In Conversation with Sarah Ripoli of Angel Energy

Sarah Ripoli_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

Angel Energy is a clothing brand that focuses on raising domestic violence awareness and inspiring resilience. Each month we donate 25% of our proceeds to a different domestic violence based organization to help victims in need.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I started a fashion blog as a hobby in the summer of 2018 and began to share my life with my following. About 6 months later, I felt it was time to open up about losing my mom to domestic violence at the hands of my father. It was my darkest secret that immensely weighed on me for the majority of my life, so it was such a relief to finally get it off of my chest. After sharing my story, I received a number of responses from women who had either been in my shoes before or knew someone that had. Finally feeling free was so liberating, and I knew at that point there was no turning back. I decided to combine my love for fashion with domestic violence awareness, and Angel Energy was born!

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Before starting Angel Energy, I was an Accounting & Finance Recruiter in Philadelphia. I graduated from college in May 2014 with a degree in Public Relations, but somehow found myself in a career that wasn’t relevant to my major. It took me over 4 years to realize the reason why I felt so unfulfilled was because the creativity aspect of my life was missing, and that’s what makes me happy.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Becoming an entrepreneur was never really something that I had considered prior to Angel Energy. Throughout college and upon graduation I was naturally conditioned to believe that climbing the Corporate America ladder was the only real route to success. It wasn’t until I actually started working that my idea of success changed. I realized how so much of what I was doing in my career didn’t align with my values. I knew that starting my own company was the only way to achieve true internal happiness and fulfillment.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

Around the time Angel Energy was being created I was simultaneously fashion blogging in Philadelphia. Through media events I formed a large network of other bloggers in the community. When creating the launch campaign for Angel Energy I asked if they all wanted to be involved, and those that were interested became a part of a photoshoot and video that conveyed the brands message. We then used that content and solely relied on influencer marketing. Luckily, the word was able to spread quickly through Philadelphia.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

When starting Angel Energy, the plan was to make it women empowerment focused. What I failed to realize was that although the percentage is smaller, there are also men who are victims of domestic abuse that did not feel included in the movement. Obviously, we want to be as inclusive as possible, so we added men’s apparel to our brand. From this I learned how important inclusivity is so more people can relate to the message.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Having my story published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, because it was the same newspaper that covered so much of my mom’s murder case. Being able to change the headline from “N.J. murder trial: Lurid details, rare defense” written about my parents in June 2001 to “A child witness to her mom’s murder seeks healing 20 years later from the journalist on the story” in October 2020 was definitely my proudest moment so far. I am so thankful to have been able to finish my parent’s painful story with a different narrative – that it is possible to fuel pain into purpose and rise above anything!

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

I think it’s important to have a candidate not only describe what they’ve done, but the steps they took to get there. Hearing someone explain processes gives more credibility.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Due to both social isolation and economic crises as a result of COVID-19, domestic violence has been on the rise globally. Our main goal during the pandemic has been and continues to be to raise awareness for those that are in quarantine right now with an abuser.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Hopefully to create a domestic violence-based nonprofit of our own as a branch of Angel Energy.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Nothing is as it seems! Sometimes a failure in one area is really just a redirection from the universe.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

When first starting Angel Energy I wasn’t sure where to allocate our budget. It definitely takes trial and error to determine what methods work best.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Every time I begin to feel lost or off-balanced I turn to spirituality to redirect my focus to the things that really matter in life. Reading books like ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ helps to put everything into perspective again.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Absolutely! I find a work/life balance is not only important but extremely necessary in becoming successful. All work and no play inevitably leads to a burnout, so I make sure to prioritize this. A tip to achieve work/life balance would be to time block your days and weeks. Seeing a visual reminder of when to push hard and when to take a break makes me feel more organized and motivated to complete tasks.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m extremely unathletic and actually met my best friend on the sidelines of gym class in 5th grade because we were both so bad.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • Start your days earlier! I’ve found that I tend to get the most work done in the mornings before lunch, so I make sure to capitalize on that time.
  • Create a daily routine. Personally, I love to listen to a motivational or educational podcast as I drink my tea in the morning. This helps challenge my mindset in a positive way and starts each day on a good note.
  • Lastly, and my favorite tip is making a daily to-do list to hold yourself accountable. When I have my goals of the day written down I know I will complete them. 

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being an Entreprenista to me is a leader who is confident in her dreams, but is also willing to fail, learn and continuously adapt during the journey.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





Online Business Manager Ellyn Stanton of Stanton Sisters Creative on taking the leap to start

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Stanton Sisters Creative helps CEOs & Founders step into their roles and get more focus, free time, and financial growth by setting up systems, overseeing teams, and managing projects. What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member? I am so excited about being an…

Why We Chose Electric To Power IT For Our Entreprenista Team & The Women Leaders Who Work With Them Too

Entreprenista’s CoFounder and CEO,  Stephanie Cartin was able to use Electric with a prior company she too founded and operated, Socialfly. Electric freed up her time and allowed her to focus on and scale other companies like Entreprenista. So when the same bottlenecks arose at Entreprenista, she knew the solution for her team right away! …

Renowned Chef Judy Joo on forging her own path as an Entreprenista

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I am a career changer, and I had a rather serendipitous route into the kitchen. I started out as an engineering major in college and then went into finance and worked in fixed income derivatives for about 5 ½ years until I decided to give…

Vasiliki Gkarmiri of Next Door Goddess on leaving a legacy

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I’m Vasiliki (but everyone calls me Vicky)!  I’m a Greek immigrant, Family Physician-turned-jewelry designer and co-founder at Next Door Goddess where I design and create artisanal handcrafted boho luxe jewelry, inspired by moments in the Greece and the Mediterranean landscape, that helps women express on…

Juliana Avella of Made Simple Nutrition on launching her first Self-Study Online Fertility Program

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: My name is Juliana, I am a mother of 3 boys and passionate about helping women to thrive in a happy and healthy motherhood. I have been working as a Health & Fertility Coach for over 11 years and my goal with my clients is…

Ashleigh Barker, Head of Beauty for Lincoln International, on her unique Entreprenista journey

Describe your business in a few words: I am the Head of Beauty for Lincoln International, an investment banking platform that advises brands and management teams on growth capital fundraising and M&A advisory strategies. What was your background prior to starting your own business? I’m an M&A strategy, advisor and investment professional with both investment…

Cheli Grace of Book to Millions Reflects on 1 Year in The Entreprenista League

Brief description of your business: I offer professional publishing services with business strategy. I help you write, publish and market your non-fiction book that is aligned to your business and brand. We have a 5-phase system that does a lot of the work for you so all you have to do is show up with…

Certified Fertility Health & ICF Life Coach, Doula & Educator Elizabeth King on her Mamaprenista Mission

Describe your business in a few words: Elizabeth King is a Certified Fertility Health Coach, Master Certified ICF Life Coach, Birth & Bereavement Doula and New Parent Educator. Her mission is to help people of all backgrounds conceive a healthy baby and carry to term.After having 3 children of her own after the age of…

Beth Schomp on Living Your Best Life

Describe your business in a few words: I’m a host of my own YouTube Show, Your Best Life with Beth Schomp. It’s a weekly video series of tips and interviews on nutrition, fitness and other health modalities. I’m also a National Director with Melaleuca, a major manufacturer/registered pharmaceutical company. I also just authored my first…

Rosemary Leader, Founder of Connect The Kind, has set out to change the way we gift

Describe your business in a few words: My name is Rosemary Leader, and I started Connect The Kind in December 2020. At Connect The Kind, we have set out to change the way people gift. Our mission has been to create a more meaningful, impactful way to celebrate the good people in your lives. We…

Ashley Reckdenwald, Founder of Working Mom Notes, on her mission as a Mamaprenista

Describe your business in a few words: I am the Founder of Working Mom Notes. My mission is to empower mothers through community and experience, enabling all to prosper in both career and motherhood. I believe in moderating difficult conversations to help women feel seen and heard. What was your background prior to starting your…

Riley Flanagan of Riley’s Rows on starting her own international wine company

Describe your business in a few words: When I was four years old, Dad and I had our first harvest. I came home and knew I wanted to be a winemaker. I have loved growing up in this industry and I started Riley’s Rows as a way to share wines with people. My mission is…

Adriana Robinson, Founder of Reina Skincare, on her “accidental” success as an Entreprenista

Describe your business in a few words: My name is Adriana Robinson. I started this business in 2018. I was suffering from Acne all over my body and the products in store were not working for me. I decided to go the natural route and I accidentally ordered 10 pounds of Shea Butter instead of…

Laura Elliott, Co-Founder of Kula Inc., on taking the leap to launch a podcast

Describe your business in a few words: I am Laura Elliott the co-founder of Kula Inc. Kula is transforming the way moms receive support with a membership-based platform that allows moms to book 1:1 virtual sessions with a network of maternal wellness experts, including sleep consultants, counselors, career coaches, nutritionists, and more. What was your…

Meet Britney Mahoney: Senior Executive Assistant turned Entreprenista

Describe your business in a few words: As an 18-year highly experienced executive assistant with a diverse background in providing support to senior-level officials through in-person and virtual settings. Your business is our business. I believe in making your dreams and goals a reality and my Virtual Assistants know just how to do that. We’re…