UMD Business Student and Fashion Entrepreneur Starts Non-Profit
MasTERPiece is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded by student designers Brittany McCoy and Fei Mancho at the University of Maryland in 2014. MasTERPiece is dedicated to providing a platform for students to obtain the knowledge and resources needed to pursue a career in the retail industry.
This is a SHORT story of how it came to be!
It was my freshman year of college that I dared to be bold and decided to follow my passion to start a clothing brand of my own. I created Dynasty By Brittany with hopes of building a multi-billion dollar fashion company someday. The only problem was I didn’t know how to make it happen. I looked towards my university to seek out opportunities to further expand my knowledge and pursue my craft, however, my journey was short-lived (or so I thought). The university prides itself on having a great reputation for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, but what about the creative and artistic community of Dance, Music, Art, Theater, and Fashion? It did not take me long to realize that there were NO outlets for me to pursue my passion and so I was forced to look off campus for fitting opportunities.
Spring semester sophomore year I met Fei. She had such a fun bubbly personality and I loved her vintage style. I soon realized that we both had a lot in common. She was a fashion blogger who started a vintage clothing brand selling handcrafted tie-dye apparel. As a budding fashionpreneur, she was also looking for outlets to build her brand. We bonded over our struggles and decided to do something about it. A couple weeks later, MasTERPiece was born! By no means was creating this organization an easy task. As Fei and I began to lay out the blueprint of the newly formed MasTERPiece, it was as if we were creating a start-up all over again. We had to grow membership, get funded, find a meeting space, develop our curriculum, differentiate from the competition, gain respect, and build our brand in the community, which is very difficult to do when creating something from scratch at a university that has indirectly stated its position on the creative community.
It takes TWO very passionate, unique, and talented individuals to do what we did and SUCCEED!
By the time Fei and I walked across the stage of our graduation in May of 2016, we had a lot to be proud of. In just TWO short years we managed to do the following:
HIGHLIGHTS OF MASTERPIECE BY YEAR 2
Grew membership to over 300 members.
Became a recognized SGA organization.
Built a professional network through partnerships, both on and off campus (H&M, Target, ASOS, ROSS, and more).
Empowered students through several workshops, panels, guest speakers, and events.
Developed leaders by offering opportunities to gain skills and confidence.
Managed to create the 1st Annual UMD Fashion Week with only $10 in our student account, raising over $5000 for our organization. (What a Success!)
Recognized by Delegate Smith from the Maryland General Assembly for our Fashion Week Event and commitment to making an impact on campus.
Became a recognized organization in the Smith School of Business.
Our innate ability to create something from NOTHING. Build it. Mold it. Develop individuals along the way creating a lasting impact, all while being students and building our personal fashion empires.
I had the pleasure of visiting MasTERPiece, now a nonprofit organization, during their 2017-2018 E-Board Elections. I was so happy to walk into a FULL HOUSE of a diverse group of talented and creative students. The best part is that there were MEN, in abundance, and some were running for positions too. My prayers were answered! Just listening to the speeches I swear I felt a tear forming in my eye. There were so many wonderful testimonies of the great things MasTERPiece has done for its members. It was at that point that I knew MasTERPiece would be around for a long time.
It was my passion that led me to MasTERPiece, but it was through MasTERPiece that I was able to find my purpose in life.
To Be Continued….
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