Techpreneur Chaymeriyia Moncrief started two multimillion dollar companies with her $4,000 savings

BY Ben Ebuka Oji February 16, 2024 8:14 AM EDT
Chaymeriyia Moncrief
Chaymeriyia Moncrief, the Founder of Tesix Wireless Network and NSPRE Lifestyle. Photo Credit: Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser

At some stage, we all encounter issues with our wireless internet providers, from poor customer service and interactions with automated systems to enduring long waits in stores. Perhaps most aggravating are the exorbitant fees, increased monthly payments, and the difficulty in deciphering our bills. These frustrations were precisely what Chaymeriyia Moncrief experienced, prompting her to contemplate launching her own smartphone and wireless network company.

From a young age, Moncrief, a resident of Montgomery, found her entrepreneurial talent. She credits her mother, a survivor of domestic violence, and her two younger sisters as her primary sources of inspiration and motivation.

Moncrief got fascinated with tech at 7. She says, “Since 7 years old, I’ve been fascinated with tech and gadgets. I used to take things apart at home– everything from remote controls, the radio, and even the home computer. When I successfully put them back together, and it worked again, I fell in love with the simple and complex process every time. I loved that it challenged me, especially when I knew I’d be in trouble if it didn’t work.”

However, her journey into entrepreneurship began at the tender age of five, and by the time she was 16, Moncrief had already established her first business venture: a branding agency.

“My most successful was launching a Branding Agency at 12 years old, as a designer, and it officially turned into a business at 16,” said Moncrief. It quickly became a top agency in my city and huge recognition. One thing for certain, I have always loved design and tech, but my love for tech was the one thing that eventually led to two startups that changed my life,” she says.

With a passion for technology and gadgets and the desire to own a smartphone and electronics brand from a young age, Moncrief began creating sketches and conducting research for launching a smartphone, realizing that if she wanted a smartphone, she could also integrate her phone service into it.

“I would draw these sketches of exactly how I wanted my phone to look and work. It wasn’t until I was 17 years old, fresh out of high school, working my first job, and had my first contract phone that I had the “Aha” moment for launching a wireless carrier.

Fast-forward to 2013, a year after completing high school, Moncrief acquired her first contract phone from a major carrier. Initially anticipating a monthly expense of just $90, she soon discovered that her phone bills far exceeded her expectations. With monthly charges surpassing $150 becoming the norm, she found herself crossing the threshold of acceptability when faced with an outrageous bill exceeding $200 per month.

“You go in and they say your phone bill is going to be $98, but you are getting a $150 or $200 bill. I think the final straw for me was a $235 bill, and that is when I said I want my own company,” said Moncrief.

“Looking at the charges on my bill and starting to understand how postpaid carriers work, I had charges for over-data usage, activation fees, and various other fees. This realization led me to terminate the contract as the bills far surpassed my bi-weekly paychecks from my job at Taco Bell, where I earned just under $400 per month.”

The frustration fueled Moncrief’s determination to launch her network carrier. She deepened her research on how to start a wireless network company. However, lacking clarity on what specific aspects to investigate, she encountered discouraging information that led her to abandon the idea.

“My research showed I needed 100s of millions of dollars, land, towers, and infrastructure– I temporarily left the idea alone until 2017.”

Chaymeriyia Moncrief
Chaymeriyia Moncrief. Photo Credit: Chaymeriyia Moncrief

Tesix Wireless Network

By 2017, as Moncrief continued her efforts to launch her smartphone/electronics brand, she reconsidered the idea of starting a phone service. Having gained a better understanding of what aspects to explore, she began working towards establishing her wireless network company.

While scrolling through Facebook, she stumbled upon the launch of a new wireless carrier based in New York. Intrigued by the young founders, she pondered how they acquired access to the necessary resources. Further investigation revealed that her focus needed to shift towards researching how to launch an MVNO/prepaid wireless carrier.

“Once I had this understanding, my research took off and this is when I really started to execute on the idea,” she says. “I remember the exact day. I did the most research I’d done in my life. I realized that I did not need millions and millions of dollars and towers in all 50 states. I just needed access to the major wireless carrier infrastructures to get my carrier started.”

Although she required funding, developers, software, and other resources, Moncrief possessed a well-defined strategy to kick off. She meticulously organized the launch, crafted compelling pitch decks, and commenced the comprehensive planning of the entire company. According to her, it took a total of 412 days from the initiation of the launch.

With her $4,000 investment, Tesix Wireless Network was launched in late 2019, making history as one of the first and only African-American and women-led prepaid carriers in the US, with a focus on catering to the needs of young adults and millennials who sought affordable phone services without any fees, contracts, or data limitations, mirroring the aspirations of its founder in 2013.

Initially scheduled for launch on January 16, the launch of Tesix was moved to December 28. This decision was prompted by the overwhelming response from over 3,500 individuals who joined the waitlist during the early signup phase. Furthermore, before its launch, Tesix garnered a valuation of $5.9 million through investments and acquisition offers. By early 2021, the value of Tesix Wireless had soared to $10 million.

Moncrief received a $4 million offer to sell the carrier even before its official launch, owing to the brand’s substantial pre-orders for activation and the waitlist. However, she declined the offer and proceeded to launch the carrier on December 28, 2019, at the age of 25, marking the beginning of her journey.

“The name comes from two things Technology and sixteen because sixteen is when I started my entrepreneurship journey. The name has a personal meaning to me,” says Moncrief.

The investment cost was not initially part of her plans as it would deplete her bank account. Nevertheless, as she was in the early stages of bootstrapping the company, she had to assume the risk.

“Looking back, the $4,000 investment was the best I had ever made, but challenges were still there, and this one was just one off the table.’

Tesix Wireless Network now provides extensive coverage across the United States, ensuring that customers can enjoy the convenience of zero contracts, straightforward plans, and immediate activation at any location and time. Its services include unlimited data, talk, and text, with the ability to connect to 5G and 4G LTE networks. Additionally, Tesix offers VOLTE and VOWIFI capabilities, international calling and texting options, and roaming services in Canada and Mexico. With Tesix, customers can activate multiple lines on a single device, easily transfer their numbers to eSim, and benefit from other features.

Over the past five years, Tesix Wireless Network has accumulated revenue exceeding $12 million. Although this is a substantial amount, the company faced various obstacles that necessitated a complete overhaul of its brand. As a result, Tesix Wireless Network refrained from accepting new subscribers for a few months.

Nevertheless, following seven months of suspension of new activations to rebrand and restructure, Tesix Wireless Network officially resumed new activations in the first week of January 2024.

NSPRE Lifestyle

Two years after launching Tesix Wireless Network, Moncrief launched her third venture and longtime desire – NSPRE Lifestyle, in 2020.

“Two years later, I finally was able to do what I had dreamed about since middle school — launched my consumer electronics brand, NSPRE Lifestyle, and my very own smartphone the NX Pro Plus,” said Moncrief.

Moncrief utilized platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and various other marketplaces to her advantage. By selling smartphones through these platforms, she not only managed to expand her customer base and generate more interest in her brand but also secured the necessary funds to fuel the growth of her electronics business. In addition to raising $1.05M from private and angel investors, she received continued support from the initial investors in her first startup.

Thanks to her strategic approach Moncrief’s electronics brand has evolved beyond smartphones and now offers a diverse range of products. This expansion includes the introduction of smart glasses, earbuds, and various accessories, further solidifying her brand’s presence in the market.


Despite the commendable achievements, Moncrief recognizes that managing the three tech brands has not been a smooth ride. One of the major obstacles is establishing credibility in a highly discerning industry. When competing against global giants with significant influence, extensive experience, and millions of subscribers, both on contract and prepaid, earning the trust of consumers becomes a constant battle. This is an ongoing challenge that Moncrief continues to face.

“Yes, we amassed 10K+ mobile subscribers at one point, but there were still massive growing pains because honestly, I feel that I grew too fast and too quickly, causing some major mistakes,” she says. “One mistake that almost cost my brand $4.6 million was due to having so many subscribers and a lagging backend that resulted in me not catching customer data abuse. This is where customers were using hundreds of gigs of data and abusing the networks we used. While I was able to negotiate the cost down to $400K, it was the things that literally almost took the carrier out completely. It was either to pay the dues or lose the contract with the platform.”

The pandemic was another significant obstacle for Tesix Wireless Network. As a result, numerous customers opted for lower-tier plans or failed to settle their bills, leading to a staggering 43% decline in monthly revenue, and the brand suffered a loss of over 3,000 mobile subscribers as customers sought to reduce expenses by eliminating their bills.

“We also saw huge challenges in having to change our prices almost six times to keep up with the demand and the cost that we paid to the carrier. This also turned customers away and caused us to lose another thousand or so subscribers. Our goal was to keep prices low and never have to change. There was one point where I attempted to keep the prices where they were and avoid another change, and I was only profiting about $0.42 per customer. Unfortunately, that proved unattainable, and the last change resulted in a loss of more customers.”

The electronics brand also has experienced challenges, but Moncrief feels it’s easier to manage than a wireless carrier.

“We faced many import issues, including customs losing $60,000 in inventory that was pre-ordered by our customers, resulting in $200,000 in revenue, which we had to return due to not being able to recover the products. I think this has been one of my electronics brand’s biggest setbacks.”

However, amid all the challenges and excitement, the young entrepreneur remains focused. Moncrief consistently believes that “Overnight success doesn’t happen overnight. Research, patience, and consistency are everything.”

She says that “what sets me and my brands apart is my non-traditional approach to marketing and my unique product offerings.”

Moncrief admits that one of the most effective strategies she employed over the past few years has been “utilizing the audience of others to grow” — with Influencer marketing playing a significant role.”

“For Tesix Wireless alone, I have executed over 40 campaigns, with varying levels of success. The key focus in these campaigns was brand awareness, which proved to be the most significant aspect.”

The viral spread and extensive media coverage of her brands’ achievements have garnered a substantial following, acting as a catalyst for sustained expansion throughout the years.

“Being in this space has been a major eye-opener over the last 5 years. I’ve learned a lot that will allow me to move forward to build an amazing brand going forward. Tech and telecom are a major part of the future — one that we are already entering, and running my startups has allowed me to really position myself for what’s to come in the space and to fully understand that there are no limitations,” she says.

She adds, “The consistency and drive required to succeed in telecom when you’re among giants that take up more than 90% of the space may be very intimidating, but I’ve learned that if I can make it 5 years here, I can build something even more incredible.”