Computers have been a source of fascination for Melissa Anderson since she was 14.
And she was good with them. During her 22 years as a cook in the U.S. Army, people continued to ask Anderson for help with their computers.
She first got the motivation to turn her hobby into a business from a friend who told her she was good with computers.
“She said I was a kickass computer chick,” Anderson recalled, laughing at the memory. “And I said, ‘That’s a good idea. And a good name!’”
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And so her computer business, Kickass Computer Chicks, was christened.
Anderson, 49, started the business in Lakewood six years ago and was encouraged by a friend to move to a Gig Harbor office.
“I really like Gig Harbor,” she said.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in business information systems from Ashford University and now has clients among Gig Harbor businesses, including the Gig Harbor Eagles Club and Gig Harbor Audio.
Anderson provides services for Apple, Microsoft and Windows platforms, including virus removal, hardware and software installation and diagnostic services for undiagnosed issues.
“I’m able to work with businesses to get their computers working the way they want,” she said.
Anderson provides a guarantee for all of her work.
Robin Lindzer, 48, helps out Anderson in her business by providing her experience with computer security.
“I find the holes and fix them before other people can get in,” said Lindzer, who specializes in vulnerability testing.
Anderson works both out of her Gig Harbor office and in the homes or businesses of her clients, depending on the problem she’s fixing.
“I find I’m not in charge like a lot of people think,” Anderson said of her business. “My clients needs dictate what my business does.”
To meet the needs of her clients, Anderson works weekdays, weekends and on-call for true emergencies.
The other focus of Anderson’s business is custom computer designing.
She’s currently working with Gig Harbor Audio, one of her clients, to build the business a custom computer designed to look like a retro turntable, with the “guts” of the computer under plexiglass.
“It has been a fun adventure,” Anderson said of owning her own business.