Apparently all hobbies aren’t are a waste of time.
Matt Bremner, 27, has turned a pastime into a rapidly expanding business that appears only to be gaining steam.
His iRepair shops located on College Street and in the Yonge and Eglinton area were one of the first in Canada to focus solely on fixing iPods.
But he didn’t always plan to get involved in fixing electronics. In fact, before he started thinking about opening the shops he owned his own painting business. It took a broken ankle while mountain boarding in Colorado in 2003 for him to start thinking about an electronics repair business. “My foot got stuck in the strap and the board did a 360 and took my ankle with it,” said Bremner.
The six-month healing process gave him plenty of time to indulge in his hobby of tinkering with electronics, something he hadn’t spent much time doing since some digital media courses he took at George Brown College in 1999. “I had a lot of time to focus on other ways of making money. I still had to pay the bills somehow, and then I realized how much I enjoyed it.”
He started refurbishing iPods and laptops and selling them on EBay, which eventually turned into an online business where people could mail him their broken gadgets.
In 2006, he started to repair iPods exclusively since that was where most of his business was coming from. Using the steady sales from the online store as a barometer for demand, he decided to open a shop on College Street.
Working by himself when the shop opened, he soon had to hire employees to help out with repairs. After working out of this location with three people crammed into the back of a 250-square-foot building, he realized another location was the best way to go.
“At that time I knew we needed a little more room, but since it was such a great location and already somewhat established I figured Yonge and Eglinton would be a good neighbourhood.”
Wasting little time, the second location was opened in January 2007 and last May another shop was opened in Nashville, Tenn. Next he plans to set up a shop in Vancouver where his wife grew up.
For more information, visit www.irepair.ca.