In a prior version of this story, Mick Ventocilla indicated he had completed an application for a job without response from Genius Phone Repair. However, Ventocilla clarifies for FOX17 that he only emailed Genius Phone Repair and never officially applied for a position with them. Genius Phone Repair says they never received an official job application from Ventocilla. Sam Ventocilla, Mick’s brother, did apply and was hired for a position with Genius Phone Repair. However, he never completed the training program. FOX 17 regrets the errors.
SPRING LAKE, Mich. — Two Ottawa County teenagers have turned their talents into a new business venture. The Spring Lake High School students started repairing their classmates’ cellphones and just a few days ago they moved into a new storefront.
Seventeen-year-old Mick Ventocilla started fixing friends’ phones and his work eventually grew by word of mouth. When he couldn’t get a job at some stores because of his age, Ventocilla decided to take matters into his own hands and started a business.
If you’re just passing through Spring Lake, you might miss it. Lakeshore Tech Repair just opened on Monday at 220 West Savidge and already business is booming.
“On Monday we officially opened and we are busy from open to close,” said Ventocilla.
Ventocilla started out repairing his friends’ phones and by word of mouth his service spread to strangers.
“A classmate of mine was the first phone that I fixed,” said Ventocilla. “He told more classmates and I just started posting about it and said hey, if anyone breaks their phones I can probably help you out with it.”
He eventually included his best friend, Nicholas Giddings, in the venture.
“Together we’ve always been coming up with some sort of money-making venture or activities that we do,” said the 16-year-old Giddings. “I started helping Mick with the marketing and getting customers through social media and now he’s been slowly teaching me how to repair phones on my own.”
Both of the teens come from families that started small businesses and now they are learning the ropes.
“It’s a new experience working, owning and operating our own business,” said Giddings. “Our parents have always operated businesses and we kind of grew up with that mentality. Now we’re doing it on our own and it’s a really awesome experience.”
The pair have fixed nearly 200 phones so far and are staying super busy. They say that’s what allowed them to open a brick-and-mortar storefront in Spring Lake.
“I think there’s a negative stigma about kids handling electronics, but we were the generation that grew up around electronics,” said Ventocilla. “It’s stuff I’ve been involved in all my life.”
The pair eventually hope to open up franchises in other cities, possibly Holland or Grand Rapids, once they see where there’s a demand for them. The up-and-coming senior and junior at Spring Lake High School say the business isn’t going to interfere with their schoolwork once school starts back up, because the business is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
For more information, visit their Facebook page.