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Patterns & Profits

  • UMES fashionista runs her own online boutique

    Monday, May 6, 2019
    Bryonna Polite (kneeling) with models wearing her original designs

    UMES junior Bryonna Polite, a human ecology major, markets her fashion merchandising skills on a website that since January has generated roughly enough revenue to pay for tuition and fees for a year. 

    The Baltimore native operates Go 2 Girl Bry, an online boutique for custom clothing designs and make-up services. 

    “I started getting into dresses after paying for an expensive dress for junior prom,” Polite said. “It was cheaper to make a dress how I want it to be. It only cost me $100 to make my dress for senior prom.” 

    Polite's mother enrolled her in a sewing school class while in high school and set her on a path to UMES and the university's fashion merchandising program. 

    “It's not too far from home. When I got here, I didn't want to leave,” she said about becoming a Hawk. 

    Bryonna's garment production evolved from hoodies in high school to a (faux) fur jacket she made and sold for $50 her freshman year. 

    “They aren't $50 anymore,” she said with a laugh. 

    Bryonna began making prom dresses in 2018 for customers in the Baltimore area. Currently, she has 11 dresses she is working on for this prom season. 

    “I do class work throughout the day,” Polite said, “and in the evening I go into the sewing room until 2 a.m.” 

    Bryonna credits human ecology professor, Dr. Bridget Clinton-Scott, and 2016 alumna Octavia Outlaw with assisting her along her fashion merchandising experience at UMES. 

    “The fashion merchandising program at UMES has allowed me to better understand the business aspect of the industry.” she said.

    Students unveiled their newest designs at an April 29h fashion showcase in the Student Services Center. It featured original designs from Polite, senior Brittany Washington, junior Dreyan Bundley and sophomore Nathan Dance

    Polite's goals include being a custom gown designer and ultimately opening her own store. 

    “It's like every time I make something new, that becomes my favorite design,” she said.


    By Tahja Cropper