Creatively Cool 2015: Andrea Tomlin

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'Fly Nerd' designer Andrea Tomlin. Photo: Kelvin Bulluck

‘Fly Nerd’ designer Andrea Tomlin. Photo: Kelvin Bulluck


Being different from the popular perceptions of how one should look, fashion and graphic designer Andrea Tomlin, 30, didn’t always see that as a good thing.

“I think for a long time, I wore what other people thought I should wear,” Tomlin said.

The Baltimore native described her style growing up as “weird,” and at times, she was self-conscious of her body, spending her high school years covered up in “baggy plaid shirts.” It wasn’t until college that the ’06 Towson University graduate started to feel more comfortable in her skin. Immersing herself into the fashion industry, a field that is in an endless battle of embracing individuality and positive self-image versus sticking to trends, Tomlin has bravely conquered it.

“I’ve learned that I have to be comfortable with what I am wearing and like it,” she said. “So, screw everybody else’s opinion. As of recent years, I just wear what I feel. Some days, that is still a baggy plaid shirt, haha.”

With such experiences, it’s no wonder her t-shirt line Fly Nerd and its message of appreciating individuality is such a success. Under Tomlin’s brand Mimidre, which encompasses a number of creative services, ‘Fly Nerd’ was created, but just as a design she made for one of her favorite musical artists PJ Morton.

“I was very inspired by his music and had a local print shop create the tee, [and] I gave him the tee at a concert,” she said. “Nothing really came of it.”

But over the years following, as she continued to create, learning screen printing along the way and selling tees at her nephew’s school flea market, she decided to bring the ‘Fly Nerd’ design back.

Now, Tomlin’s line has grown displaying numerous styles and sayings, all advocating uniqueness and self-love. Not only can you shop her t-shirts from her online shop, but you can also buy them at ForRent Shoes, located in the Mount Vernon neighborhood in Baltimore. That shop is home to a carefully curated selection of high-quality brands, local and beyond.

Of all the ups and downs that can come with owning a business, Tomlin sees it all as a great journey.

“It’s taken a life of its own,” Tomlin said.

And with all her hard work, she totally deserves to soak in the success that comes with it.

Creator & managing editor of Strangers With Style. Happiest when her work allows others to shine, too. Lover of collabs, social media, blogging, fashion, food & the color blue.