“When they first look at themselves in the mirror when they have that dress on, that’s the part that I live for...that 'yes' moment.”
Gaither moved from Baltimore to Hanover just as she was beginning high school. Her mother taught her how to sew when she was part of a dance group in Baltimore where her mother would assist with the costumes.
It was a class at South Western High School, though, that sparked her passion.
“I was obsessed with it. I was obsessed with the idea of making my own clothes. I was obsessed with seeing something from a pattern or sketch come to life,” Gaither said.
She graduated from South Western in 2010 and made her way to the Art Institute of Philadelphia to pursue fashion design. Gaither said she would make clothes for herself and her friends for nights out.
Making prom dresses is how her business got started, gaining clientele in Philadelphia, Hanover, and Baltimore.
She worked mostly out of a second bedroom to fulfill orders, but then the pandemic set in and many of the proms were canceled.
She took “a leap of faith” and decided to head back to Hanover to open Amelia Symone, a bridal and evening wear shop, in December 2020.
Amelia is Symone's middle name, which she shares with her mother. It was passed down from her great grandmother, Melia.
She makes all of her items in-house at the storefront in the 100 block of Baltimore Street. It is one of the very few Black-owned businesses that have resided in downtown Hanover, according to Executive Director of Main Street Hanover Justine Trecksess.
Gaither discusses the outfit concepts with her clients and buys the fabrics and materials to make the design. She loves getting the supplies for a client’s vision, but that experience is runner-up to one of her favorite parts of the process.
“When they first look at themselves in the mirror when they have that dress on, that’s the part that I live for...that 'yes' moment,” she said.
Review by Jasmine Vaughn-Hall At The York Daily Record