International Women’s Day has been observed sine 1977 by western countries and since 1996 the United Nations has consistently assigned a theme for every International Women’s Day. The theme for 2021 was “#ChooseToChallenge,” which argues the importance of “challenging and calling out gender bias and inequality.”
On March 3rd, 2021, Kalilah Wright, artist, architect, entrepreneur, and mother, spoke to CCBC students and staff about her life story and how she began her company, “Mess in a Bottle” for CCBC’s involvement in International Women’s Day.
To begin the seminar, Sakina Williams, the host of the Zoom conference call, introduced Mrs. Wright and asked her to provide some background information on her life story and how she got to where she is now.
Wright shared a PowerPoint presentation with the group describing her childhood to how she became a successful business owner in Baltimore, Maryland.
Kalilah Wright, Jamaican born, and Brooklyn bred, earned her degree in architecture from Penn State and Morgan State, and began the pursuit of her brand named Mess in a Bottle in 2016.
She began her company by quitting her previous job which left her unfulfilled and with only $500 began making custom baby furniture called “LiliNash.” She then moved into designing baby onesies with personalized messages.
While Wright has a passion for architecture, she has always had a love for art and with this, she created a unique brand where creative messages are put on articles of clothing, handbags, neck gaiters, and more while having them distributed inside recycled bottles.
Additionally, she has launched t-shirt vending machines where people can go and purchase her apparel from anywhere at any time.
Ann-Marie, a participant in the seminar, asked, “how do you come up with your messages?” Wright responded saying, “The messages really come from life… things that are currently happening in life and I wanted to make messages that would really resonate with people.”
Wright discussed how her brand has made an impact on athletes and celebrities such as Serena Williams and Mark Cuban who she joined on national television. Both are supporters of Mess in a Bottle.
Host of the virtual seminar, Sakina Williams, also asked Wright, “What is your favorite message on a shirt?”
“My favorite message is 'Entrepreneur: a fancy word for a crazy person following their dream,'” Wright said to the audience. “I love that message because that’s me.”
Wrapping up the seminar, Jonah Tanenbaum-Vogler, an artist and student at CCBC asked, “how do you balance being an artist and an entrepreneur?” Wright responded saying, “I’m more true to being an artist than entrepreneur. I dread that side of it, but I said yesterday to one of my associates that I need to dedicate more time to it.”
The seminar concluded with helpful information involving internships and more about Mess in a Bottle from Wright. She informed the group that Mess in a Bottle is open to internships and has worked with students before and (if interested) students should send their resume to the company HR.
Additionally, more information can be found on Mess in a Bottle’s website: https://www.messinabottle.com/