Boyhood hobby to serious repairs: How one local business got its start

  • Wednesday, August 13, 2014

McGee with his wall of damaged screens. PHOTO BY DUSTIN WATERS

Photos

Open the door to MobileR Mobile Device Repairs in Mount Pleasant and you'll see a wall lined with dozens of shattered screens and cracked cases. Each and every one an all-too-common crisis for customers who thought they'd be stuck with a battered iPhone or Android until they sought out the services of Michael McGee.

Setting up shop in Mount Pleasant just one year ago, McGee has established his one-man operation as the saving grace for those smart phone users prone to mishaps. Starting fresh out of high school, McGee spent six years with AT&T before moving on to work with SmartPhone Medic in Columbia, South Carolina, McGee's hometown. As that operation started to expand, McGee decided it was time to break out on his own, and Mount pleasant seemed like the perfect place.

“I used to actually come down here with my family for summer vacation ... I always liked the Charleston area, so I decided to check out Mount Pleasant,” McGee said. “I saw how much growth was going on down here in the last two years, and I thought this was an awesome opportunity. I knew that there were some other repair shops, but I felt like I was able to contribute a little more to it.”

Now, MobileR sits nestled among the other local businesses on South Shelmore Boulevard. Enter McGee's shop and you're sure to see him crouched over his workbench, old-school craftsmanship, new-world technology, and it all started when he was a kid.

“I kind of grew up building computers just for video games and stuff and that got me into tinkering with electronics,” said McGee. “Over time, even in high school, I started taking apart little flip phones.”

McGee credits his mother and father with helping develop his interest in electronics into a full-fledged business.

“My parents wouldn't go out and buy a new computer every time I wanted to play the latest game, so they would help me out with getting a new graphics card or more memory,” McGee said. “That helped out and taught me how to build a computer and that way I worked for it.”

Now, what began as simply learning to replace the graphics card on his PC or putting a transparent case on an old Nokia, has grown into an actual business for McGee and added to the rich, entrepreneurial landscape of the area.

MobileR is located at 716 S. Shelmore Blvd., Suite 103 in Mount Pleasant. The shop repairs all varieties of phones and tablets. Rates vary depending on the type and model of the phone or tablet and the extent of the damage. McGee specializes mainly in repairing hardware damage but is able to correct software issues in some cases. Visit www.themobilerepair.com for more information and rates. McGee can be reached at 843-388-3897.

Dustin Waters is one of our staff reporters and the staff copy editor. Follow Dustin on Twitter @MNreports for more news updates.

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