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CHARLESTON, S.C., June 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — It’s amazing what a little flash of inspiration can do. To the Nicole Birnbauma rising senior at the College of Charleston with a major communication, one such moment occurred early in her freshman year. It was an epiphany that led to the creation of a successful commercial enterprise – Flip Rings — and to their 2021-22 Student Entrepreneur of the Year winner.
When college was closed due to Hurricane Dorian in the fall of 2019, Birnbaum spent that week at home in New Jersey with her parents. Her father happened to have a black silicone ring that he used in place of his wedding band when exercising or doing other activities. The younger Birnbaum wondered if such rings existed in different colors.
“I played with the thing,” she recalls, “because silicone is stretchy and it’s just fun to play with. This made me wonder if I could find the same product in other colors. I went online but couldn’t find anything similar. At least it didn’t seem that anyone made such products and marketed them to people my age. So I started thinking, “What if you could just have a ring with fun, punchy words on it, similar to those bracelets that were so popular a few years ago?” That’s how it all started.”
When Birnbaum speaks of “everything”, she is more than modest. Your company, which started in the winter of 2020, steadily gained popularity after the first models appeared. By the end of 2021, FlipRings had grossed over $500,000.
“Our first model had the word ‘coffee’ engraved on the outside and ‘tequila’ on the inside,” she explains. “Jump rings, right? You can reverse them inside or outside. I love graphic design and designing things in general, so at that point I was just playing around. Eventually I found a supplier and ordered some samples. I showed it to him…