Electronics repair business brings career change, outlet for passion
GREENFIELD — Carlos Cortes spent much of his career working for an electronics repair franchise in Indianapolis before the company offered him an ownership opportunity.
It just wasn’t what he had in mind. He had been eyeing the Greenfield market for some time, but his employer was skeptical that the city could support such a business.
“I don’t need them to do that,” he remembered thinking. “I’ll just do it myself.”
So he and his wife, Hayley, set out on their own to open ElecTech Repairs in Greenfield’s Green Meadows Shopping Center. There, Cortes and his colleague fulfill lifelong passions for understanding the inner workings of electronics while helping customers hold on to valuable devices and data.
ElecTech takes on all kinds of electronics, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, cellular phones, gaming consoles, drone equipment and even older technology like tape players.
“There’s really not much that we can’t tackle,” said Cortes, an Anderson resident.
Electronics first captivated him at an early age.
“I’ve been tinkering since I was a child, getting yelled at by my parents and everything,” he said.
Cortes received biomedical technical training from Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis before starting out his career fixing equipment for hospitals.
Greenfield resident Logan Harter began as an apprentice at ElecTech before becoming a part owner. Growing up watching his father build his own desktop computers sparked a fascination with how that hardware created what showed up on a computer screen. That interest came rushing back as an adult and helped place him on his current career path while studying software development at Ivy Tech in a class for fixing, repairing and troubleshooting.
“I just love taking apart stuff, learning how it works, seeing how it’s specifically set up,” Harter said. “That’s just fun to me.”
Cortes is driven by a desire to serve those who come into his shop feeling clueless after losing precious contents off their electronic devices. He said it’s not uncommon for customers to cry after discovering the business was able to retrieve material they thought could be lost forever.
“We just try to give it our all,” Cortes said. “Sometimes it’s a quick one-day thing; sometimes it takes a lot longer than that, but it’s because we want to give it everything we can to get it working for them.”
Harter also enjoys the recovery part of the job.
“We might see it just as data on a computer, but for them it’s memories,” he said.
He recalled one customer whose computer hard drive crashed with decades worth of photos on it.
“It couldn’t boot to Windows,” he said. “But the data on there was still OK. So I was able to get that out, put it on a flash stick; she’s all set up.”
The variety of jobs keeps the work interesting as well.
“Even with our knowledge bank, we still learn new things,” Harter said. “There’s always room to grow.”
One example of that, Cortes said, was a 1962 IBM Selectric II typewriter he fixed.
“That thing is hard to repair,” he said, adding it’s more mechanical than electronic. “They used to send technicians out there to do work at companies and such. You’re never going to find one of those guys anymore. Fixing that thing, unbelievably, was a labor of love. That took months.”
He prepared for the task by tracking down and watching hours of old IBM training videos.
“We can make a lot of things that seem impossible very possible,” he said.
Cortes and Harter said they have a high success rate, even with more difficult devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro.
“Most people won’t touch them at all because they are very intricate,” Cortes said.
His hunch about Greenfield being able to support the business was right. August brought record sales, he said, and Harter added the business had a record day in September.
“We haven’t had a nonprofitable month,” Cortes said. “I’ve always believed in this business model: You help people, do the right thing, the reputation will grow, and word of mouth will grow.”
1554 N. State St., Greenfield in the Green Meadows Shopping Center
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays