Rich’s Computer Repair Opening Fulfills Lifelong Passion
By Jessica Joerndt
WARREN, Ohio – Surrounded by his family and friends, Richard Furr Jr. officially opened the doors to a business that has been a long time coming. Rich’s Computer Repair and E-Waste Recycling commenced with a ribbon cutting on Friday at its office, 4251 Fairgreen Ave. in Warren.
Furr’s interest in computers dates back to the 1980s. After he took an electronics class at a vocational school, Furr began to gain recognition for his skills.
“I got a job out of that. They took the list of graduates, and I started installing digital equipment for phone companies back in the 1980s,” he said.
But when he moved to the Warren area he focused on taking care of his growing family of five and his passion for working in the digital industry was put on the back burner. He worked in plumbing and for Foundry Management and Technology, painting molds and other services before its Ravenna site closed in 2007.
After that, he attended Kent State University and continued to hone his computer skills at Green Computer Doctor in Champion. He said all of this education and practice led him to finally opening the doors to his own business.
Rich’s Computer and E-Waste Recycling works to repair a computer’s software and hardware. He also does e-waste recycling on countless different types of electronic equipment.
“I take it apart back there [in the office room]. This is a drop-off point more or less,” he said.
With a large number of people in the community needing computer repairs and coming to him with questions, Furr has stayed busy for a while before his doors even officially opened. He’s very generous with his clients.
“I tell people, ‘If you have a question, call me.’ It doesn’t cost anything to answer a question,” he said. “I’m always online trying to find something new to fix these computers.”
Furr said his client base has grown mainly through word of mouth. Between family, friends and clients from his past employment at Green Computer Doctor, he has gained his own clientele.
“I don’t sell new. I’ll go online and see if I can get a better deal than any other person can get, but most of the time at these stores around here, they can get them just as cheap as I can.”
He also sells refurbished computers.
“I go over them with a fine-toothed come and sell them at a reasonable price,” Furr said.
With his skills, he can even build gaming machines. If a client asks for something specific, he can take the time to create whatever they are looking for.
Taking the leap toward opening his own business took some time and planning, however.
“I had to put up a huge sum just to open up this store,” he said. “I wanted to be in this area. Kutlick Realty had a lot of places around here for lease, so I talked to him and he told me about this place. It was in my price range and in the area I wanted to be at.”
Furr was happy that there were landmarks that allowed more people to see his new business, such as an Arby’s and Farmer Plumbing, which is right next door. His office space is just enough for what he needs to do his work: a small waiting room and a few back rooms where he has all the tools needed to work on the electronics. It’s a cozy space and perfect for a one-man business, he said.
“I’m content. I like meeting new people every day, and I like doing my work,” he said. “I just went out and did it. Just do it. I had to jump out there. I had a lot of people that said ‘Go and do it.’ ”
As Furr’s wife, daughters, and grandchildren entered the room one group at a time for the ribbon cutting, it was easy to see where his encouragement came from.
“Most of my supporters are right here,” he said, pointing to his family.
One of his daughters, Angel Williams, didn’t hold back in showing her pride for the work her dad has done, and the history behind it.
“My whole life he’s been a really hard worker,” she said. “All I can remember is him working all the time just to provide for us. And when he decided to take this route, we were one hundred percent behind him. I’m pretty proud of him.”
Pictured: Trumbull County commissioner Frank Fuda and Rich’s Computer Repair owner Richard Furr are joined by Furr’s wife, Angela Jo Kindelberger Burr, and grandkids, Max and Sadie.
Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.