Tech entrepreneur geared up for expansion
Washington Mall's kiosk-based Gear & Gadget Bermuda is set to open a store near the Reid Street entrance of the mall at the beginning of November, and in time for the Christmas season.
And the business owner, Kenneth Styles-Pemberton, is expecting to hire an employee to assist him there.
In the new space, he plans to represent other entrepreneurs in his shop, some of whom are based outside Hamilton.
“It will make it a hub,” he explained.
For now, Mr Styles-Pemberton sells iPhone and iPad accessories at the kiosk, which is located on the Church Street level, next door to the Gold Standard premises.
Tech entrepreneur Mr Styles-Pemberton currently operates three businesses.
He also has a mobile deejay operation, as well as providing service and support to customers for Apple products.
“I make residential calls from 9am to noon, before I open the kiosk, and after hours as well,” he said.
He explained he began operating from the kiosk in August and his business has gone so well that he is now able to move into a new store area.
Currently he is in one of two kiosks in the mall, and Washington Properties expects to add a third shortly.
Washington Properties see the kiosks as a way for entrepreneurs to enter into the retail world.
If their business goes well, then — like Mr Styles-Pemberton — they may decide to take a store space.
“I had been working in corporate sales, for devices as well as accessories,” he said.
“I saw a void in the market — people need their own vibe or flavour, and I have tried to adhere to this. It is a very interesting market.”
Mr Styles-Pemberton explained he actually started the business online via Facebook, Instagram and “of course” eMoo.
Now he has the kiosk, he sells iPhone and iPad covers of all kinds, including Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry as well as covers for every Apple device.
He also stocks luxury cases, which range from quietly elegant to jewelled designs. Prices range between $5 and $45.
“The kiosk is phase one. Phase two will be app-enabled accessories — blood pressure monitors, scales, baby monitors, smart watches and Nike+ FuelBands, for example.
Once he moves into his store, he plans to increase his inventory by three or four times.
But Mr Styles-Pemberton is more than a salesman.
“I want to be able to provide services so people can understand their devices,” he said, explaining he was an iOS trainer for corporate clients.
“I will also be doing customer repairs.
“My biggest goal is customer retention.”
And while he was being interviewed, a customer arrived looking for a screen protector for his iPhone.
Mr Styles-Pemberton was able to offer him a choice of three, and explained that he would also apply it to the phone.
He noted he recently had a customer with a Samsung device.
“I took the time to set up e-mail address on it for them,” he said.
You can contact Mr Styles-Pemberton at email@example.com, or telephone him on 735-2273.
On Twitter he is @gngbermuda and on Facebook he is Gear & Gadget Bermuda.