Standing on East Lincoln Street, Waynesburg resident Aaron Ketchem runs A.K.’s iPhone and Tech Support in his own home with his fiancé, Angel Villers. This family-run business started when Ketchem made the discovery that he could fix his own iPhone cheaper and more conveniently than driving out to the nearest Apple Store.
“We have it set up where we can try to offer people as much as possible without having to go clear to Pittsburgh,” Ketchem said.
Their business has been a convenience to local residents looking for a quick repair on iPhones. The business started, as Ketchem described, “out of necessity” when his own iPhone broke.
“Within a day or two a relative asked me to fix their [iPhone], so we started fixing phones in the evenings when I got home from work,” Ketchem said, “and it wasn’t that long until we realized that I was actually making more money when I got home from work in the evenings than I was during work in the day.”
Before moving back to Waynesburg, Ketchem worked in human resources for UPS and other retail chains in Virginia. Upon his return to Waynesburg, he worked with his family’s construction company.
During Ketchum’s time away from Waynesburg, Villers was taking an online schooling program with Kaplan Inc. With A.K.’s iPhone support, She is in charge of selling iPhone accessories and handles the tech support arm of the business.
Together, Villers and Ketchem have children in school. Operating a business in their home makes family life easier for them compared to commuting every day to a job.
When not involved with smartphones or family, Ketchem is involved with a band called Flight Risk which performs every Saturday in Waynesburg.
As far as local competition goes for the shop, Ketchem is not too worried.
“There’s a couple people that can work on phones a little bit here and there,” Ketchem said. “But what ends up happening is, I think, they truly damage more phones than they fix because they’re constantly showing up here.”
Ketchem has also made it clear they do not let their business be “all about the money.” As a graduate Waynesburg University, Ketchem especially enjoys interacting with current students. He praises the friendly community of both residents and college students that seek out the services of the shop.
“We really just like getting people’s phones fixed,” Ketchem said. “More than anything, we love the customers that we have too. That’s half the reason why we do this. We have the nicest people on the planet come through here.”
One unique service the shop offers is allowing customers to observe their phone being fixed. While most technology repair shops will do it behind closed doors, Ketchem will invite customers in and explain his every step as he repairs the phone.
“We’ve been so lucky to do such good work for folks,” Ketchem said. “To me, that’s the best part. That’s the reward in itself … even better than that, the next time we’re out and about and we see those people, it’s a whole new set of friends that you just made.”
A.K.’s iPhone Repair and Tech Support is located on 251 E. Lincoln St. and can be reached at 724-710-2378.