Jamaican-born Kalilah Wright, the founder of MESS in a Bottle, a company that packages T-shirts sporting “cool messages” in reusable bottles, has partnered with Target stores to sell her products. Wright trained as an architect and has combined her love for fashion and architecture in her entrepreneurial t-shirt endeavor. Having worked for a time in a corporate job, she realized that she was unfulfilled and started her own company. Wright is also a motivational speaker and consultant who works with others to help them reach their own entrepreneurial dreams.
Wright shared that her grandmother came to the United States as an immigrant more than 50 years ago “with a hope and many dreams.” She worked for other people throughout her life in order to bring her family to the US to join her. Wright said that her partnership with Target represents the dream of her grandmother who wanted to accomplish many things when she came to America.
Wright has succeeded in creating a community that loves her MESS in a Bottle, building an organic group of followers who are invested in the growth of her firm, including celebrities like Serena Williams, Mark Cuban, Luvvie Ajaye, Lena Waithe, Bozoma Saint John, Yvonne Orji, and Rocnations’ rapper Rapsody.
Wright’s work with Target is part of the retailer’s Black History Month initiative. Its 2021 Black History Month features its largest-ever collection of products, which are selected from Black-owned businesses and from items designed by the winners of Target’s inaugural Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Design Challenge. The chosen products, many of which were curated by the retailer’s in-house design team, are offered for sale throughout its stores in February 2021 and range from apparel to home to beauty products.
According to Flora Ekpe-Idang, senior brand marketing manager at Target, February 2021 provides the chance to “really honor the past and the journey of our ancestors” while also celebrating the present and investing in the future of Black people. Many of the products that are being featured during Black History Month are available year-round, but some are only available for a limited time.
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