Money can buy love at Pittsburgh-based Romeo Delivers
Anne Lopez believes romance needs a revolution.
“It's lost its coolness,” she says. “Right now, how we know romance is old-fashioned poems you don't really relate to, or cards that look like they're made for your grandma with weird flowers. But there are a lot of contemporary, awesome, solicitous ways of being romantic in a cool way. I want to bring new life to that attitude.”
Lopez is founder and CEO of a new Pittsburgh-based startup called Romeo Delivers. For monthly or yearly subscriptions, members receive “romantic toolkits” each month designed to make the loved one in their lives feel adored and appreciated. Each kit contains all the materials and instructions necessary to make a sweet gift for any manner of special someone.
For example, January's kit includes a calendar made of coupon cards that reminds the recipient they're thought of every day. It's called “12 Months, 12 Delightful Deeds Calendar & Tickets.” December's package included a chalkboard tree ornament with diagrams of drawings the givers could use to decorate it.
“Women don't necessarily want flowers,” says Lopez, who holds a fine-art degree from Carnegie Mellon University. “They really want their guys to be more romantic on a regular basis and let them know they care.”
The company started in August and has had steady growth in clients since. Romeo Delivers is part of the first cycle of AlphaLab Gear, a startup accelerator that provides companies with investment, mentorship and connections. The company uses space in the AlphaLab Gear workspace in East Liberty.
“It's something that resonates with a lot of people,” Lopez says of her business. “Relationships are such an important part of life. People are looking for small things to do that are different.”
Mike Ressler, CEO and founder of another Pittsburgh startup, StatEasy, and father of two, uses Romeo Delivers to remind his wife, Lauren, how much he loves her no matter how hectic their lives get.
“I love surprising Lauren with all sorts of fun romantic things but am very lacking in extra time to do all the planning and prep work,” says Mike Ressler of Churchill. “Before Romeo Delivers — and kids — I would hide flowers around the house so that I could ‘magic' them into her hand at the right moment. I just love that stuff. Now I have Anne and her elves working their magic ahead of time to make me look like a hero.”
Lauren Ressler has enjoyed everything from little notes to sidewalk chalk through her Romeo Delivers gifts. The joy it's brought has helped breathe new life into the couple's seven-year marriage, Mike Ressler says.
“It feels like we're back to dating again,” he says. “It's so much fun for me to hide things or surprise her with little gifts that I find myself looking forward to the next one and brainstorming different ways to get the most out of the gifts.”
In the week leading to the birth of their youngest son in November, Ressler saved a Romeo Delivers letter to mail it to their house while they were in the hospital. The letter was the first thing his wife opened upon returning home with their newest family member.
“I know she's still holding on to that letter,” Ressler says.
Lauren Ressler also appreciates a magnetic dry-erase board that reads “I'm thankful for ...” It's up to the couple to fill in the blank with phrases such as, “ I'm thankful for your smiles every morning. They make me feel loved.”
“After seven years of marriage, you forget to share with your partner how much the small things mean, and this board is a great and easy way to do that,” Lauren says.
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.