It's just been nearly three years since Onyii (pronounced "Own-Yee") Brown launched her African-inspired collection, Onyii & Co., and now she's basking in the national spotlight.
She was a 2015 finalist for Martha Stewart's "American Made" contest, which celebrates brands made in the United States. And in September, she'll show her spring/summer 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week, presented by Amconyc.
Brown, 39, started her line with $125 and one pale-yellow, maxi wrap skirt on Etsy.
Her foray into fashion was hardly the norm. Nigerian born and raised in Amherst, Mass., Brown set out to study robotics engineering at the University of Massachusetts but decided on a degree in marketing. During her junior year, she took an internship in New York's garment district with a fabric converter, a company that turns raw materials such as cotton into textiles for designers.