AmourPrints: Home Decor with a Heartfelt Story of Success
Kirstie Rickerts, founder and owner of AmourPrints, is living out her purpose. With a projected growth in the next year of $6 million, she has worked from the ground up to build her business, dropped out of college, and has become one of the most popular online retailers in just a few short years.
She and her fiance both dropped out of college to run AmourPrints together. When they got married, they were able to move out, buy a house, and have a baby all from building Kirstie’s business success. “I’ve always felt like a black sheep in my family. Everyone has a white collar job and a college degree and I just wanted to start a business. They really didn’t understand why I wanted what I did,” Kirstie explains.
At 17, Kirstie experienced a pivotal point in her life that really helped AmourPrints come to fruition. Her first job was a balloon artist at a restaurant. Her quiet and shy nature threatened her job when her boss said she needed to be overly-friendly and social. The only thing she could do was believe in herself and that was exactly what got her through her first day. After that, she felt that she could do anything and opened the door to so many possibilities. “This new belief system helped me see what I wanted and then go for it. It was how I decided to drop out of college, and start my business with no money or education,” Kirstie said, smiling.
“When I first started my Etsy shop in 2013, I was so excited, my first sale was so thrilling!” she said, beaming. “I was making custom art prints and decor, and I loved it. One day I woke up to find that Etsy closed my shop in error and I was so upset about it, but I couldn’t let it stop me.”
After she got engaged, she and her fiance worked tirelessly to automate the process. He also left college to pursue their dreams of running this business. “I focused on the designs and marketing and let him print and ship out the art pieces,” Kirstie adds.
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.”
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.”