By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Report
FULTON, Ill. —
A new tech repair business is hoping to modernize local businesses and address the technological needs of the community. Digital Butlers, 901 First Street, opened three months ago in the shadow of the de Immigrant Windmill and celebrated their grand opening Wednesday.
“If it’s digital it can be done,” owner Mark Van Kampen said.
Van Kampen, a Fulton native, returned to the area to start his own tech savvy business after years of traveling and working as a chemist and then as a graphic designer. While he spent nine years as a chemist, he says he has always had a passion for computers. Van Kampen recalls using one of the first computers the Commodore 64 when he was only 7 years old.
“I still remember using that first computer,” Van Kampen said. “I always knew I needed to work in a technology-based field.”
After leaving chemistry, he got into graphics and printing, leaving his mark and an impressive portfolio. Van Kampen did work for the Houston Oilers, Cincinnati Reds, Budweiser, McDonalds and Playboy. He created the Budweiser millenium case and created graphics for the McDonalds Monopoly game. All of these experiences left him with a diverse background and plenty of experience to start his own business and return to his hometown.
“Work was taking me all over,” Van Kampen said. “They wanted me to go work in California, but I wanted to come home and be with my son.”
Digital Butlers provides a one stop shop for technical repair for everything from laptops and video game systems to iPhones and iPads. The new business is the only apple-certified repair shop in the area, the next closest is located in Naperville, Ill. DB boasts quick and efficient service.
“People can come in on their lunch breaks and get their phone fixed in an hour,” Van Kampen said.
In-home service is also available, providing convenience to customers. A wide variety of technology accessories are also sold at DB. Free digital disposal is offered the first Saturday of each month. Residents can dispose of all digital devices, except for televisions, at the store.
Customers also can donate old computers to the store that will be given to needy kids.
“A lot of kids take technology for granted,” Van Kampen said. “For kids who aren’t able to afford a computer it means the world to them.”
In addition to repair service, Van Kampen has been using his marketing skills to help area businesses get modernized, from setting up websites to creating new logos, menus, signs and more. Recent projects include Manny’s Too, El Torro and Windmill Realty.
Digital Butlers is not a place to sit still for long. With interactive electronic displays, guests can play around while they wait to get their devices fixed. Currently the store contains a large monitor with new operating system Windows 8 installed. Future plans include a lounge complete with a variety of other interactive devices.
“We all like what we do and we offer everything under one roof,” Van Kampen said.
The store is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit the Digital Butlers Facebook page or call (815) 208-7015.