Allana and Ryan sit next to each other in Dawson’s cafeteria - one of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters’ buildings - sharing the casual, shorthand chatter of a young couple excited to get married. If there’s anything peculiar, it’s how effortlessly these two senior UX designers share Amazonian references.
Amazon is known for many things. But playing Cupid isn’t one of them. At least not yet.
But in 2011, a chance encounter, made through Amazon, led to romance.
At the time, Allana was finishing an Amazon internship, and saw Ryan in the lobby of the Columbia Tower building, which then housed Amazon’s design team. Recognizing Ryan as one of the Amazonians who’d held the same internship a year earlier, she introduced herself. Ryan was working as a UX designer with the Amazon Video Games team.
A couple weeks later, on the last day of her internship, Allana and Ryan met up again. Allana wanted to pick Ryan’s mind about how to potentially interview and negotiate for a job.
“I was pretty useless”, Ryan sheepishly recounted. “All my negotiating tactics had come from my mom. She told me to ask for more RSU’s. So I did, and Amazon said: No! And I was like, ‘well, okay!’”.
Although little negotiating wisdom was shared – a spark was lit.
Ryan and Allana soon started dating. From there, Amazon provided the backdrop for the two Seattle-natives’ romance.
A couple years later in 2013, Allana landed a job at Amazon working with the retail team.
Then, after a few changes in teams, Allana and Ryan found themselves working on the same team between 2015 and 2017, designing experiences for Amazon retail.
“It was really nice having someone to relate to doing that kind of work,” says Allana. “We’re both pretty laid-back people, and it was nice being able to appreciate and understand what the other person was doing.”
Today, they’re both still working on experiences for shopping with Amazon. Allana works with the Alexa Shopping team and designed the shopping experience on the Echo Spot. And Ryan leads design for Cart & Checkout experiences.
Naturally, they decided to take teamwork to the next level. As parents to two dogs - a French bulldog named Biscuit, and a Chiweenie, named Ro-Ro (found through someone at Amazon, no less!) – they know a thing or two about partnerships.
A few months ago, the two decided to take a trip to Japan, where Ryan proposed in the Meiji Shrine park in Tokyo, among the lush trees and enormous shrines.
“My ears were ringing and I started to get blurry vision,” Ryan said. “It was incredibly sweet,” Allana says. The two are planning on a destination wedding in Hawaii later this year.
As far as what it means to Ryan and Allana to take engagement photos in The Spheres, “We both love nature. And since we met at Amazon, being able to take engagement photos in The Spheres feels like a full-circle moment. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.”