Amy Kelly of Picflips in Keller Texas
Squeals and laughter erupt as thirteen year old girls run across the room to show their friends, and more laughter ensues. A bride and groom say ‘I love you’ and he swoops her down for a kiss as the crowd hears, ‘That’s perfect! We got it!’ Donors arrive for another fundraising gala, planning the skit to show their kids and co-workers. All in a day’s work for Amy Kelly, co-owner of PicFlips, the mobile flipbook studio.
Think back to the days when you doodled on the corner of your notebook in math class – balls bouncing on the pages as you flipped the paper. Fast forward to today. PicFlips has developed a patent-pending system that transforms a video skit into a 60-page flipbook in 90 seconds. Flipbooks are especially popular at wedding receptions, corporate events, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, non-profit galas and Proms, but the possibilities are endless.
Not wanting to keep the fun to themselves, Amy and husband, Shawn, license the system to other U.S. companies and have distributors worldwide. “We feel good creating new jobs and more revenue within event companies around the world,” said Amy. Amy and Shawn met while working for suppliers of General Motors. With recent layoffs, they are thrilled to put jobs back into the economy.
The original flipbook studio concept came from a friend who created the prototype while in college. Shawn and Amy bought it from him, with partial payment in continuing royalties. Their programmer made it more event-friendly. Every extra penny they earned went into developing PicFlips. Amy quit her job to work on PicFlips full-time in April 2008, and Shawn joined 7 months later. Amy transitioned easily because all her previous jobs included interacting with the public and product promotion. “I call it an ‘event-high’ – engaging people with the product, getting them to come out of their shells and have fun. Good event energy creates a buzz.”
Amy came from an entrepreneurial family. “I saw how much work my mom and dad put into their businesses and decided I wanted a 9-5 job with set hours instead.” Imagine the irony when GM began unraveling and job stability came from her side business. “I would wake up with ideas swirling in my head to improve PicFlips – media and marketing are my passion, and I liked being in control of my future.”
In 3 years, PicFlips spread to include 45 U.S. licenses, 6 distributors in other countries, and continues to grow. PicFlips is currently branching out from events and working with retail locations, card shops, and amusement parks.
Amy is especially fulfilled when working with non-profits, schools, churches and the military. Flipbooks fit neatly in soldiers’ pockets. Discounts and placement of sponsors on the custom covers give charities more options with less investment. Many organizations, including Meals on Wheels, Boys and Girls Club, and Ronald McDonald House, have benefited. Long after the fundraiser, flipbooks continue to spread the message when shown to friends, family and co-workers.
And all before she’s 30…not bad.
Find out more about Amy at
www.ILoveFlipbooks.com and http://profile.to/flipbookqueen