National Women’s Month - Women in Tech!
Piggy’s Repairs - A focus on the WoPiggys Repairman running a community based Service
National Women’s Month gave us a great opportunity to recognize a woman in the tech industry that’s made her own path to device repair, while providing her family and community with her shared technical experience.
We’d like you to meet Ashonda Sanoguet, owner and operator of Piggy’s Repairs, which is proudly located in Bronx New York.
Ashonda, can you give us a little information about how you started out?
I’ve been repairing devices for 6 years. It all started with being a sales associate at Verizon Wireless in 2016. I was so intrigued with repairing phones
But they weren’t repair phones in the stores at that time, correct? Right, repairs were above my pay grade, but I know having these skills in my back pocket would benefit me in the long run.
It sounds like you like to solve problems? I’ve always enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together.
It's not an easy thing to learn on your own, how did you get started with repairs? In 2017 I landed a job as a repair technician for Asurion, and I haven’t looked back.
That’s great, so how did you go from Asurion to starting Piggy’s Repair? It feels like yesterday when I was working for Asurion as a repair technician but was forced to leave the job I loved to work for the DMV in order to provide for my two boys. Soon that opportunity would come to an end due to my son having a hole in his kidney. He was later diagnosed with chronic asthma which required me to attend the hospital every single day after my 10-hour shift. It was then that I knew how important it was to run my own business.
Fast forward, Piggy’s Repairs would come alive in Mount Vernon of 2020 where we shared an office with another tech company ran by a woman - yea …. we’re breaking the cycle! Although I loved every minute of it, the world would literally show me it’s love in a totally different fashion. On Valentine’s Day of 2020 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Wow, that's a game changer. That didn’t stop me! Even after being told to stay on bed rest, I still managed to offer pick up and drop off services.
When did your storefront open? I pinched and saved every penny from those repairs, and on June 19th 2021 I was able to open a commercial location in the Bronx CANCER FREE!
Well congratulations on both the store and being cancer free! So Piggy's Repairs, where did the name come from? It’s just a childhood nickname! The friends who gave me that name also encouraged me to start the business!
So how have you been growing your business? Is this word of mouth or have you been driving social campaigns for your business? A Little of both. The majority of our growth is from foot traffic and word of mouth. We are also seeing tremendous progress through our affiliations with the STEM program. We have students showing up to the shop outside of classes to receive the full tech experience.
We understand that you have been working within your community to provide opportunities. Can you tell us a little about your goals? My goals are to incorporate repair courses into STEM programs in my community.
What have you learned about putting together the repair courses in your community? Students are more excited about tech than I thought they would be. I’ve also learned that the more repair courses we put in our communities the better off our kids will be in the future.
What type of programs have you started? We’ve already partnered with both Children’s Aid Society (young adults in foster care) and Children of Promise (children with incarcerated parents).
So you’re giving these young adults an opportunity to share in your passion! Have you seen any promising prospects for your next repair shop? Absolutely! These kids are very ambitious and talented. Some I don’t have to tend to as much due to how quick they adapt. Students in the program are already inquiring about working for Piggy’s in the summer and in the near future.
What tips would you provide to other women that are looking to enter the repair business? YOU ARE NO DIFFERENT - JUST KEEP GOING!
We’d like to thank you for answering our questions and enlightening us about the work you are doing in your community! We wish you the best with your shop and the STEM program you’re working on with your community. Again, we appreciate you participating in this blog for National Women’s Month.