Senior world traveler starts jewelry business

Darcie Nicholson is already putting her strategic communication major to use by advertising for her jewelry business.

She sells just one item, a brass wire ring called a “Go Ring” that costs $15.

Nicholson said after two weeks of  advertising through Instagram and word-of-mouth, she has already made $2,000 in profit from her Go Rings.

Nicholson is raising money to help pay the $15,500 she needs to join the World Race. The World Race is a Christian organization that assembles groups of “racers” to travel to 11 countries in 11 months doing mission work.

For Nicholson, the business started as spontaneously as her decision to apply.

“I didn’t really tell anybody but I applied on a whim, had an interview and got accepted,” Nicholson said. “Then I had two weeks to decide that I wanted to do this after graduation.”

While the experience of applying and raising funds has been spontaneous, arriving at her decision took a full semester of planning and organization to come together.

“I studied abroad last semester and I saw the way that Spain did things differently. I want to do what I love after college,” Nicholson said. “I wanted to start seeing the world before I’m 56 and my kids are out of the house and I have money, so I figured 'What’s a way I can see the world?'”

Senior journalism major Melanie Hairston also seized the opportunity to see the world with World Race and has been raising money for months. With her departure just one month away, she still has $9,000 to raise.

“Fundraising has been stressful,” Hairston said. “It’s been rough and frustrating to say the least.”

Hairston sold t-shirts in order to raise money but did not see a profit like Nicholson has made.

“I’m envious of that but really excited for her. The Lord’s provision is crazy,” Hairston said.

Hairston said Nicholson’s rings are creative and that people are more likely to respond when there is something tangible, like a ring, to serve as a reminder.

Nicholson said she wanted the rings to have a meaning behind them. She makes each ring using brass wire that wraps around the finger 11 times to represent the 11 countries to which she will travel. The ring binds seven times, securing the brass wire together in the center, which represents the seven team members she will travel with.

Nicholson makes each ring by hand, and though it only takes two minutes to make each one, she said 125 rings in two weeks has proven to be a lot.

“It’s something that’s very simple but I’ve definitely spent a lot of hours and gotten a lot of blisters," Nicholson said. "It has cut into my schoolwork, but right now I’m mission minded.” 

Aside from making the ring, Nicholson personalizes each purchase with a letter and small jewelry bag.

It is little details like these that impressed first-year speech pathology major Jessica Dinsmoor, who did not know Nicholson, but bought a ring when she heard why Nicholson was selling them.

“She came into my Theta meeting and told everyone about her wonderful cause,” Dinsmoor said. “It’s always been a dream for me to go on a mission trip so I just wanted to support her.”

Just two weeks after starting her new business, Nicholson is already selling her product online through So far, she has been surprised by her own success.

“It’s nuts," she said. "$2,000 from wire.”

From a spontaneous decision to apply to World Race, to an idea that sprouted into a booming business, Nicholson said she is excited about the next seven months she will spend preparing for her journey. Though for Nicholson, the journey has already started.

Support Darcie Nicholson by purchasing a Go Ring here.