The Two Flags Computer Center, located at 547 10th Street, celebrated its 14th birthday Thursday, May 24 with a special celebration highlighted by a ribbon cutting making them an official member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Arturo Escalante of the HCC welcomed Lawana Diffie and her son Charles, co-owners of Two Flags Computer Center, to the group.
“We are so happy to have them join us,” Escalante said.
Lawana said her store offers a variety of technological and secretarial basis. They also sends faxes, scanning and emailing services plus Lawana is a certified notary.
At the celebration on May 24 Two Flags Computer Center was also showing off the virtual reality glasses that have just recently come out.
“These allow you to get a 360 degree angle on everything,” she said. “Whether it be Venice or Greece, even a roller coaster ride takes on a whole new dimension when you have on the virtual reality glasses.”
She added the ribbon cutting was a recommitment to themselves as well as the community.
“We started this business 14-years ago because we couldn’t find jobs,” she said. “Neither my business partner nor I speak spanish. I had put in multiple job applications and so many of them required spanish that we decided perhaps we would start our own business.”
Lawana said it started out as a training business but it became clear very quickly that Douglas needed somebody to do computer repairs and configurations and do some training with that.
“We try to partner with people so that not only do we repair their machines but we talk with them about what perhaps they could be doing a little bit different than what they have been in the past.”
She added there are a lot of different types of scammers going on now days who claim they are willing to help people with their computers when that is not the case and they are out instead to cause a big problem for you.
“We’re going to try and bring that home in a workshop that we’re going to do June 30,” she said. “We’re going to experiment having it in two parts, one in English and one in Spanish. I have a translator who is going to help me with that. There has been nobody reaching out to the spanish community on this technology basis. We want to do that through the help of the Gadsden Hotel.”
Diffie says she is fortunate her business has been able to survive in a struggling local economy.
“It takes time to grow it,” she said. “We each have several jobs. You just can’t depend on your business to support you. I have worked another job for almost 15 years. I started that job before this one. I have a little consulting business of my own so that I can go into people's homes and help them with their computers. Help them learn and come up with solutions to problems as far as their coordination issues. … A lot of people don’t realize it’s going to take five to 10-years to grow a business.”
Diffie says the community has been so supportive of Two Flags Computer Center and she is extremely grateful.
“I get really tired of people saying there is no jobs here, we'll make one,” she said. “What skills do you have that we can use as leverage for the betterment of the community and your pocket book.”
Two Flags Computer Center is open Monday through Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The phone number there is 805-3333.