When the husband and wife team of Jeff and Gina Siepierski decided that it was finally time to take a leap of faith and embark on a new business venture together, it was important to them that they establish a business powered by the synergy of their combined unique talents. Also a top priority was that the new venture provided a genuine “service with integrity” for their community. The opportunity to be the go-to “mom-and-pop shop” for pre-owned Apple products, service, and support was exactly what they were looking for, and as it turns out exactly what the community had been missing.
Jeff spent 17 years in big-box retail in Orchard Park and became a familiar face to most people in the community. He always enjoyed providing outstanding customer service, but the big-box corporate environment slowly eroded away at most opportunities to provide a customer service experience that he believed his customers deserved.
Gina had been a freelance graphic designer and marketing consultant for over 20 years, and as most people are aware, graphic designers love their Mac computers. So, of course, Gina was a self-proclaimed “Mac geek.” Jeff quickly inherited his love for Apple products from Gina.
More and more, Jeff craved the days of customers leaving with exactly what they needed — nothing more, nothing less — rather than what the corporate office wanted him to sell. So together, Jeff and Gina began bouncing business ideas around and researching franchise opportunities. Then, in February 2016, a new franchise appeared on the list with a business model that not only focused on retail, but also on Apple products. Experimac immediately caught the Siepierski’s attention.
“We looked at it as a ‘dream team’ situation because it combined Jeff’s retail experience and absolute passion for customer service, with my love of Apple products. We were excited about the opportunity to work together in a way that would complement each other’s ability and talents. It was immediately clear that we had found the perfect synergy for our family,” said Gina.
The next question was, “Where?” Given the popularity of Apple products, the Siepierski’s felt that the Southtowns were underserved and the perfect location for those who don’t want to drive to the Walden Galleria or the Northtowns for Apple support, services, or products. “We felt very confident about choosing Orchard Park for our location because we have both called the Southtowns home for our entire lives, and we knew the community would both benefit from and appreciate our presence,” Jeff added.
So the Siepierski’s took the leap … Jeff left his job, and together with Gina they overcame all of the challenges that present themselves when starting a business. It was exciting, but there were also some stressful and trying days before everything finally came together. The Siepierski’s secured their financing, signed a lease for an amazing central location – in the 5-Corners Top’s/Lowe’s Plaza, behind Taffy’s, near Independent Health – and began construction. Their hard work and sweat were entombed in every paint stroke and each bit of flooring. Gina looks back on those days with pride. “I would run over to get food from Moe’s with crazy hair and covered in paint. Then I would walk back into ‘our’ store and see the progress, and just get overwhelmed with emotions. We were making it happen – together. We really were the ‘dream team!’”
But the husband and wife “dream team” knew they couldn’t do it alone. In his big-box retail days, Jeff managed over 80 employees and was the regional trainer for new managers, so he didn’t take the hiring process lightly. It was important to Jeff to build a team of like-minded people that shared his passion for customer service, and commitment to “service with integrity.”
Jeff immediately thought of Chris and started the process of recruiting him. Chris was one of his most trusted employees, had a complete understanding of today’s technology, and a genuine appreciation of the importance of old-school customer service. But recruiting him wouldn’t be easy since Chris would have to leave the security of a large, long-established company for a small brand new start-up. Luckily, Chris weighed the risks and saw the value in working for a boss who wanted to build a real team and that considered him a friend – not just an employee number in an HR database.
To round out the team, the Siepierski’s needed to find a full-time computer-geek-techie-nerd. Quite a few resumes came through, but Josh was a standout with extensive experience on PCs, an interest in electrical engineering, motivated to be self-reliant, and an obvious talent as a quick study. The team came together beautifully.
On November 14, 2016, the Siepierski’s new technology store, Experimac - Orchard Park, officially opened for business for customers to buy, sell or trade everything Apple, and to repair and service Apple products, Androids, PCs and more. Their certified pre-owned Apple products include iPhone devices, iPad tablets, MacBook computers, iMac desktops, AppleTV devices, AppleWatch, and a wide range of cases, chargers and accessories.
But this had to be so much more than your typical technology store. The Siepierski’s had a responsibility to their new team. “It blows us away when we think about the fact that we now sign off on pay checks and that we have created actual jobs! It might sound silly to some, but it is a huge responsibility that we don’t take lightly,” said Gina. The Siepierski’s also had a responsibility to their family after taking such a big risk, and a responsibility to their community to deliver on their promise of “service with integrity.”
As a result, customers notice a welcoming atmosphere as soon as they walk in, and experience a commitment to customer service that is absolutely unheard of anymore. “As a small family business, we appreciate every customer, we take their trust to heart, and we work very hard to make sure they get the most out of their investment in our certified pre-owned Apple products,” said Gina. While Experimac - Orchard Park is a franchise store, the Siepierski’s are confident that their ownership makes their store different. “Yes, we are a franchise, but more than that, we are a true modern ‘mom-and-pop’ store,” Jeff added.
So, what exactly makes Experimac - Orchard Park so different?
“Our kids go to school in Orchard Park and they both spend days off and time after school with us here at the store, lending a helping hand, playing video games, and talking to our customers. They put the ‘family’ in our family business and that wouldn’t be possible if the store weren’t so close to home,” said Jeff.
Honesty and Integrity:
The Siepierski’s deliver on their promise to provide “service with integrity.” Jeff has built a team that knows and understands that customers need guidance to determine their needs. They make sure the specifications of the devices they sell match the needs of each individual customer. “A professional photographer has very different needs than a snowbird retiree on a budget who is looking for a light, portable but reliable laptop to travel with,” said Jeff.
At Experimac - Orchard Park, they stand behind their products and service with a one-year “Like New” warranty on all certified pre-owned Apple products, and with a 90-day warranty on all repairs and upgrades.
No appointments necessary at Experimac - Orchard Park; customers can pull up with convenient ample parking and walk right in for repairs or sales. iPhone screen repairs are typically completed within the hour, battery replacements within 20 minutes, and forget the struggle of carrying your iMac through a parking ramp or mall as Jeff and his team provide curbside carry-out/in service.
Shopping certified pre-owned Apple products at Experimac - Orchard Park can save you up to 60 percent off retail. Zero percent financing is available and you can save even more with trade-in values 10 percent over competitors’ published rates.
Jeff and his team understand that it’s their job to have an understanding of technology that customers don’t typically have, especially the baby boomer generation who didn’t have the luxury of today’s technology while growing up. Every customer enjoys expert, honest one-on-one service and each purchase includes data transfers, account setup, and in-store support. On-site small business services and at-home support are also available.
Tech Training Tuesdays:
“If you don’t judge me on my terrible cooking,” Gina jokes, “then I won’t judge you on your tech-skills. This is what I do all day, every day. I am supposed to know these things! There is no shame in having questions.” Gina has committed herself to ensuring that their customers have the opportunity to get the most out of their Apple product investment with Tech Training Tuesdays Classes designed specifically for the after-50 market. Classes are included and unlimited with all computers and devices purchased from their store (regular price $20 per person per class, or free when you “like” their page and register for class on Facebook). Gina personally teaches each class from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday evenings;
• every 1st Tuesday of the month focuses on iPhone and iPad device basics
• every 2nd Tuesday focuses on iMac and MacBook computer basics
• every 3rd Tuesday is Photos Project Basics.
All classes are listed online at www.experimacop.com/classes.
The Siepierski’s have always enjoyed fine art and design, which lead to their “Artisan Accessories” section featuring unique tech-gift ideas by local artisans. Shop for one-of-a-kind, beautifully sculpted Artisan Sound Amplifying Stands by Architectural Sculptor, Ray Connors, or handcrafted wooden stylus pens by Clark's HandiCrafts of Orchard Park. Be sure to check out Gina’s own “With Love from Buffalo” Artisan Accessories collection of laser engraved iPhone and iPad cases featuring her original 716 Buffalo designs, Buffalo Polish, Celtic and Italian designs, and Rushford Lake designs.
As Experimac - Orchard Park approaches their second anniversary, the Siepierski’s look forward to celebrating as a family along with their original team members Chris and Josh, as well as with their customers. “It means so much to us that our customers have put their trust in us enough to refer their friends and family – including seniors who are often targeted by phishing scams – their trust is a really big deal!” said Gina. “In all sincerity, the support we have received from our customers leaves us speechless. Their trust in us is what allows us to work together as a family. We are just so very grateful for each and every customer.”
We encourage you to visit Chris, Josh and the Siepierski family Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Experimac – Orchard Park, 3229 Southwestern Blvd. in the 5-Corners Top’s/Lowe’s Plaza, behind Taffy’s, between Moe’s and Independent Health. If you have any questions, please call (716) 608-6874, visit experimacOP.com or Facebook.com/experimacOP.
Whether you visit Experimac - Orchard Park for repairs, to shop certified pre-owned/one-year warrantied Apple products, or to take a Tech Training Tuesday class, you can be confident that you will receive friendly, instant walk-in “service with integrity.” Finally, a technology store for after 50!