Sunny Day News

It’s been said that “location is everything.” Newly graduated Dominique Marie Smith took that to heart. She knows New York City is the place to pursue a career in fashion and event planning.

That’s why she moved part time to the city during her freshman year of college. When the 22-year-old graduated with honors earlier this month from North Carolina A&T State University, she already had positioned herself – literally – for success with an opportunity in New York this summer.

Dominique Marie Smith graduated from North Carolina A&T, with honors, with a BS degree in fashion merchandising and design.

Dominique Marie Smith graduated from North Carolina A&T, with honors, with a degree in fashion merchandising and design.

Smith will be in exactly the right place when she begins an event-coordinating internship in August in Manhattan at Soho House, a prestigious hotel, restaurant and membership-only club at which Smith has worked for the past two years.

Smith’s passion for fashion – and New York – was awakened in her college freshman year when she worked as a model on photo shoots.

“I just fell in love with it. New York is the fashion capital of the world,” said Smith, who grew up in Altamonte Springs, Fla., and attended high school at Lake Brantley and Orangewood Christian. “Living and experiencing New York, I realized it was something I could see myself doing and I wanted to learn more about it, so I decided to pursue it, and I’m glad I did.”

The spirit that fueled Smith’s New York dream was also evident while studying at the Greensboro, N.C., university, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in fashion merchandising and design. At college, there was little down time for Smith. She was a student-athlete, with a full scholarship for softball, and she graduated with magna cum laude honors.

D.Smith2She valued her time at college but is eager to return to the Big Apple and start her career.

“School was always a huge part of my life, along with softball. And I felt like it was a job. I felt like it wasn’t something that I completely wanted to do, but something that I knew I had to do to get to where I am now,” said Smith, who is also interested in working as an event DJ. “So, now that I am graduated, I feel like this is my time to do anything and everything that I want to do.”

Her father, Maurice Smith of Altamonte Springs, agrees: “She a brilliant, confident, beautiful, driven young lady, and I’m sure that whatever she puts her mind to she will accomplish,” he said. “She’s made dad proud.”

Two internships while at North Carolina A&T prepared Smith well. She interned with Mishka clothing in New York, working on events marketing and promotions while contributing to the Mishka online store.

Smith will pursue event-planning and fashion opportunities in New York. She also has interest in becoming an event DJ.

Smith will pursue event planning and fashion opportunities in New York. She also has interest in becoming an event DJ.

Smith’s other internship, with the Greensboro (N.C.) Youth Council, proved truly rewarding and also provided a perfect match with her love of fashion.

On this internship, Smith worked on the Camille's Closet program, dedicated to collecting and donating prom dresses, shoes and accessories to area high school girls who cannot afford them. Smith also arranged complimentary visits to local salons so the students could have their hair or nails done in advance of prom.

“We put together a boutique-style atmosphere, so that when they came to shop they felt like they were shopping for prom,” Smith said. “We just made their shopping experience something that they wouldn’t forget.”

No doubt, the experience was memorable for Smith. She figures to add plenty of exciting memories soon as she embarks on the New York career she has envisioned.

“This is what I want to do, and this is what I’m going to do to make it happen,” Smith said. “I’m just excited that the rest of my life is what I can make it.”