When Alexandra von Paris found herself out of a job in 2010, she didn't know how she was going to pay rent. Instead of working for another business, von Paris decided to start her own.
Von Paris (Ali for short) founded Route One Apparel, which she said specializes in "edgy, unique designs." Lately, the company has focused on "Maryland Pride" clothing — Maryland flag apparel and an emphasis on other state icons like crabs and Baltimore.
Born in Joppatowne, von Paris graduated from the University of Maryland College Park in May 2012 and now lives in Timonium while working full-time at Route One Apparel.
Getting Route One Apparel off the ground as a student meant von Paris had to sacrifice some of her social life, she said.
"I turned into a bit of a hermit," she said, "because I always was working out of my room."
At 22, von Paris managers a team of salespeople and designers, and is one of Maryland's young entrepreneurs.
Worst pet peeve? People not making promises or ditching out on plans last minute for a lame excuse.
What song are you hating/loving right now? That song "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line is one of my favorites right now.
Hardest thing about having your own company? No time to do the things a normal 22-year-old should do.
Last concert/gig you went to? Avicii at Pier Six … I need to get out more!
Your worst habit? Getting ready at the last minute, #girlprobz.
Favorite clothing company? (besides Route One) Honestly and ironically I don't have a preference — but if I had to choose, Ann Taylor, Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters.
Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? The term "YOLO"
Last movie you liked/disliked? "Pitch Perfect" was hilarious.
Favorite Route One item? Maryland Flag Bikini!
TV shows you can't get enough of? "THE BACHELOR!!" Don't judge me.
Last great meal you had? Peanut butter and chocolate Georgetown Cupcake
Strangest place you've ever worn Route One Apparel? In a "Harlem Shake" video.
Favorite and most loathed fashion statements? Current favorite: dresses with an open back. Most loathed: capri pants.
Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore? Mother's or Mad River in Fed Hill.
Coolest/weirdest people you've seen wear Route One? Coolest: Bob Turk from WJZ.
Best advice you ever got? Just keep swimming.
Favorite thing about Baltimore? TOO MANY !! Our awesome sports teams, the Inner Harbor and its growing support for entrepreneurism.
AS TOLD TO COLLEEN JASKOT