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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Former students create company dedicated to dressing up Aggie Ring

Three+years+ago%2C+Ring+Wraps+was+created+by+Emily+Hutchinson%2C+Class+of+2012%2C+and+Scott+Polk%2C+Class+of+1984.
Photo by: Alexis Will

Three years ago, Ring Wraps was created by Emily Hutchinson, Class of 2012, and Scott Polk, Class of 1984.

Each of the 350,000 Aggie Rings share the same distinct seal: an eagle, shield and five stars, distinguishable only by the class year. But for the past three-and-a-half years, Aggies have been able to add a new piece to make their rings more unique and to celebrate the Aggie tradition.

President and founder of Ring Wraps Emily Huskinson, Class of 2012, first tried to keep her plans secret when she went to a Lyles-DeGrazier, an award-winning custom jeweler, to buy two diamond bands that would surround her Aggie Ring. Scott Polk, Class of 1984, is owner and president of the jeweler.

“I actually didn’t want Scott to know because he had several daughters and nieces that were all Aggies, and I thought he would make them for all the other Aggies he knew,” Huskinson said. “I just wanted it for myself, and if lots of girls had it, it wouldn’t be as unique to my ring.”

After hearing the idea however, Polk suggested Huskinson herself should try and make a business out of Ring Wraps before someone else came up with the idea. Despite being a junior in college, Huskinson decided to pursue the idea.

Three-and-a-half years and three patents later, Huskinson has partnered with Polk and Lyles-DeGrazier, and now runs a business that serves over 45 schools.

“[Lyles-DeGrazier] is Aggie-owned and family operated since 1949,” Huskinson said. “It actually takes one guy four hours just to set the diamonds in the Ring Wrap, so they are meticulously made by these jewelers, and the jewelers that do this — this is all they do, so they are experts at making these things.”

Huskinson said she still sticks to her Aggie roots and tries to incorporate philanthropy into the business. Since starting the company in 2012, her donations of Ring Wraps and certificates have raised over $200,000 for student scholarships and other charitable causes.

Huskinson said she one day hopes to develop a ring scholarship through her business.

“We are working on making it an actual ring scholarship where it is directly through us and maybe having people apply, but we are so busy giving in all these other ways we haven’t done that,” Huskinson said.“[The donations] to elementary schools and carnivals and things like the Wounded Warrior project, [as well as] any kind of cause you can think of [have raised $200,000].  

For alumna, class of ‘15, Carson Barrett said in addition to making her ring stand out from thousands of other hands, this adds another incentive to buy a Ring Wrap.

“I donate to A&M once a month, every month so to know that they are donating as well is awesome. I had no idea,” Barrett said. Obviously I knew the cost of it, and I knew that it was really expensive, but to know it is raising money for A&M is wonderful.”

While it can be for personal reasons, Barrett also said Ring Wraps provide an opportunity to promote A&M and build connections.    

“It is a little materialistic, but it brings a lot of value and worth to [the university] because it is a talking point,” Barrett said. “People want to know ‘where did you get that?’ ‘What is that for?’ And people who did not go to A&M and aren’t familiar with the tradition of the ring always ask me where does that come from, and I say it is my class ring so I get to talk about A&M.”  

Huskinson said she enjoys giving Aggies a chance to further decorate their rings and hearing different Aggies’ stories. She recalls one of her very first clients — Bobbye Hillard — who called her asking for a Ring Wrap.

“You could tell she was getting choked up and trying to speak through her tears,” Huskinson said. “She said ‘My husband, who was class of 1952, was going to buy me one of these for my wedding ring, which is my sweetheart ring, for our 60th Anniversary, but right before he was about to purchase it he passed away.’”

Moved by Hilliard’s story, Huskinson called her back and asked what her ring size was. Hilliard’s size was a five. Size five just happened to be the only Ring Wrap in stock, and Hillard was able to purchase it.

After being introduced to Ring Wraps through a friend from her sorority, Becca Stacey, chemical engineering senior, said she knew the wrap would be the perfect thing to customize her ring when she received it.  

Stacey said she believes Ring Wraps are just another way to update the tradition while highlighting the most important part — the ring itself. Stacey said adding additional pieces to decorate the ring is not unheard of, and the diamond some students add to the center is is also a relatively new tradition.

“I know adding the diamond in the center is a newer tradition because all of the older Aggie Rings were just gold, and I feel like it is added upon that,” Stacey said. “Adding the diamond in the center makes it more flashy, and the diamonds on the side is another addition. A&M is very traditional, but it is up and coming in the new age.”

Kathryn Greenwade, vice president of The Association of Former Students and Class of 1988, said the option of adding a diamond in the center of the ring was initially offered in the mid-1970s.

Greenwade said no matter how Aggies choose to wear their ring or decorate it, it is a symbol for the hard work Aggies put into their education.

“One of the unique things about the Aggie Ring is that we all wear the same ring, and it all ties us together, regardless of when we attended the university,” Greenwade said. “Having a separate piece allows those who want something different to do so and yet keep the Aggie ring unchanged.”

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