We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Ganzenmuller and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sarah, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking

Risk-taking is essential. Without risk there is no innovation. When I assess risk I ask myself, do the potential pros outweigh the cons? Is fear of failure the only thing holding me back? If the answer is yes, I often take the leap. This past September, I took a risk, bet on myself, and started working on my startup Ripplfect full-time.

I am not going to pretend that taking the leap and quitting my secure, full-time Digital Marketing job to start working on Ripplfect wasn’t scary, because it was. I had worked a 9-5 for over 2 years and admittedly was starting to feel comfortable. I think the longer you stay within the bounds of societal norms, the harder it becomes to take a risk and break out. That said, it came down to one thing. I knew I would regret not trying more than having tried and failed.

You are almost always rewarded for going out of your comfort zone. Even if it is in ways you do not anticipate or expect. Since quitting my full-time job in September I have made so many meaningful connections through Ripplfect, and I have learned more than I ever would have if I had stayed at my previous job.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?

Ripplfect is one of the first US-based companies attempting to disrupt disposables in the coffee industry. While only 3% of customers currently bring their own reusable drinkware to coffee shops, I see a future where our colorful stainless steel cups are a staple in coffee shops across the country. Through positive reinforcement and by addressing barriers of reusables in the coffee industry, I believe it is possible to change behavior.

Ripplfect is a mobile application that uses photo recognition and the user’s location to allow customers to photograph reusable tumblers while in participating coffee shops to earn rewards points. The points are redeemable towards a free coffee.

Users’ profiles show them how much plastic waste they have reduced personally in addition to the positive impact the Rippl community has had as a whole. Through our product and mobile app, we have equipped coffee lovers with the product and technology that aligns their values with their choices.

While I figured tackling the 100 billion dollar coffee industry was a good place to start, coffee cups are just one of the many single-use items that I hope to one day eliminate with Ripplfect. Eliminating to-go boxes and other disposables in takeout scenarios is the next step!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

My absolute favorite restaurant in Boston has to be Dali in Somerville – so the first night we would have to go there for Spanish tapas! I am horrible at making decisions so tapas style restaurants are perfect for me because I get to try a little bit of everything! They also have amazing drinks.

Next we would head outside of the city to the North Shore, where a majority of my Ripplfect cafe partners are located. Coffee in the morning and then thrifting and lunch in Portsmouth! Then wrap the day up with some Prickly pear margs and chips and salsa at Agave in Newburyport.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

There are so many people that I am so grateful for. Ripplfect wouldn’t be where it is today without the support from my family, friends and community. They say it takes a village, and it really does.

I would like to thank everyone who donated to the Ripplfect crowdfunding campaign – you made it possible to launch. The Northshore community has been nothing but supportive and rallied behind the cause. Whether that is the cafe owners I have had the pleasure of getting to know, or their amazing customers.

The startup community and founder friends I have made over the last few months have been instrumental in helping me through my experience as a first-time founder.

Finally, I am so grateful for my supportive friends (who I think at this point post about Rippl more than I do) and for my family who has allowed me to move back home and pursue my dreams.

Website: www.theripplfect.com

Instagram: @theripplfect

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahganzenmuller/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.