Getting to your senior year in college is a big accomplishment. However, students can easily get infected with the worst cold known to man, “senioritis”. Some of the symptoms include: not going to class, receiving assignments with lower grades, and stressing about what to do after graduation.
Cynthia Huynh, a senior majoring in financial economics at UMBC, decided to spend her last year of dorm life embracing a hidden talent. Huynh was sitting in her college’s lounge room when she spotted a poster for the UMBC Craft Fair. With a love for small handbag like pouches, she began to test out her sewing and crafting skills.
“My first pouch I made was a disaster,” Huynh said. At that time, I was figuring out how I should create the pouch. But in the end, [I made] a hot pink cotton pattern with a lime green zipper.”
After some trial and error, Huynh perfected the designs of her mini bags. The creative UMBC student applied her financial knowledge to create a small wristlet business called Cynnabun’s.
Her handbag studio is located in her campus apartment where she draws out many of her designs. Huynh and her friend Jyna work together to cut out fabric and to make patterns. Cynnabun’s assembly line involves Jyna pinning down ribbons and fabric, then Huynh sewing all the pieces together.
The handbag designing student premiered her first collection during fall semester’s craft fair.
“Since the fall collection was my first line, I went to the fabric store and just picked out fabrics that I really liked,” Huynh said. [By] the spring, I had more experience. I was inspired by floral patterns, nautical patterns, and pastel colors.”
Some of her favorite pieces from her collections include:
“The Nautica. I absolutely love this piece because every time I think of spring or summer I think of the beach and the harbor. I thought this design represents the freshness of spring really well.”
“The Victorian. This piece is very classic. The black and white pattern is something that never goes out of style and it appeals to many different types of people.”
“The Tan and White Zigzag pattern. I love this one because its goes with absolutely everything. This is the one I carry around with me. It matches all my outfits and it’s a very clean and simple piece.”
With two collections under her belt, the Cynnabun’s designer continues to expand her bag collection by taking custom design orders and creating lookbooks.
When you purchase a Cynnabun wristlet, one dollar of the proceeds is donated to the charity, TREES for the Future. Since 1989, Trees for the Future has helped with seed distribution, agroforestry training, and restoring tree coverage in rural lands.
“I am trying to raise $500 because this is enough to plant 5,000 trees, renew exhausted soil, and increase crop production around the world,” Huynh said.
As senior year comes to a close for the UMBC handbag designer, she has earned a position on the rising fashion mogul list.