Entrepreneur-golfer Calli Ringsby finds niche at Stanford

Stanford senior, Lauren Kim, left, and sophomore, Calli Ringsby, right, sit in a lecture hall waiting for class to begin.

Entrepreneur-golfer Calli Ringsby finds niche at Stanford

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Entrepreneur-golfer Calli Ringsby finds niche at Stanford

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the April 25 issue of Golfweek.

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STANFORD, Calif. – Calli Ringsby piled up an interesting dinner plate of salad, hotdog, rice, chicken breast and a large chunk of pineapple. She topped it with a mound of French fries, which she ate before sitting down at the Florence Moore Dining Hall, or FloMo.

On the surface, Ringsby seems like a typical college sophomore, the sixth woman on an NCAA-winning team who offers a warm smile and sharp wit. Except this is Stanford, and there’s no such thing as “typical” here.

“I’ve had a few businesses in my career,” said Ringsby, sliding over a business card that dates to middle school.

Ringsby, 20, started her first business – CalliBay – when she was 12. She would sell items for others on eBay for a 20 percent commission. She was president. Her younger sister Lexi was director of procurement; younger brother Jimmy was director of shipping. Ringsby estimates she made $3,000.

In the seventh grade at Graland Country Day in Denver, she sold iPhone cases at school. The administration frowned on the idea, but Ringsby kept the business going from her locker.

At Cherry Creek High School, Ringsby took advantage of the craze for colorful glass backs on the iPhone 4s.

“People didn’t realize it was very cheap to buy the part,” said Ringsby, who “had a guy” who would send them from China.

She also made a killing buying water-damaged phones on eBay, having them repaired and then re-selling.

Ringsby’s latest brainchild, Denver Wears Prada, launched last summer but has yet to take off. It’s intended to be a private, high-quality Craigslist for people who want to buy and sell luxury goods and know they’re authentic.

It’s not surprising that Ringsby, whose major is management science and engineering, wants to be involved in a start-up when she graduates. She doesn’t have any ideas yet but is in the right place to look for co-founders.

Ringsby would’ve made a run for the fifth spot in the lineup this season were it not for surgery on torn cartilage in her left wrist in late October. She progressed to full swings in March.

As the team’s designated MacGyver, Ringsby is relied upon to assess injuries and fix broken phones and bikes.

“She built me a skateboard,” senior Mariah Stackhouse said.

For all that brain power, however, Ringsby never will be accused of taking herself too seriously. It’s part of her charm. An ongoing prank war with Maverick McNealy of the men’s team had Ringsby filling his SUV with packing peanuts last semester and plastering the outside with “Just Married” sticky notes.

“I once took a midterm with a unicorn onesie on,” Ringsby said of losing a bet at Stanford. “The funny thing is, no one even questioned it.”

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