Tracy Rosario works in the business of problem-solving. Years after immigrating from Trinidad, she took her love of tinkering and problem-solving and quickly taught herself how to do phone repairs.
When she moved to Lancaster County, she wanted to open a business combining her love of the trade and her talent. In 2014, Rosario, now 44, opened Fix (IT) Chix, a computer and phone repair business in Lancaster city, near the Amtrak station.
You grew up in Trinidad. What inspired you to move to the U.S.?
I moved to the U.S. just after I turned 20 years old. I always knew I wanted to live in the U.S. ... It was the land of opportunity. I wanted more for myself and my family. We were very poor and my mother instilled hard work and dedication in all of us at a very young age. She taught us that education would be our way out.
After several years of being in the U.S., you emerged in the tech industry. How did you get there?
I always loved making things and creating things with my hands. I also had a fascination with everything electronic. I dreamed of building a robot when I was a child, but of course I didn’t have the means to do so. I tried any science experiment that involved household supplies. My parents let me do (that) and it was the best thing they could have done. When I moved to Lancaster, I needed a job and I saw an opening for phone repairs. I didn’t have experience, but ... I learned to do the repairs very quickly.
You went from phone repairs to owning your own business. What was the process?
If you talk to any of my friends, they would tell you that I have always been an idea person, and some (of those ideas) were really silly. I was ready, definitely not intimidated to start this business. I have a life partner who supported me and that was all I needed to go for it. Every day is a little different, which is a good thing. I get a lot of satisfaction from solving a problem with a device, fixing something that is broken and saving it from winding up in the trash.
How has COVID-19 changed your life and your business?
It initially affected the shop because we closed down for two weeks, but I wanted to keep my people paid and be there for customers. I worked out a solution to offer pickup and drop-off appointments to customers through the website on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The days surrounding that would be days we would come in and actually get the work done. Our service was very needed during this unprecedented time, when everyone was working from home and needed their devices to work. So, all in all, I’d have to say that we were OK.
During that time, I repaired a computer for a doctor, a phone for a nurse and helped a customer in the mental health field save some data that was very important. Those (situations) stick out in my mind and made me see how needed we were. I just follow the guidelines and so far we have been able to stay clear of COVID-19 in the shop and at home thankfully.
What encourages you most about the future of Lancaster County?
I think the growth of the county and the awareness of the people here in Lancaster is very encouraging. I think Lancaster is very diverse. The people who live here and the energy to improve the city and offer more to the surrounding communities is a very positive thing.
What concerns you most about the future of Lancaster County?
I can’t say that I have any concerns. I see Lancaster as a place where people can thrive and grow in many aspects of their lives. The key is to work hard and be driven for what we want. The city is changing every year, but change is inevitable. We must embrace it and continue to do whatever we can to improve the county in whatever small ways we can.