In 2010, while still an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, Ali designed a t-shirt for her friends to commemorate the closing of a popular local watering hole. When demand for the t-shirts spread quickly through social media, Ali decided to begin selling them online, and soon she had a budding business.
What began as a fun project headquartered in her dorm room is now Ali’s career. Today, her company, Route One Apparel, is the premier source for trendy and affordable Maryland pride apparel and accessories. The company has licensing rights with University of Maryland, National Bohemian, Old Bay, and UTZ, to name a few. They now offer a full line of over 3,000 items that are sold online and in retailers throughout the area. Route One Apparel merchandise can be seen sported by local icons and fans of all ages as the Maryland pride trend continues to gain popularity throughout our state.
Ali has received many accolades in recent years, including Daily Record’s “Leading Women” in 2019, and being named both one of Baltimore’s “Women to Watch” by the Baltimore Sun and Maryland’s 50 “Very Important Professionals Successful by 40” by the Daily Record in 2017. In 2016, she was honored with an “Outstanding Young Alumnus Award” from the University of Maryland Alumni Association and as “Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. She was also named one of Baltimore’s “40 Under 40” of 2016 by the Baltimore Business Journal, and invited to join Omicron Delta Kappa, one of the country’s premiere National Honor Societies. Governor Larry Hogan also appointed Ali to the Maryland Tourism Development Board where she remains very active promoting their marketing initiatives.
In recent years, Route One Apparel has continued to become more of a household name as the company grows its reputation for creating popular designs and supporting local communities. Ali and Route One Apparel have been featured on WBAL-TV, WJZ-TV, FOX45, and in the Daily Record and Baltimore Business Journal. The company has grown a passionate and loyal social media following of nearly 250,000 people on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Route One Apparel is also a socially-responsible brand, as Ali regularly partners with local charitable organizations to raise money for causes she believes in. From her “Hogan Strong” items that raised money for the American Lymphoma Society to products that have supported the families of fallen law officers and the #BeMore line that benefitted organizations providing emergency relief to Baltimore City residents after the 2015 unrest, Ali makes sure that her state pride makes a tangible impact on Maryland’s communities.
With her entrepreneurial skills, business savvy and community concern, Ali von Paris has quickly become an exciting player in the Greater Baltimore business community.
Ali von Paris