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Three women forge path in male-dominated field of cell phone repair

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Posted at 7:54 AM, Mar 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 06:44:34-05

March is Women's History Month and TMJ4 News is highlighting three women in our community who left their own comfort zones to work together in an effort to keep all of us connected.

You break it, they fix it.

Meet, Kristen Pfeifer, Katie Ryan Pluer, and Shannon Lopez, three women who are now all in business together

Their roots run deep, Kristen and Katie are sisters, and Shannon, a childhood friend of both.

But cell phone repair is not something this team of women has been plugged into for long.

Katie talks about her other role before a business owner, saying "So the last job I was a director of marketing for a wealth management firm."

Small business was no stranger to Shannon, who is a part-owner in Roots salon.

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"I don't I do not have a tech background um I guess my background is as a small business owner," said Shannon.

So, why do it?

They all agree there is strength in numbers

"We always wanted to, you know, go into business together," says Katie.

Shannon finds familiarity in friends.

"Obviously, I've known them my whole life. So, we're all very close friends," says Shannon.

Each of them brings their own expertise to the four uBreakiFix stores they own around Milwaukee.

Kristen oversees the in-store operation.

"So, I am in charge of operations, so I work most closely with the managers in the team," said Kristen.

"My role in our business is more like you know the financials like a CFO," says Shannon, who crunches the numbers from home.

Katie is focused on the people and customer

"My job is really like I want to reach out to the community...That's my passion is just trying to be a true community partner."

The trio is one of only 10 women-owned franchises for uBreakiFix across the country.

"It's a very, very small voice so you have to be able to speak up in those scenarios," said Katie.

Kristen says, "I feel like it's definitely the technology can be like a man's world you know what I mean so it's really kind of gaining a lot of respect."

But that respect didn't come easily, says Kristen.

"Sometimes like with the customer, they'll be like oh like asked for...'You know, is there a male there,' I'm like 'no I'm fine I got this.'"

Shannon with her own point of view: "I would say there are definitely some advantages."

Like helping other women find their strength... And offering this advice.

"It only doesn't work when you give up...You can't give up like you, you just have to keep going, no matter what," says Shannon.

Katie says, "I never thought graduating high school I'd be in tech right, not on my radar at all, but I knew that I wanted to do business."

"You can do anything, and I think it's really important to have that faith in yourself," says Kristen.

And while they are not giving up, neither are the customers. Katie says the industry continues to grow.

"I don't see the industry shrinking I see it, growing."

The team is working on starting a fifth store in Racine, along with two mobile repair vans that can travel to help customers at their homes or offices.

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