Find out how Nicole Birnbaum came up with the idea
FlipRings founder Nicole Birnbaum
When College of Charleston freshman and communication major Nicole Birnbaum was sent home to Wyckoff, New Jersey, due to Hurricane Dorian in 2019, she didn’t expect to develop an idea for a new jewelry product that would take her from regular co-ed to Student Entrepreneur of the Year for 2021-22.
Yet FlipRings—colorful rings that feature reversible slogans such as “Coffee/Tequila,” “Thriving/Surviving,” and “Inhale/Exhale”—has grown exponentially in its three years, with more than $500,000 worth of products sold on Birnbaum’s website and in more than 200 boutiques across the US.
Birnbaum developed the idea after she saw her father wearing a black silicone band instead of his wedding ring while working out. Liking the ring’s texture and pliability, Birnbaum searched online for one of her own, but found that they were only sold in muted colors. After talking with her dad about this gap in the market, the two brainstormed the concept for FlipRings: $10 silicone rings in a range of colors, featuring catchy, often comical, phrases on both sides.
Birnbaum promotes the brand on Instagram with splashy colors and photos of her friends modeling the products. “It’s all about self-expression, and I think that’s why people, especially my age, are really drawn to it,” she says.
Now a senior, Birnbaum’s post-graduation plan is to expand FlipRings. Recently, the brand added a line of totes, beanies, and bucket hats. “I want to continue and see where it takes me,” she says.