Carrollton, Texas-based BuzzBallz has launched an exclusive line of products in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8. Consumers can purchase custom T-shirts, tote bags and notebooks designed by Talisa Almonte, a female digital artist, to show solidarity with women working to make a mark in their respective fields.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Dress for Success Dallas, an organization that offers free professional clothing, educational resources, mock interviews and professional development to underserved women.
While societies around the world are growing more progressive, the gender wage gap remains a global issue. According to the World Economic Forum, it will take an estimated 268 years to close the gap.
According to Pew Research, in 2020, women in the U.S. made 84 percent of what men made while performing the same jobs. This is the reason for Equal Pay Day, which falls on March 15 this year.
“While women have made great strides in America, women still face social and unconscious bias,” said Karen Johnson, executive director of Dress for Success Dallas. “Women only account for 21 percent of senior leadership. Women are less likely to be promoted than men and only 2.3 percent of venture capital is granted to women. I’m passionate about the work we produce because it helps to close these gaps and positions women to win in the workforce.”
Though Merrilee Kick, CEO and founder of BuzzBallz, was able to bypass the “boys club” of alcohol to build a multi-million-dollar brand, she credits much of her success to professional development. According to her, education is the great equalizer.
Access to career training, financial literacy, networking opportunities and confidence building are at the heart of Dress for Success’ mission.
“It’s an area that speaks directly to my core of empowering, educating and equipping women with development tools and self-confidence to live life to their full potential,” Johnson said.
At the root of the resources being provided by Dress for Success, or the mission to raise funds for the organization, is women helping women. Women in all arenas are aiming to pull other women up with them to combat a largely exclusionary system.
“As a Latina small business owner myself, I have an extra special soft spot and appreciation for all women-owned businesses,” Almonte said. “It’s already so much tougher for women to get access to the same kinds of funding, opportunities and exposure. Being able to help a woman-owned business grow through my work feels that much more special.”
Almonte has worked on lots of major projects such as an alternate movie poster for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Her work can be seen on BuzzBallz’s exclusive Women’s History month totes, T-shirts and journals.
These items can be purchased while supplies last through the end of March on BuzzBallz’s online merch shop.
BuzzBallz/Southern Champion is a woman-owned and family-operated distillery, winery and brewery in the state of Texas, which was founded in 2009 as the result of Kick’s master’s degree thesis project.
For more information, visit southern-champion.com or buzzballz.com.