Shiny sensation: Blingo Ballmarks
During four All-American seasons at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., Charlotte Campbell got in the habit of decorating her shoes, uniforms and hats with rhinestones. Little did she know that her idiosyncrasy would inspire a business.
In November 2007, after Campbell’s first season on the Duramed Futures Tour, a friend of her mother asked her to make a rhinestone ballmark. That first ballmark was such a hit that the woman asked Campbell to make 20 more, which were quickly sold.
“She couldn’t keep them,” Campbell says.
Soon she was making them for players on the Futures and LPGA tours. Now Campbell’s Blingo Ballmarks can be found at golf clubs in the Orlando, Fla., market and up through the Carolinas and the Northeast. They also are available at www.blingoballmarks.com.
When she’s at home, Campbell tries to make as many ballmarks as possible on a makeshift assembly line that she set up in her apartment. She uses Swarovski crystals, and each ballmark takes about three minutes to assemble. Her mother handles the shipping. Campbell sells the ballmarks for $15 apiece ($10 each on orders of 25 or more), with sales supporting her golf career.
She acknowledges the Blingo market is limited largely to women who like to coordinate her colorful ballmarks with their apparel. But, she says, “I have some older men who like them because you can see them from everywhere, and they don’t care what people think.”
While Campbell’s ballmarks have become a mini-sensation, the two-time NCAA Division II individual champion isn’t prepared to give up her day job.
“I do like playing golf more than making ballmarks,” she says.