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A One of a Kind Fashion Designer
"Ashley By Design" outfits modeled by designer, Ashley DeRamus
"Ashley By Design" outfits modeled by designer, Ashley DeRamus
A One of a Kind Fashion Designer

Hi! My name is Ashley DeRamus. I live in Hoover, AL. I am 31 years old and have Down syndrome. My life has been full of adventure thanks to my family’s encouragement to do the things I enjoy. I was on the Special Olympics swim team for 19 years and have won 43 medals. I love Southern Gospel music and have met many of my favorite singers. I have even driven a four-wheeler. The best part of my story, however, started about 2 years ago. My mom and I always dreamed of starting a clothing line that would be designed to fit girls with Down syndrome. We wanted the clothes to be attractive and fashion-forward. My mom searched for a long time for someone willing to make our designs. That is when we met Gary, a marketing specialist and professional photographer. He was working as the photographer for the HMS Bounty tall ship at the time. We shared our dream with him and he became my manager. We worked together to promote my ideas to the public. We chose “Ashley By Design” as the name for my clothing line and formed a website. Mom and I traveled with the Bounty photo crew as they sailed up the East coast to Nova Scotia, Canada. My mom had bracelets made with my clothing line’s name on them. Throughout that summer traveling with the tall ships I took donations for my bracelets to raise money for my project. Mom and I talked to hundreds of people. We shared with them about my dream of a clothing line and starting a foundation to make people aware of Down syndrome. We wanted to show the world that people with Down syndrome can be responsible, work a job, and have confidence. The best part of the summer was getting to actually sail on the HMS Bounty. I worked a watch on the ship from 4am to 8am alongside other crew members. Over the summer we met many people and talked to them about my dream. People from all over the country posted comments on my Ashley By Design website and were excited to see the new designs. A clothing designer in California agreed to manufacture my special clothes and my dream finally became a reality. We worked hard on the designs, colors, and fabrics that would be stylish and make the girls with Down syndrome feel pretty. We launched the clothing line at the 2013 National Down Syndrome Congress Convention in Denver and it was a big hit. We are now working on adding more styles to my line. My motto has always been, “Don’t let someone tell you what you can’t do, show them what you CAN do.” I believe that every person has something to give and is important. My dreams of being a fashion designer and advocate for Down syndrome became a reality because I never once believed I couldn't do it. You just have to work hard to make it happen.

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Janet Elliott, United States, GA
1/9/2014 7:58:53 PM
We are so proud of Ashley DeRamus. We've watched her grow into the most beautiful young woman and the work that she is involved in is astounding. To watch one go from being a little shy to this is amazing. Our prayer is that God will continue to bless her in the work that truly God has ordained.

Tammy Perry, United States, SC
1/8/2014 5:37:51 PM
What an amazing young lady. She is such an inspiration to others. This honor if she is chosen would be an excellent way for her dedication and determination to inspire others to go for their dreams.

Glennis Hunt, United States, NC
1/8/2014 11:38:07 AM
Absolutely a fabulous young woman. Would love to see her honored.

Susan Jaeger, United States, NC
1/7/2014 10:48:45 PM
Ashley is an outstanding young lady and deserves this recognition. Go Ashley!!!

June Causey, United States, SC
1/1/2014 9:56:02 AM
Such a beautiful young lady!! I love the designs! My precious 22 month old granddaughter has down syndrome...My Motto in NO LIMITS! Have a saying on my wall and a picture when she was tiny...from 4 sisters 4 Christ that made the banner for me. THEY call it down syndrome I call it DOWNRIGHT PERFECT!!!!! This pretty, smart, precious lady proves it!! And LOVE the video with Jason favorite singer even more so now! Good bless.

Sharon Repass, United States, NC
12/21/2013 4:38:29 AM

Connie DeRamus, United States, AL
12/20/2013 5:20:25 PM
My beautiful daughter! I am so proud of her.

Barbara Simanovich, United States, NC
12/19/2013 3:09:49 AM
Congratulations Ashley, What an amazing story from a precious young lady.

anna stewart, United States, WV
12/18/2013 9:47:34 PM
super impressed with Ashley's work

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