Small-business spotlight

SMALL-BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Electronic Outlet Center, East Chicago

2013-09-21T11:33:00Z 2013-09-23T15:11:06Z SMALL-BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Electronic Outlet Center, East ChicagoLesly Bailey Times correspondent
September 21, 2013 11:33 am  • 

EAST CHICAGO | When Kevin Fuller and Sherman McLawhorn relocated their business, Devine Owens Electronics Recycling, they saw an opportunity to launch a new component with the addition of the Electronic Outlet Center.

“We bought the building in East Chicago when we outgrew the space in Whiting. … We outgrew Berwyn and Whiting and have never looked back,” Fuller said. “Electronic Outlet Center is a completely new addition … a whole new business. We sell new and used products including computers, cameras, iPod accessories, speakers, camcorders and we have the service part.

“We saw the need for it. I couldn’t find a computer repair place or anything like that around. We had the empty space up front when we made the move so we decided to make it happen.”

Fuller sees repairs and education as being key aspects of the new business.

“We want to provide services for all electronic needs including repairs and upgrades. With computers, we want to offer information on how to use them and take care of them,” he said. “It’s no cost to educate customers and that will help with their costs in the long run.”

Offering used products at the new business builds on the root concept of Devine Owens as a recycling company.

Opened in 1996, Devine Owens Recycling Center focuses on the reuse and disposal of computer products, keeping them out of landfills.

“We do electronics recycling for hospitals, banks, law firms and corporations all over the country,” Fuller said.

Devine Owens provides pick-up service for commercial clients as well as data security on computers no longer needed by the companies.

The Electronic Outlet Center will also serve as a drop-off point for region residents looking for somewhere to dispose of their electronics. The team will accept, but not buy, used items.

Fuller said he has always had an interest in IT and business ownership.

“I am military-trained and when I got out of the Army in 1988, I started out on my own working in IT,” he said.

“I have been doing it forever … I was an entrepreneur as a little kid taking out the trash to collect pop bottles or cutting the grass. I have always enjoyed helping people and being in the service industry.

“I love people, dealing with people, meeting new people and being a help.”

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