Owner: Cindy Luffer
Locations: 3 in Calgary, 1 in Edmonton
Size: 12 full-time staff members
Core Business: Phone, tablet, laptop and computer repairs
Cindy Luffer, owner of iPhix, moved to Calgary from Montreal in 2006 during the oil and gas boom. At the time, Cindy was a Chemical Engineer and her husband was doing piping design, so it was a great fit for the both of them. While on maternity leave with their third child, Cindy’s iPhone 3G fell and the screen shattered.
“I found this quite devastating and knew that there had to be a way to fix something like this,” Cindy says. “There was no one fixing iPhones in Calgary and we couldn’t even find the parts locally!”
Cindy and her husband finally tracked down parts abroad and tried to fix the phone with no knowledge of what they were going to find inside. When they discovered the complexity and lack of local shops or parts, Cindy knew this could become a business. Necessity led to opportunity as she took the results of her research and launched iPhix in 2009.
Since, Cindy has hit many milestones; opening multiple locations and even making Alberta Venture’s Fast Growth 50 list – twice!
“My first pop-up setup – that I took to the food courts of Universities all over Alberta to repair and sell accessories – was a great way to test the market,” she says.
There are now four iPhix stores open to the public, one tablet and laptop shop and the mobile unit she originally started with. One of their biggest successes has been the corporate repair program. iPhix currently has 38 companies signed on with the latest being CP Rail and Conoco Phillips!
When asked what her recipe for growth and success is, Cindy says it was growing the business only when she had enough financial success to carry on further. “I have not borrowed any money and I only started with my first parts order using cash flow from my personal account. The rest of the orders came as I had the funds.”
In the next five years, Cindy hopes to have five more stores open and in the next 10 years, she would love to have at least one in each province Canada-wide.
“The best part about this experience has been meeting so many people along the way and working with my awesome staff that ‘thinks iPhix,’” she says.
“I also get along with the boss,” she adds jokingly.
iPhix HQ is located in Strategic Group’s Avenida Place at 311, 12100 Macleod Trail SE.