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Rising Stars: Meet Amy Ripley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Ripley.

Hi Amy, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I started thinking about this business idea back in 2007. I was freshly out of college I thought I could design albums for people…like digital scrapbooking. At the time online-automated digital albums were just about to take off. Shutterfly, Snapfish…they had their hands in that industry. I figured I could design using those templates. But as a freshly-graduated twenty something, I realized quickly that I needed to gain more industry experience. So, I tabled my vision and I worked for 11 years in agencies and corporations.

In 2010, my father died unexpectedly from a heart attack. I was 26 years old and the call shook my world. I flew home to Pennsylvania the next day and immediately was thrown into planning a funeral with my 4 siblings and my mom. It was surreal. As the years moved on, I began to understand that grief was simply something I was always going to have with me. I leaned into it. It was hard at first, but now that it’s been some time, it’s something I carry with me…like a badge of honor. And I carry this badge as a reflection of my love for him.

In 2015, my father-in-law passed away just months after being diagnosed with aggressive esophageal cancer. While he was in hospice in his home, we were able to sit with him waiting for the unavoidable end. The loss was tragic and relieving at the same time. I was quick to remember that people expect you to fall back in normal life like nothing ever happened. Grief becomes almost like a secret backpack. We hoist it onto our shoulders and motor on. Both invisible and equally present behind our eyes.

In 2017, I left full time work and began to focus my career as a freelance/contract graphic designer. This gave me more freedom to focus on my business idea.

In 2019, ​I started my business in hopes to celebrate life’s important events. While I still believe in those events, my focus has shifted to the mourning and loss that we all face. From the loss of a dear loved one to the loss of a furry companion, death is one of life’s most tragic and equally beautiful events that we, as humans must accept. Everyone has story. And we all have photos just saved on a cloud or stuffed a way in a shoebox. The celebration of life doesn’t end after the funeral. These albums can be a sacred place for you to visit, reminisce and look back fondly at an extraordinary life.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I don’t know that it will ever be a smooth road. The biggest struggle is getting my business out there for the world to see. I started this with zero budget. I have the skills as a designer, the know-how for social media, but marketing is not something I’m deeply familiar. I have passion, I believe in my work and the vision I have for it’s place in the grieving community. I’m constantly learning each day how to better my marketing skills.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I design high-end custom albums. Everything from wedding albums to baby’s first year, vacations and my specialty, Legacy albums.

Legacy albums (or memorial albums) are perfect for honoring those who are no longer with us and for those who want to leave behind their own unique story or those celebrating amazing milestones in their lives. These albums are not built with templates, they are hand-designed by me based on the photos and the story. The printing is not done by large commercial companies, i.e. Snapfish/Shutterfly. These are professional, hardbound, thick, flat-paged albums printed in here in the United States. These can be as simple as just pictures to combining text and photos to tell your loved ones story. To enhance the album, scans of important documents, memorabilia or include special copy may be included.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Since I launched website and announced my business, I have found that success is a constant series of baby steps and meeting manageable goals. So for me, if my goal is to reach 10 people in one day with a campaign email, I’d say that a success would be 1 person opening it and clicking. That’s huge. As a one-woman show, I thrive on these tiny successes because they ultimately add up to something larger.

Pricing:

  • Starting Price: $300
  • Deposit of $150

Contact Info:

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