Two local businesses are coming together to be a one-stop shop for repairing everything from rocking chairs to iPods.
Village Green Renewal, run by Seth Barrett, is now hosting the man at the helm of Philip's TV & Stereo, Allen MacPherson, better known as "Red"--and will be expanding some of their services with MacPherson's expertise. The two sat down with Patch to talk about their merging busineses.
Village Green already repairs just about anything from chairs to lamps to bikes--and now includes televisions and other electronics. Carrying on the tradition of Phil Waldman--the Philip in Philip's TV--who started MacPherson working at the TV shop out of the Navy. MacPherson has been with Philip's TV since 1969.
"Red is a community institution, he's been here forever, everyone loves him," Barrett said, "To have Red's business disappear completely doesn't feel right. I understand that things have to change, but it's nice when things don't actually have to go away."
The two got to know each other through the Brookline Rotary Club, which MacPherson described it as an "intergral part of our lives."
"When Red told me things were starting to spiral for him, we worked together to try and come up with a solution, try and figure out what to do. I think Red's business as it was stumbling and struggling," said Barrett.
Business at the TV repair shop, located at the corner of School and Harvard Streets, was starting to slow down.
"The internet gets in the way. The markup on televisions is so little, and the repairs are so costly. So that makes it very difficult in my position," MacPherson explained.
Despite the ease of replacing a TV, there is still a need for MacPherson's services: many "Joe Average" customers who are confused by some of the more complicated home theatre systems. For example, MacPherson said that, if a customer presses the wrong button, they could be without their TV or DVD player for the weekend.
"There's nobody to call--there isn't. Best Buy could care less. So, there is a place for service in that respect," MacPherson added.
MacPherson also added that regular customers have been telling him not to leave, not to close. Joking, he adds, "you still have to eat, you still have to do something."
Barrett agreed, adding that for $300-400 TVs, it's not usually worth repairing them--especially as a newer model is usually available. However, for more expensive, larger TVs--of which he says there are many in the Brookline and Newton area--the repairs are more cost effective. The two also hope to move into home theatre installation, as well as installing TVs and audio systems for businesses and restaurants.
"I have some electronics expertise that I haven't put into play out of respect for Red and his business." Said Barrett, "I don't like to compete against local businesses I grew up around."
"You couldn't compete," MacPherson interjects with a smile.
Village Green Renewal also does not repair clocks and watches, also out of respect to two local businesses. However, in addition to televisions, Village Green can also repairs computers, laptops, iPods and other electronic devices, and can do some data recovery.
Not only are the two businesses fixtures in the Brookline Village business scene, the two men are long-time residents of the town.
MacPherson put his four children through Brookline High School. His parents died young, and he was determined to have roots--so he and his wife moved into Brookline in '63.
"Brookline has been good to me, and I've been good to Brookline." Commented MacPherson, "It's been a big part of my life.
Barrett says his son is a third-generation Pierce School student, and that his feet remember the curb stones in the park. He currently lives "about 200 feet" away from his business.
"Brookline really matters. It's really means something," Barrett said.