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High tech in Old Town

Modified: Thursday, Jan 19th, 2017

Jolene Mederios works with both MAC and PC users at her new cyber lounge, Florence Tech Solutions, on Bay Street in Historic Old Town Florence.

New Florence Tech Solutions ‘Cyber Lounge’ offers wide variety of tech support services

According to Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, tourism-related businesses in town have seen a welcome increase in customers at their shops, restaurants and hotels in the last six months. There has also been a noticeable increase in new businesses opening their doors during that time.

One of these new enterprises is Florence Tech Solutions (FTS). Located in Historic Old Town Florence, FTS is offering a unique menu of technology related services.

Owner Jolene Mederios believes these services will appeal to residents of Florence and its many visitors. Mederios has recently opened what might best be referred to as a cyber lounge.

She said she hopes that the merging of an inviting place to hang out, a tech-savvy service menu and workstations for both PC and Mac will fill what she perceived as a gap in the tech support options available to the community.

Mederios received her initial tech training while serving in the Air Force from 2008 to 2016. During that time, she attained two associate degrees and a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

After leaving the service, Mederios was visiting her parents who had recently retired here. The area’s beauty and the friendly people of Florence captivated her.

“I fell in love with Florence and I moved here in April of last year,” Mederios said.

She was looking for work in her field at the time, but was looking in larger populations centers.

“I was looking for IT support jobs in Portland and Eugene, but I really loved Florence and I wanted to be close to my family,” Mederios said. “So my mom had the idea of opening a business here and that was the spark that got us going.

“My mom always tells everybody what I do for a living, which is IT support, and I was getting a lot of questions. So I started helping people and I was getting pretty busy. And the feedback from my clients was very positive. That was when I decided to start a business and it just took off from there.”

FTS provides repair service and instruction at its Old Town location. FTS will also come to people to install, troubleshoot and instruct.

Mederios started out by doing mostly onsite mobile service and support calls and found the need for her services grew quite quickly.

“I did it mobile for eight or nine months and with Old Town being such an integral part of Florence, we were wanting to open a place down here. We happened to be walking by one day and saw this place was going to be available, so we jumped on it,” she said.

Mederios is quick to add that FTS is a family business in the true sense of the word. Her mom has taken on the role of business advisor and back up employee, and her father is involved in a number of ways, including making the necessary physical changes to the storefront that currently houses FTS.

“I do the tech support part of things, but it really is a family business. So I always say ‘we’ when referring to the business, because I couldn’t do it without them,” Mederios said. “They’ve been so supportive and they have helped so much. My dad helped with the renovations inside and my mom helps out here when I am out on a service call. Without them I couldn’t do what I do here.”

The services offered at FTS are varied, as Mederios can help with problems of all types. She can help with small issues having to do with email or phone settings for little or no charge.

Her website lists a wide array of services, including tutoring and troubleshooting, and she also offers classes in Mac and PC use.

Mederios encourages people to stop in with any questions or problems they have and she will attempt to help them in whatever way she can, even if the problem is easily fixed.

And she said she never charges for service if she is unable to repair a problem.

The response to the opening of FTS has been encouraging.

Mederios believes as time passes, she will be able to provide services not only to residents, but also to many of the people traveling thru Florence.

“We think that come summer time, we are going to be a great addition to Old Town, especially with travelers that may have forgotten an adapter or need to print something, or are having a problem with their phone or tablet,” she said.

The interior of the cyber lounge has multiple workstations, a casual seating area in the back of the building and a large screen high-definition TV for customer use.

Mederios is also open to suggestions for other uses for the lounge.

She said she hopes that FTS will become a place that community members will gather, not only for computer issues, but also for meeting and spending time with their friends and neighbors.

“All the people here have been so nice. All the clients I have helped have been so supportive,” Mederios said. “It has been very rewarding and also very humbling to be so appreciated and accepted so quickly. I am really looking forward to the future to see how far we can take this.”

Florence Tech Solutions is at 1431 Bay St. and can be reached at 541-991-3705 and www.florencetechsolutions.com.

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