AmourPrints has grown into a multimillion dollar company in just three years after its start as an Etsy shop. Founder, Kirstie Rickert has had some time to sit and chat about how it all started. As AmourPrints continues to grow, Kirstie knows her purpose, her drive, and what she wants. This powerful combination keeps AmourPrints going strong.
Before AmourPrints had even begun, Kirstie’s story begins with a decision to do something different. At the age of 17, a shy and awkward Kirstie took to balloon twisting and started her first gig as a restaurant balloon artist. With this job she had to truly believe in herself as 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, somehow believing in herself 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.
Kirstie comes from a long line of white collar family members, all with college degrees, but always felt out of place. After attempting to go to college and appease her family, she dropped out to start her business. “That was my passion so I created my first Etsy shop in 2013 making customized prints and gifts,” Kirstie said remembering.
I was so excited to get my first sale! Shortly after, though, there was an error with Etsy and my shop got taken down. I felt really defeated, but I kept going. My designs were too good for me to just quit.
After Kirstie got engaged, she and her fiance worked together to automate the processes of her business. Both left college to run AmourPrints. She worked on the design and marketing and her fiance printed and shipped the orders.
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.
Shortly after AmourPrints biggest successful year they had their Etsy shop accidentally taken down again. After so many failed attempts at trying to get their shop back up, they decided to just move over to Shopify. “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.
In 2019, AmourPrints took a hit financially and then in 2020 when everyone went into lockdown, Kirstie 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.”
Kirstie and her husband have made something amazing out of nothing. Their purpose and drive really helped them keep going when times were tough. With their hard work, dedication, and faith, they have had the success to move their business into the future and establish their brand even in the midst of the pandemic.