There are many perspectives, purposes, and paths we can take in life. For some, there is college and a life-long career, for others it can be something completely different. AmourPrints founder, Kirstie Rickert can testify that everyone’s path can be different even among family members. After moving in a different direction from her family, she had to fight to live out her purpose.
AmourPrints started out as Kirstie’s business idea in 2012; when she started her Etsy shop in 2013, she was ecstatic. “It was so exciting to get my first sale! I loved that experience when I was first starting out. I dropped out of college to do this fulltime and so did my fiance because it became both of our dreams to run this business,” she said smiling.
Purpose is what you make it, but oftentimes we have to be prepared for the journey. A pivotal point for Kirstie happened at the age of 17. Her first job was a balloon artist at a restaurant, but because she was shy and awkward, she was told by her boss that she had to be social and overly-friendly or she would be fired. Though she was gripped with fear, she had to believe in herself for the first time in her life. Somehow believing was all it took for her to survive her first day. With new-found confidence, she felt the desire to try new things and pursue new endeavors. This meager beginning ended up playing a huge role in her life, and opened the door to new possibilities. “I had no money or education and literally thought, hey why don’t I start a business,” Kirstie said laughing.
AmourPrints was started in 2012 but made it to Etsy in 2013. Over time, this platform proved troublesome after taking down their shop a couple times because of errors. “After trying to contact Etsy about the shop take down and getting nowhere, we decided to move to a different platform,” Kirstie says. “We began automating the process and worked to understand what we were doing. It was not easy, but we figured it out. Shopify was not easy like Etsy and you had to do everything from the ground up. Etsy did the work for you while Shopify was your template. I had to learn Web design dev, seo, hiring employees, ads, and much more,” Kirstie explained. “Our first year we were able to make $50K. My husband focused on the designs and production while I did everything from A-Z. Our second year we did $100K.”
Despite the hard work and the sales, Kirstie and her fiance were still battling the opinions and comments from relatives about their business endeavours. “Our families would often express their concern for our decision to not go to college. They feared we were making a terrible decision and suggested many other occupations which we refused to do,” she explained. Shortly after the two got married, they had a sign of good faith when their business had its first big month and they could miraculously live on their own. During the time they moved out, they put even more into their business. By the next year, they were able to buy their first home and Kirstie and her husband had their daughter who is now 4 years old.
When COVID hit and everyone went into lockdown, Kirstie and we didn’t know if their business would survive. She began searching for ways to get their product out there for more visibility and effective strategies. “I upgraded to shopify plus and took a risk and invested all of our money. Last year, in 2020, we somehow miraculously made $3.6 million dollars and this year we are on track to do $6 million,” Kirstie says, beaming. “I have worked so hard and I give God the credit for helping me through this. Our families now are very proud of us and understand why we didn’t give up now.”
In three and a half years, Kirstie took AmourPrints from $0-$4 million. “As a Christian, we are currently led to donate a percentage of our business to help those in need. We are currently giving to World-Vision to fight homelessness all over the world. With each sale, a portion is donated to a good cause.”
Both Kirstie and her husband have put in so many hours into AmourPrints as it has paid off. They are living out their purpose together. “We are so proud of what we have accomplished. Everything that AmourPrints is today, we learned to build by trial and error, and it has been an awesome journey so far.”
AmourPrints was started on faith and empowerment. Kirstie has led her life with passion and excitement because she learned to believe in herself. “There are no regrets! We are truly doing what we love,” she says.