GemPhones CEO, Kelli Meade Gives Us the Fashion Behind Consumer Electronics

"I just want to bridge the gaps of lifestyle, fashion, and electronics in the CE industry and GemPhones is doing that."
“I just want to bridge the gaps of lifestyle, fashion, and electronics in the CE industry and GemPhones is doing that.”

CEO, Kelli Meade is energized by technology and has a natural passion for fashion that fuels her desire to design products that girls like her will go crazy about. Through simple curiosity and research Kelli found that women love trendy and fashionable items but also enjoy the latest gadgets. She also discovered that there was a need for more fashionable tech accessories and decided to make it her mission to re-design today’s consumer electronics. About a year ago, she began creating and designing earphones that she liked to wear and with nine years of working on fashion design, she developed the look and feel of GemPhones. GemPhones was inspired by her love for pop culture.  As a 90s kid Kelli recalls getting excited when new music videos would be released. In these videos is where she saw the hottest fashion and the coolest gadgets.  She wanted to recreate that feeling and expression through GemPhones.

We had the opportunity to sit down with this tech and fashion engineer and gather some more insight behind her latest project and her is what she had to say:

 What is it like being the CEO of a tech and fashion startup?  I’m not a coder, but I have enough knowledge about wireless networking and computer engineering to be dangerous.  But with a tech and fashion startup, none of that matters because I needed technology and I loved fashion.  No matter the type of startup, you should strive to be an expert at what you are creating.  That means investing 10,000 hours into your craft AND industry(ies).  This is my first company and the learning curve has been steep.  I had to learn how to be a CEO, understand important techniques used by successful designers, and quickly become an expert in both the tech and fashion industries. GemPhones keeps me busy, but I wake up thanking my heavenly father for strength, clarity, and the passion he pours into me every day.  I have not worked a day since I quit my government job in September 2013.  I’m simply doing what I love.

Has being a female posed any challenges for you in the male dominated industry of Technology?  Being a female in the tech industry is about showcasing a differentiating point of view and there will always be challenges when presenting a foreign concept in a mature industry like consumer electronics.  I remember chatting with a guy at a tech startup mixer and he was simply amazed at the creativity and uniqueness of GemPhones.  His first reaction was, “It takes a female to come up with an idea like this.”  I will always remember that conversation because in one statement he summed up the value of a female’s perspective is in the technology industry.  My true challenge however is the commitment to sharing with as many little girls as possible that their viewpoints are valuable and wanted, especially in the technology industry.  One of GemPhones goals is to show young girls how cool tech can be.

gemphones 1

What role do you hope Gem Phones will play in the consumer electronics industry?  GemPhones are the very best consumer electronic accessories combined with the most beautiful designs.  With ubran elegance, we introduce imagination and self-expression into an industry whose designs are traditionally dull.  For us, design is not just how it looks, but how it works and feels as well.  That is what our audience appreciates and that is our role; to give the lovers of music and fashion a product in tech.


Gemphones 2Give at least 2 easy style tips for consumers looking to accessorize with Gem Phones?

#1 Side body chain: For fun, flirty girls, GemPhones looks great as a side body chain.  Wear a pair of your best skinny jeans, a baby T-shirt, and attach your GemPhones to your mobile device.  Slip your phone in the back pocket for a super cute side body chain look. This look is a GemGirl fav!

#2 The wrap necklace: Not using GemPhones?  Want to keep the gorg set of GemPhones on?  Unplug your GemPhones, snap the earbuds to the back of neck, then wrap the lower half of the beaded cord around your neck once.  You’ve just created the ultimate conversation piece.  People behind you will ask “Is that your earphones?” and people in front of you will compliment your necklace.  Plus it’s ridiculously functional.

What is your Street Intell? The streets have been making tech and fashion look good ever since the boom box was beating on our shoulders in the 1980s.  GemPhones is bringing back that feeling.

GemPhones Specifications:

• Built-in Microphone

• Two button remote to answer/end calls or play/stop music

• Replaceable silicone earbud covers

• CE and RoHS Compliant

• Noise Cancelling

• Nylon thread braiding “no tear cords” for cord protection

• Cord Length: 1.2m

• Jack Size: 3.5mm

Support this emerging entrepreneur and grab yourself a pair of GemPhones by clicking here.


Inside Computech Web: Founder Tchee Kum shares his vision of success as a business owner & leading IT professional (Interview)

Tch1Nana ‘Tchee’ Kum is a Senior level Technology strategist and architect residing in the Northern Virginia area. He is also the owner and founder of Computech Web. Mr. Kum is an active member of the esteemed Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Inc. and Phi Sigma Pi national honors fraternity. Mr. Kum demonstrates these organizations principles of service, through his consistent engagement in activities geared towards uplifting his community. We had the pleasure of speaking to this Street Intellectual and dove into a few key factors to his success as a business owner and leading industry professional. Here’s what he had to say:

Can you tell us a little bit about Computech Web and why you decided to start this business?

Ever since I was 7 years old, I have always loved computers. It all began in 1994 when I first set my eyes on a Packard Bell Legend 18CD, running Windows 3.11. There was something exceptionally heart-rending about this piece of hardware that sparked my interest. As my curiosity began to grow, I developed a profound interest in starting my own IT company in the future, in efforts to contribute to our world’s technological advancement. At age 12, after pondering on the idea for some time, the name Computech came to mind, and it was at that time I decided to name my first IT company “Computech.”

During my college career at Radford University, I worked under the Freelance alias “Computech Industries” to provide technical support to campus students, as well as the neighboring communities surrounding the New River Valley. Upon graduation in 2009, I made the decision to centralize my core focus within the realm of web development; thus Computech Web, LLC was born.

Since its inception, Computech Web, LLC has specialized in website design & development, graphic design, application development, and hosting services. Living up to our motto “Your business, our passion,” we consistently deliver creative, scalable solutions that reflect the personality, needs, and vision of our clients.

What are a few of your current life and business goals?

I have always maintained a single life-goal, which has served as the true testament to the success I’ve been blessed to receive in life. By pursuing this goal, I always have a guarantee that everything in my life will fall into place.

The life-goal I speak of is one that many are familiar with. It is an important instruction that is presented to us in the book of Proverbs, which reads: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”(Proverbs 3:5). I believe that by continually seeking wisdom through The Bible in efforts to live my life in accordance with The Word, I will be able to maintain a profound relationship with my LORD and savior Jesus Christ. By putting my trust in Him and allowing Him to guide my every step, I can always guarantee that His will for me in this world will always be met; therefore enabling me to reach a state of contentment with any event that occurs in my life.

How do you balance working full time and managing Computech Web?

Contrary to popular belief, working full time and managing a startup company (no matter the size of the company) is not a simple task. In all honesty, it has actually been one of my greatest challenges. However, throughout the course of the years I have been able to develop some key time management strategies that have equipped me with the tools necessary to balance both hats.

One of the basic secrets to time management that has helped bailed me out multiple times is “prioritization”. No matter how daunting the work load one might have, I believe in order for a person to truly know how much effort is involved in completing multiple tasks, they must write out each task on paper and prioritize them in order of importance. After prioritizing your load, you may come to find that some of your tasks can be accomplished concurrently; thus, giving you back extra time to devote to other tasks.

How has owning your own business helped you grow as a person and professional?

Owning my own business has stimulated my thirst for knowledge by continually encouraging me to stay abreast of past/current/future technology trends. In turn, it’s has helped me to evolve into the technology strategist I am today.

As computers continue to revolutionize our world. What are some key things consumers should take note of?

Consumers should keep in mind that Technology has already reached more heights then we could ever imagine. The only question that technology will always impose on society is whether or not our world is ready to receive it. We often tend to forget that we as consumers have complete control over how fast technology will grow. I always say that there is a time and place for everything, just as Apple Inc.’ s time was in the 21st century opposed to the 20th century. When the time is right, and we are ready to accept new technology into our natural realm of existence, it will surely present itself.

As a young IT professional has there been any challenges that you have encountered while working in your industry? If so, how do you deal with these challenges?

I believe a unique challenge that many IT professionals face is rapid growth of technology. Due to this growth we are constantly required to stay on top of leading technology trends. However, my thirst for knowledge and my continual curiosity within this realm has helped me to stay on top of the latest and greatest; thus reducing the challenge.

What’s your Street Intell?

We must keep in mind that there is more than enough time in a given day to make a positive impact. It’s not a lack of time one often suffers from, but a lack of desire. As long as you maintain your drive, coupled with a great sense of humility, you can achieve your ultimate goal of success.


Tchee’s favorite quote: Success is the best revenge.”
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Pay it Forward: @NewYorkCares partners with @BeforetheLabel to host a VIRTUAL coat drive! #crowdfunding #fashion


New York Cares has  partnered with fashion tech startup, Before the Label to gather more coat donations via the web. 46 more coats are needed for the campaign to be successful. Donors do not have to find a drop-off location or schedule any pick ups; they can donate from the comfort of their own homes. Contributions can be made with any internet-connected device and once the campaign goal is reached, only then will you get charged. After the goal is reached, Before the Label will personally ship all the coats directly to New York Cares. Act fast! Only 10 days left to support. This campaign ends January 30, 2014. Let’s help keep the community warm. Join in and be sure to share the Street Intell!

ny cares coat drive fashion crowdfunding



Before the Label is an New York based technology start up committed to breathing new life into fashion by hosting crowd funded campaigns. Before the Label allows designers to put their designs up on their platform to assess consumer demand.