Your browser may not support display of this image. Take a recovering television reporter and throw away her straightening iron to liberate her curly blond locks from that super-coiffed journalist hairstyle… add in some jelly bracelets, crazy high heels and a heaping helping of brains, beauty and sass, and you’ve got Ellie – the founder of Pink Kisses.
Ellie became a TV news reporter after college. Fast-paced and challenging, it seemed a natural fit. She thrived in Albany, Columbus, and Houston, reaching a Top-10 market by the age of 28. She was achieving the goals that she thought were key to her pursuit of happiness, yet she still wasn’t satisfied.
During her last TV gig in Houston, she met a boy. They were together for a year and a half. Though it wasn’t her first heartbreak, this one left her devastated. More than a month went by with no improvement, and she finally decided she had to stop sitting around thinking about what could have been. She ordered herself some gorgeous flowers with an encouraging note that said, “Girl, don’t even shed another tear over a guy who won’t send you these.” It made her smile, but it did something more. That small action got her heading in a new direction. It also got her thinking about all the different ways to encourage and inspire women stuck in the trenches of heartbreak.
So she quit TV news and moved to Austin, Texas, to pursue her new dream. That dream was Pink Kisses, and the goal was to inspire women everywhere to come out of tough breakups faster and stronger than they ever had before.
“I’ve met some really great guys who just weren’t the ones for me, and some not-so-awesome guys whom I really tried to make fit,” she says. “I’ve hurt people and I’ve been hurt. I love deeply, which is both awesome and trouble. And here I am after my latest – and deepest – heartbreak: 30, single, and pursuing a dream that began in my darkest moments of a shattering breakup. Honestly, I’ve never been happier. Now I want to share that happiness and how I achieved it.”
When Amy was five years old, she made a decision that would inform the rest of her years… or, at least, her wardrobe: she was going to be Audrey Hepburn. That never actually came to fruition – after all, there’s only one Audrey… but there’s also only one Amy.
Amy grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, just a few miles from Ellie’s house (but the girls wouldn’t meet until they were both living in Texas more than 20 years later). The only thing Amy ever really wanted to be (besides Audrey) was a writer. She amassed spelling bee and poetry contest trophies as a kid, later graduating from Florida State University with a degree in English.
She planned to travel and write after college, but ended up in a committed relationship in Tallahassee, Florida, with a really nice guy who had absolutely no desire to leave town, ever. Seven years and one broken engagement later, Amy finally left Florida and stumbled into Austin, Texas, on the recommendation of several friends – including Ellie’s brother. Once she got there, she couldn’t stop writing about her adventures.
Ellie and Amy connected shortly thereafter while Ellie was still a reporter in Houston. The first time they hung out one-on-one, they went to (of all things) a New Kids on the Block reunion concert, where they actually touched Donnie Wahlberg’s hand, screaming their heads off and drawing their middle school dreams into a full and perfect circle.
Not too long after that bonding moment, Ellie approached Amy with her idea for Pink Kisses – a way for them to help women everywhere, together. Amy was sold.
Ellie moved to Austin, grabbed Amy’s brain, and put it to work providing creative direction and crafting the feistiness you see on the Pink Kisses site. Amy now serves as pk’s creative mastermind.
In her career in PR, Amy has used her creative mojo to plan public service campaigns on everything from aging issues to sexual violence prevention. She’s even been behind the scenes at NASA, helping the space program field press calls in the days leading up to a historic shuttle launch. But she says she’s never been as excited about anything she’s worked on as she is about the Pink Kisses concept.
When Amy isn’t spinning her magic for Pink Kisses or hanging with friends at Austin’s quirkier hotspots, she’s scribbling bright ideas with a skinny Sharpie, adding to an alarmingly huge collection of sundresses, running a trail with her dog, Bogey, or watching (what else?) Audrey Hepburn movies.