AmourPrints: Hear Founder Kirstie’s Story as She overcame Shyness and Started a Company
Everyone has a purpose in life, some find it faster than others. For Kirstie Rickert, founder and owner of AmourPrints, she knew what she wanted despite the resistance from her family. After dropping out of college to pursue her dream, she has led an interesting and quite inspiring life. After she has grown her business from $0 to a projected $6 million in less than four years, there is no doubt that she is on the right track.
Starting a business is no easy feat, and Kirstie had to overcome her shyness at an early age. From her first job as a balloon artist at the age of 17, a shy and awkward Kirstie 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 pivotal role in her life, and opened the door to new possibilities. Foremost among them, starting a business with no proper education. “I had no money or education and literally thought, hey why don’t I start a business,” Kirstie said laughing. AmourPrints was born from that experience.
“I was so excited to first open my Etsy shop in 2013, my first sale was so exciting! I used Etsy in the beginning because it was so easy, it had everything I needed to start building. After my shop got taken down a few different times because of a ridiculous error, me and my then-fiance, now husband, decided to move to a different platform,” Kirstie says, remembering.
“We began automating the process and worked to understand what we were doing. It was not easy, but we figured it out.” AmourPrints had a successful year prior to moving to Shopify, but because of all of the issues with Etsy, they didn’t have the time or energy to continue with that. “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.
2019 had been difficult on Kirstie and her business, financially. Then in 2020, 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.”
Both Kirstie and her husband worked so hard to establish their brand. “Our business just keeps growing and it’s so amazing that we get to do this together,” she says. “I am so proud of everything we have had to overcome to get to this place in our lives.”