, something that may not happen in the hands of a child. We’ve dedicated a spot for children on our list because leaving an iPhone device in the hands of a child may mean a combination of any of the other points: dropping, throwing, etc.

  1. Bad Phone Case

Some iPhone device users think they have protected their phone by putting a case on it. However, putting the wrong phone case on your iPhone® could mean destroying it. Some try to force an old case built for a different model on their phone, breaking the camera or crushing the edges of the phone. Even a soft case can cause destruction over a long period of time. Others don’t invest in a good case. Not every case can properly protect iPhone devices from dropping, throwing or other common means of destruction. Visit your local Experimac to shop for well-built iPhone device cases designed to protect your phone properly.

  1. Bathroom Use

Whether dropped into a tub or sink, or a pocket dive into the toilet, many iPhone devices are destroyed in the bathroom. Liquid damage strikes again in this example, and seems to happen most often in the bathroom. Leaving an iPhone device in a “dry” spot in the bathroom while taking a bath could even mean destruction. The steam and humidity emitted from a hot bath can cause water-damage and destroy your iPhone device over time.

  1. Car

Many iPhone device users have actually run over their beloved device. When looking for keys in a rush, it’s easy to become distracted and either place the phone on the roof or hood of the car, or unknowingly drop it. This, followed by driving off, leads to a run-over iPhone device.

  • Pets

Similar to children, pets don’t understand the value or fragility of an iPhone device, and can easily destroy it by playing with it, chewing it, peeing on it or crushing it.

Water damage, screen repairs, broken back glass repairs, battery replacements, home button repairs, charging port repairs and power button repairs . . . whatever has happened to your iPhone, Experimac has seen and fixed it all! We offer same day service and can usually fix your iPhone device while you wait with a 90-day guarantee on all of our services. Call one of our highly-trained sales associates at Experimac today to find out more.

Owner Spotlight: Christine Witte of Experimac of Fenton, MO

We recently sat with Christine Witte from Experimac of Fenton, MO. She opened her store in April 2016 as a first time business owner.  Christine spent many years in the financial industry where during the first half of her career. With franchises across the country, Experimac is a trusted tech source for Apple® product repairs and upgrades, pre-owned sales and trade-ins for iPhone® devices, iPad® tablets, iMac® computers, MacBook® laptops and more. Additionally, we also sell accessories for these devices and offer same-day service for repairs and upgrades. We’re often able to fix your device while you wait. Experimac offers a 90-day warranty on all repairs because we want all of our customers to experience the Experimac difference.

Christine and her life partner, Chip Rhodes, are working the store together. When she first bought the store, he was really helpful because he had a lot of retail experience in management and sales. Combined with her operational background as well as her financial experience, they’ve made a success out of this business venture. She’s running some of the administrative side and taking care of the marketing while Chip focuses on the sales side. Christine has found that there is no beginning or end to the work day as a business owner. She explained that as a single mom, she often finds that she gets up early or stays up late to check emails, eBay listings for products or respond to quote requests. Life as an entrepreneur can be busy but Christine’s learned a lot along the way and places her customers at the top of the priority list. This has been getting Experimac of Fenton, MO some great reviews so it’s definitely the way to go.

EXPERIMAC: What was your background prior to joining Experimac?

Christine: I worked as a Risk Management Manager for Western Union. I managed the accounts receivable functions for their suite of products.  I had a very long career of 21 years with them.  I left that role to stay home with my daughter for about 6 or 7 years. I went back out into the business world and worked in operations for a couple of years in banking. Because of the financial crisis, Banking had become became highly regulated. The banks did some scrambling to try to keep up with what the government was throwing at them.  The environment was cut throat and very stressful.  I started thinking that I really just wanted to work for myself where I could have more impact and feel less constrained.

EXPERIMAC: What is your connection to the community? How long have you lived here? Why did you choose to go into business in Fenton?

Christine: I’ve lived in St. Louis my entire life. Chip has lived here for about 20 years. He’s actually from a small town south of St. Louis where he was born and raised and he settled here after college. It seemed like a great place to open a location since I’m from the general St. Louis area.

EXPERIMAC: Have you been able to get involved in the Fenton community? Networking groups, etc.?

Christine: Although it’s not a small town, St. Louis is considered a small town and everybody pretty much knows somebody you know. We do try to be involved. We participated in an event called Fenton Days, we were in the parade and we also had a booth and it was geared more towards businesses. It was a carnival-type event with a lot of booths and things for the kids to do, there was food and fun. It was a good event for us to get out and rub elbows with other businesses in the area. We also belong to the Chamber so we’ve been fairly active in the Chamber. We’ve attended a few events and also sponsored a couple of events and participated in grand opening for other businesses. We actually have a pretty good connection to the community; we’re fairly well-known by other Chamber members so we do get a fair amount of business from the Chamber. We’ve broadened ourselves a little bit and have gone outside of Fenton and attended a multi-city Chamber event.  We do participate with different user groups as well. Chip was recently involved with the Mac® user group in our area where he presented our concept and that brought some business into the store and also established us as an Apple® Computer authority in the area.

EXPERIMAC: What would you say has been the most interesting or exciting part of opening your own Experimac store? And the most challenging aspect of it?

Christine: Probably staffing has been the most challenging. When you’re working on other people’s equipment, most people consider their phones or computer equipment, as important as a child or spouse. You might as well be have their first-born in your back room. You just need to be very careful with people’s equipment.  The most interesting part is the people; we see such a broad range of people.  In my other career, most of my interaction with customers was over the phone, because I was in a back office corporate environment where I didn’t see people face-to-face, so it’s been very interesting and also very rewarding. You see so many different types of people and so many different walks of life.  I see people that are 12 years old standing at my counter with their parent because they broke their screen and 10 minutes later, a senior citizen might walk in because they want to get into the Apple® Computer market and they need a lot of hand-holding.  I was a little surprised about that part of the business,that I would enjoy getting to know people so much. We also have our share of crazy people walking in the door but that’s just few and far between and you’ll get that with any business. We do the best we can to make them all very happy.

EXPERIMAC: There really isn’t a typical Experimac customer, is there?

Christine: Definitely not. It might be more related to where our store is. To the south of us, it’s very rural but about 5 miles in the other direction, it’s a more affluent area. Our spectrum of customers is pretty broad.

EXPERIMAC: Are you guys doing the repairs yourselves or do you have technicians doing the work?

Christine: I have a couple of technicians that do the repairs. I tell myself every week that I’m going to go sit out there with them to learn so I don’t end up on the hot seat. Typically, the technicians are in an entry-level job so we have younger kids and I just haven’t had the opportunity to sit with them to learn. It’s on my list and I have aptitude for that sort of thing so it’s just a matter of making the time.

EXPERIMAC: What kind of feedback have you gotten from customers so far?

Christine: We’ve gotten pretty good feedback. Right now, we have all 5s in our reviews except for one 4 which was really related to something beyond our control and we have a 1 from a customer who was already irate when they came in to the store that we never had the chance to do business. There is a lot of reward in it because we get the opportunity to fix things for people who thought they were going to have to invest in a new device or they come in after visiting the Apple® store where they wanted to charge them $200 to fix something and we are able to do it for a minimal amount of money.

EXPERIMAC: Have you noticed any patterns in terms of the type of work you’re doing? Repairs, less upgrade or more upgrades or is it a mix bag?

Christine: It’s mixed. I get a daily string of repairs and then there will be a spurt of upgrades that comes in. All of a sudden, everyone that comes in has the older Macs® and they want the upgrades or they have a PC that’s loaded up with viruses and other issues.  We explain what is involved in repairs versus transitioning to a Mac that is readily available on the showroom floor, and usually they can see value in Apple® and showing them those differences makes sense.

EXPERIMAC: So, when you’re not working, do you have any hobbies or favorite pastimes?

Christine: I used to be a big gardener. The yard at my old house looked like it belonged in Better Homes & Gardens, but it’s not easy finding the time for that sort of yardwork anymore.  I also enjoy decorating but I’m struggling to finish those projects too. Sometimes you do get a day off and it’s so nice when you do. Chip and I had this discussion this morning. If you overschedule yourself and you don’t have any downtime, it feels like you’re on a treadmill and it’s important to sometimes take just a day and maybe take a nap or hop on a real treadmill. Doing something that’s just for yourself, not for other people but just for you. If you don’t, you start to go insane and feel like you’ve neglected yourself.  Balance is important.

EXPERIMAC: What would you say are the top 3 skills to be a successful entrepreneur?

Christine: Multitasking, organizational skills, and most importantly, in this business, people skills and relationship building.  For some people, talking to the general public is not a fun thing but if you make an effort to make connections with the people in your store by starting out with simple questions like their plans for the weekend or where their kids go to school, I find it makes a big difference. In this business, it’s very important to make connections. That’s probably going to be your next sale, somewhere down the road; it’s a good way to build relationships with people in the store. I’m pretty big on not letting my customers just sit in front of the TV waiting for their repair to be completed.  People need to feel comfortable when they’re in the store so they feel they want to come back.

Owning your own business requires a lot of time and dedication; it’s clear Christine Witte and Chip Rhodes are working hard and their success is paying off. If you live or work in the Fenton, MO area, stop by Experimac of Fenton, MO and see how they can help you with repairs, upgrades, or trade-ins of your favorite Apple® products. We’re confident you’ll feel right at home at Experimac of Fenton, MO and will receive excellent customer service.

Apple® Gifts for Him: Experimac’s Top Holiday Picks

Not sure what to get that special man in your life for the 2016 holiday season? Don’t fret! We have compiled a list of great Apple device-related gifts for him.

Every man wants electronic devices in this day and age and some are constantly looking for upgrades. Apple products provide users with durability as well as reliability; so no matter the personality or lifestyle of the man on your holiday shopping list, there is an Apple product for him. Here at Experimac, we offer savings up to 60% off retail price for most of our pre-owned products. Take a look at these top Apple picks for him:

  • Pre-owned MacBook® laptops and MacBook Pro® laptops
    Pre-owned MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops make affordable, yet fantastic, gifts as they are available in a variety of styles, sizes and abilities at your local Experimac. We will gladly help you pick out the perfect style that will surely please the man on your list. A pre-owned MacBook or MacBook Pro laptop will help him create and work flawlessly at home or on the road.
  • Pre-owned iPhone® devices
    The iPhone is considered by many to be the most popular electronic device of the century. Its convenience and beautiful design make it the perfect pocket-mate for young and older, more distinguished men alike. Whether FaceTiming® relatives, texting emojis, snapping selfies or answering emails on the go, the iPhone device has become the ideal smartphone and an international favorite. Experimac offers varied pre-owned models to choose from at incredible prices. Now that’s a great gift idea!
  • Pre-owned iPad® tablets
    Not sure whether to get the man on your holiday list an iPhone or a MacBook? Consider getting him an iPad tablet. The iPad makes an amazing gift for the modern man as it has many uses; it is a great pick for leisure reading, movie-watching and ideal for professional presentations. It is larger than the iPhone, yet more convenient than the MacBook or MacBook Pro, making it a perfect combination of the two. The popular iPad has become an essential tool for students and professionals of all ages as well as for grandparents looking to see the latest pictures of their grandchildren or shop online. Your local Experimac store has several models for you to look at that would make for an affordable and impressive gift.
  • Accessories for iPhone devices, iPad tablets, MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops
    Shop for accessories for a variety of Apple devices at your local Experimac store. We carry items such as chargers, phone and laptop cases, headphones, keyboards, screen protectors, speakers, and Thunderbolt adapters. Give someone the total package, gift them a pre-owned iPad tablet with a new case in their favorite colors. Don’t forget the stocking stuffers!

Save money this holiday season by taking advantage of our wide variety of available pre-owned Apple devices. We take pride in our products and guarantee each Apple device we sell with a 90-day guarantee.

Our experienced sales staff will happily assist you with gift ideas for the Apple device-loving man on your shopping list. Call us today or stop by the Experimac location closest to you and find the perfect gift for him without busting your holiday shopping budget.