ENTREPRENEUR KALILAH WRIGHT ON WEARING YOUR MESS-AGE
Driven and focus minded, Kalilah Wright is working towards becoming a legacy. And, her t-shirt company, Mess in A Bottle is just the beginning.
Kalilah started Mess in a Bottle in order to give others an opportunity to express messages that many have a hard time saying out loud. Find out how her company started and the plans she has for the future in our interview with her below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you are from, your hobbies and what you do on a day to day basis.
I was born in Jamaica, WI. I migrated to Brooklyn, New York and lived there for most of my life until I went off to college at Penn State University in State College, PA. I then attended grad school at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD and have lived here ever since. My hobbies include traveling, architecture, art, fashion, graphic, and furniture design.
On a day to day basis, I design t-shirts and furniture. I create these designs by coming up with a concept, sketching them out, and then taking those sketches and converting them into a computer drawing. I then take those designs, print them out and apply them to t-shirts for my t-shirt company, Mess in a Bottle.
What inspired you to come out with a shirt line?
I wanted to create an expressive brand. A brand that allows individuals to be able to be vocal without ever saying anything aloud. In the day and age of social media, where everyone puts on the facade of being happy and enjoying life, Mess in a Bottle allows an individual to really say what they mean without saying anything at all. It's liberating to say things without having to articulate yourself. Your MESS-ages are on your tee. Wear your MESS-age.
How did you come up with the name of your shirts? Why “A Message in a Bottle”? Why did you specially use a bottle with your shirts?
Historically, message in a bottle was a form of communication in which a message was sent in a sealed container/bottle and released into a large body of water. I took this concept and created a 21st century spin on it by containing t-shirts with MESS-ages on your t-shirts. We all have something to say and this was the perfect solution to get unwanted MESS-ages across.
What keeps you motivated? What advice would you give to people who want to branch off into a clothing line/shirt line?
I have a 3-year-old son and he definitely keeps me motivated, along with my will to win. I recently worked for a large sports retail company and though I loved my job, I wanted a position that would provide true longevity. I just didn’t want another job. I wanted to create a legacy for my son. I wanted to create a company that I could actually pass down to my children. At my job I was replaceable. I wanted to create something in which my talents were valued and I could look back and it would have my name on it. Advice I would give to others trying to branch off: it’s not easy. Many don't make it far and it’s easy to give up, but if you really want it, don't lose steam; don't give up.
Is the Message in Bottle shirts your only focus right now? What’s up next for you in the future? What are your long term and short term goals?
Yes, currently most of my attention is on Mess in a Bottle. We have so many things ahead, too many. My head is just an idea machine. I'm still trying to figure out if that’s a good thing or a really bad thing. We have a couple things in the works; new products, new joint ventures, new business developments. Long term, I would love to have my products in major department stores and a couple high end boutiques. Short term, I am working on building my brand and developing my line to get it to be known as a well-known t-shirt company.
Stay up to date with Kalilah by following her on Instagram, @messinabottle.