Sarah Ripoli was only six years old when her mother was tragically murdered. As Sarah was downstairs in her childhood home, her mother Brenda was upstairs, shot and killed—by Sarah’s father.
Sarah courageously shared her story in her fashion blog, The Scoop By Sarah Rip and spoke candidly about her experiences and life after her mother’s death. She understands the lasting effects of domestic abuse—the pain, the trauma, the challenges and the loneliness—and has devoted her life to helping survivors feel empowered, rather than powerless. She wants survivors of abuse to know that they always have options to help them as they overcome domestic violence.
“This is where you have two choices… to let the emotional distress and trauma own you, or for you to own it.” — Sarah Ripoli
As a survivor and an advocate of domestic violence prevention, Sarah has chosen to turn tragedy into triumph through the creation of Angel Energy, in honor of her mother’s memory. A lover of fashion, and a believer in positivity and finding power from within, Sarah has created a platform and a space for anyone to join her in the mission of helping others find their voice through fashion.
Sold exclusively online, Angel Energy is a clothing company that focuses on raising domestic abuse awareness, and offers inspirational, colorful, uplifting garments and accessories for men and women. Angel Energy donates 25% of all proceeds to a different charity each month that assists families who are affected by domestic violence. Sarah’s commitment to this cause has paid off tremendously; for example, Angel Energy recently sent their largest donation to date to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Read on to learn more from our interview with Sarah, which is an inspiring account of how she prevailed and took charge of her story, while helping countless others find their voice in the face of adversity.
What was your biggest motivation for founding Angel Energy?
SARAH: Losing my mom to domestic violence was something that I did not have any control over but finding a way to create positive change was. Twenty years later I combined my passion for fashion with my life mission to spread domestic violence awareness, and Angel Energy was born.
What was the biggest challenge you experienced when starting the business?
SARAH: Leaving my career as an accounting and finance recruiter in Corporate America to do something untraditional felt like a total taboo when first starting Angel Energy. Aspiring to create something that did not yet exist also felt discouraging at times, since there were no specific steps to take or a road map on how to get there. I often found myself frozen with anxiety overthinking what steps to take next.
How did you overcome it?
SARAH: To this day whenever I feel stuck, I take a moment to pause and work on grounding myself. I recently read the book ‘The Journey Home’ by Lee Carroll and in it I learned a very important lesson that helped me to overcome the fear of not knowing what path to take. There is never a map or set directions to follow in order to accomplish your goals. YOU are the map, and the map is you. Therefore, you must trust your gut and intuition when it comes to next steps in life or business.
Tell us a bit more about Angel Energy as a mission-born company.
SARAH: Angel Energy bridges the gap between two completely different verticals, since domestic violence and fashion are two topics that are not typically grouped together. Angel Energy is much more than a brand, but an important movement to create change and a community where everyone is encouraged to use their voice.
It looks like Angel Energy is growing fast! What are some recent highlights?
SARAH: Since starting Angel Energy, there have been so many exciting milestones that have happened along the way. One of my favorites is Angel Energy’s close partnership with Miss NJ USA 2020, Gina Mellish. We create multiple Angel Energy x Miss NJ USA collaboration pieces to help raise dating abuse awareness and donated proceeds to The One Love Foundation. Angel Energy is also being featured in the Miss NJ USA promotional video for Miss USA competition this month!
Anything else you want The Happy Weekly readers to know?
SARAH: There are so many of us who keep secrets buried inside that aren’t ours to carry. Speaking your truth is the only way to set yourself free. No matter what circumstances you were born into everyone has the capability to create their own life narrative.
Shop Angel Energy: shopangelenergy.com
About the Author: Ditte Dennisor is a writer based in Connecticut who writes about fashion, fitness, wellness and art. You can find her cozied up with a good book, meditating, exploring a museum or walking barefoot at the beach.