AmourPrints: Dropping Out Of College to Pursue a Multimillion Dollar Business Idea

Knowing what you want out of life is a gift and you should follow that path until you reach the fulfillment that you desire. Starting a business, taking care of yourself, and following passions are beautiful things and without those things, it can seem unfulfilling. By trusting yourself, growing, and believing in your strengths, you can unravel your future. Kirstie Rickert of AmourPrints has a similar story.

“You have to trust the process of building your future. I had to learn some things before I could start and excel at my business. When I dropped out of college to pursue my Etsy shop based business, my family didn’t have the best reaction because I made a huge decision to chase after what I wanted and what I believed was my calling,” Kirsie says.

She had to grow into the person that would be able to follow the path she was promised. “Starting AmourPrints wasn’t an easy process or beginning. It still involves a lot of work, but there is a difference between who I was when I first started and who I am now. I had to grow into this.”

Part of that growth started when she was seventeen years old with her first job. “I was a balloon artist at a restaurant and I was struggling my first day because I was so shy and awkward. My boss literally pulled me over and said I needed to be more outgoing and social otherwise I would lose my job,” Kirstie laughed. “It’s funny now, but I was terrified then. I didn’t want to be fired so I just started believing in myself and it helped me through my first day. After that, I felt like I could do anything.”

Kirstie made a bold move when she dropped out of college to run her Etsy shop full time. After getting it set up and established in 2013, she made the leap, panicking a few friends and family members in the process. “From the very first sale, I was so excited to just be doing what I loved,” she said smiling. Her and her fiance worked together to build her business even after an Etsy error took down her shop. They got their shop back up and running shortly after.

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.”

When you know what you want, there will be a time to explore that option. You have to grow with your situations so that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn a vital lesson. “I am really grateful for that balloon twisting job because I don’t think I would've started AmourPrints without it.”