While looking back at the photos I’ve captured over the years I was struck by a common theme; I’ve worked with a lot of inspiring women. Naturally, this got me thinking about ways to showcase all their great talents and stories. Whether overcoming challenges, or touching lives with their unique personalities, the women I’ve selected for this photo series all have an empowering story to tell. So, without further ado, here’s my first entry in my photo series: Empowering Women.
Amy Dunaway: Small Town, Big Vision
I’ve been lucky enough to get to know this first empowering woman simply by helping her create some product photos for her business. Amy is a student at the University of Dayton and owner of Amy Grace Monograms. She started her online monogram boutique during her sophomore year of high school.
While she was growing up in Springboro, Ohio, she played competitive soccer. Tragically, a nasty foul left her with a fractured back at the beginning of her high school playing career. This ultimately took her out of the game she had loved playing entire life.
“It was a really transformational time for me,” says Amy. “I was struggling with figuring who I was without my shin guards on.”
A New Beginning
During that time, Amy was encouraged by a friend’s mom to explore embroidery. Excited by the prospect of a new adventure, Amy pulled her babysitting money together to buy her first embroidery machine. She didn’t even know how to sew! This began the journey of trial and error, hours spent on YouTube, and late nights in her room trying to learn the ins and outs of the machine.
Amy started by monogramming her own clothes. She quickly realized the business potential when her friends at school began asking how they could purchase their own. The hassle of selling products in person turned into taking orders through an Etsy shop. What started as an easier means to collect money for friends’ embroidery orders quickly grew into shipping orders out across the US. She says she will never forget her first order to someone she didn’t know; a onesie order to a lady in Georgia!
Flash forward three years, and Amy Grace Monograms has been featured on The Knot, launched an official website, and has attended several craft shows; her favorite of which is Christmas in Springboro. As she works towards a major in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Amy has her sights set on gaining more business knowledge to help her company continue to grow.
“Right now, our biggest seller is anything from our wedding line,” says Amy. As seen in her personal shop, this includes monogram button downs, suspenders, and robes. No matter what you’re looking for, Amy will be excited to give it that personal dash of style.