ZipString is a mesmerizing toy that floats a seemingly standard loop of string in the air. It carefully balances several forces of gravity, lift, tension, and drag to fly the string in the air. Any movement that a Zipster (a user of a ZipString) does, the string follows.
On August 12th 2021, ZipString went viral as founders Stephen Fazio (22) and Austin Hillam (22) shared their invention with the world. During the height of the invention phase, Stephen and Austin along with Austin’s father Mark set up shop in the basement of the Hillam family home where they invented dozens of iterations to get the design right.
This is truly one of those basement inventions stories that has a global impact. During the pandemic, when supply chains were stressed, the team, supported by family and friends, built and shipped thousands of ZipStrings from Johns Creek, Georgia. ZipStrings have been shipped to over 50 countries around the globe.
Amid all the energy to bring ZipString to the world, Austin and Stephen put their education on pause for a year as they launched a successful Kickstarter. Austin was attending BYU and Stephen, Georgia Tech.
ZipString has garnered visibility from over 200 million people across various social media platforms. Beyond being just mesmerizing, Zipsters can do tricks and stunts. Zipsters are fantastically loyal and the team loves seeing all the new tricks that get submitted. The famous Dude Perfect team even did tricks with ZipString on stage during their Nationwide 2021 tour. With all the energy around the invention of ZipString, Austin and Stephen are often invited to meet with schools to talk about the invention process and the challenges of making a dream a reality.
Put a ZipString in any person’s hand. It doesn’t matter how old they are. It doesn’t matter their background. Just put it in their hand and you will see a smile on their face. Worldly pressures fade away and all that is left is a pure raw gleam of wonderment. It is something to behold and one of the most fascinating things about a ZipString.
In 2022, Stephen Fazio and Austin Hillam appeared on the hit TV show Shark Tank, and their pitch was a huge success. All five of the sharks expressed interest in the product, and the bidding quickly became intense. Since the Shark Tank episode aired, ZipString has seen a significant increase in sales and has become a household name.
Today, the team is still based out of the Johns Creek, Georgia home. Working hard in the lab they are creating the next versions of ZipString. Daily, they quickly fulfill orders, pulling from stock that has been neatly stacked against the walls. As ZipString grows it will inevitably outgrow its humble beginnings. But the message that hard work and dreams can still be launched from a basement and yet have influence around the globe, is real.