98 ;e Costco Connection SEPTEMBER 2014
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WHEN HOUSTON COSTCO member Ashley Richmond was planning her wedding in 2011, the traditional daddy-daughter dance also
loomed. Her father, David Sparks, wasn’t opposed to it but wasn’t comfortable with the usual. “He said, ‘I don’t want to do a slow dance. I don’t
want to do anything boring or traditional,’ ” she recalls.
Instead, they came up with a medley of dances to choreograph
and perform together. Sparks says, “We came up with the whole
They did their research, watching some videos, from the
likes of Michael Jackson and Beyoncé, 100 times, and practiced
two or three times a week for two months before the wedding.
It came out so well that the video of the wedding dance went
viral on You Tube, and Ashley and her dad were asked to re-create
it on Good Morning America and Fox & Friends.
After Ashley started getting emails from all over the world,
she put together a website,
you can see the father and daughter’s dance), to help other
soon-to-be-blushing brides, and their soon-to-be-blushing
(for entirely different reasons) dads, do their own wedding
Dad &;;u;;;er dance
organizations. Says DiPaola, “My goal with
the company is really to have an impact
on the lives of animals, create job opportunities in [the U.S.] and [create] a sentimental expression of our love of animals.”
Celebrating life with
Ashley and her
COSTCO MEMBER JESSICA DiPaola was
having a rough month. She was frazzled
from her career as an event planner and
was dealing with a slew of health problems. While vacationing in Santa Barbara,
California, for some much-needed relaxation, she got word that her cat, Silkey,
had passed away. She was devastated.
“It was physically and emotionally the
most challenging month I’ve ever had.
[Silkey] was like my little
partner in crime. She was
everything, and we’d been
together as a family for 18
years,” says DiPaola.
After Silkey’s death,
DiPaola reevaluated her pri-
orities and career. In search
of a path that allowed her to
give back, she created sil-
a Web-based business that
creates custom pet silhou-
ettes in the form of art
prints, jewelry and cuff links.
“After Silkey passed, I would
still see her little shadow
around the house. The sil-
houettes were kind of like
that shadow, and [they]
really helped me keep her
close,” says DiPaola.
Customers send photos
of their pet (living or deceased) to DiPaola’s
team, who use graphics software to design
a custom silhouette. Generic silhouettes
are also available by breed, and all prod-
ucts are made in California.
DiPaola’s website is full of testimoni-
als about heartfelt bonds with four-legged
family members. In tribute to those rela-
tionships, silhouPETte gives 30 percent of
company profits to animal rescue and aid