In a glitzy clothing commercial, fashion designer Cindy Bapst is showing off her line called Union of Angels. She says it's versatile, simple and sexy.
When she was growing up in Maryland, however, Bapst says clothes were her cover.
“I was that skinny, tall, gawky very shy girl,” she says. “And I know you've heard this cliche, I really was. I hid behind my clothing. I used clothing more to hide and not be noticed.”
But several years ago, Bapst, a mother of two, switched careers from selling Corian countertops to women’s tops, dresses and more. She started by going to the garment district in New York.
“I just knocked on doors and I kind of educated myself because obviously I was entering a new field,” she says.
She encountered a lot of rejection.
“They said it's a hard business and I cannot possibly even think of being a designer in Washington, D.C.,” she says. “I have to live in Miami, Los Angeles, obviously New York, and that kind of made me want to do it more.”
And now, Union of Angels is sold in more than 200 stores nationwide. She's also dressed celebrities like Kristen Chenoweth.
“You can't imagine the feeling you have when you see somebody in something that you created,” she says. “I was proud as a peacock.”
Bapst is also proud of her collaboration with "Helping Haitian Angels." The charity provides support for women and girls in Haiti, teaching them to sew.
Bapst hopes to visit them one day. But in the meantime, she will design two dresses for the women this Spring. All of the proceeds are going to the program.
Bapst says she has come a long way from a gawky teenager hiding behind her clothes. Now, she's proud to show off her success.
“Clothing should be an expression,” she says. “It shouldn't overwhelm you. It shouldn't be the first thing you notice. But it should definitely compliment you.”