Made in WNY: Beach Bright flip flops

August 4, 2014 Updated Aug 4, 2014 at 2:30 PM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

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August 4, 2014 Updated Aug 4, 2014 at 2:30 PM EDT

Talk about a bright idea... a walk on the beach led to a business for one Western New Yorker, who is now enlightening consumers with her product that's made in Western New York.

"They're beautiful by day and sophisticated, but at night they're just fun," that's how Marcia Nachreiner describes her invention, Beach Bright flip flops.

As an avid beach goer, Nachreiner knows how hard it is to navigate the beach at night. "So I went to go buy flip flops online, thinking Eddie Bauer has a head lamp, there's got to be flip flops that illuminate but there was nothing," she said.

That flipped the switch for a business idea. Nachreiner teamed up with her niece, Brandi Golimowski, who has a degree in electrical engineering and they got to work founding Beach Bright, Inc.

"The flip flop lights up with an LED circuit inside a flower capsule medallion and essentially you push a button, a switch that you push on and it easily turns on and off the LED," Golimowski explains.

It sounds simple, but it took three years from concept to production to perfect. Now the flip flops themselves are imported from Brazil. The circuit board comes right from Sopark Corp., another Western New York business, and the flower medallion is made in Rochester.

"We assemble all of the pieces and we attach the bling because you have to have bling on your flip flops, beautiful crystals," Nachreiner says.

After the help of a Lumber City development grant, Beach Bright set up production at the Gateway Center in North Tonawanda.

The flip flops are walking out the door of retail shops at big name hotels from Loews and the Marriott to the Ritz Carlton. They're also for sale in Western New York at Blum's in Williamsville, Capello Salon on Transit and Hock's Flower Shop in North Tonawanda. They're also sold online at https://beachbrightinc.com/.

The future looks bright as Nachreiner hopes that more consumers flip for the illuminated flip flops. "Brides on their wedding night, dancing on dance floor; college kids lighting up school spirit; and then the ultimate dream, of course, is to be walking down the beach and see those lights coming at me at night, knowing that people are walking and lighting up their path," she said.