CTPOST-"Bridgeport company BLACC Bottle plans to launch..."
Two Bridgeport-based companies are collaborating to combine positive messages with NBA team logos— all on one water bottle.
The NBA Lab, a five-year-old company in downtown Bridgeport, grants the rights to NBA team logos to new brands who want to make art or merchandise on a small scale.
BLACC Bottle, a Bridgeport company that makes stainless steel water bottles stamped with positive and encouraging messages, was a perfect fit for the NBA Lab mission, co-founder and chief creative officer Billi Kid said.
"When we found the fellows at BLACC Bottle we just simply fell in love with what they did," Kid said.
"BLACC" stands for "Bonafide Love Advancing Cultural Change," according to White. BLACC bottle launched its first bottles at the beginning of last year.
With a simple design and motivational phrases on the back, the bottles are meant to do more than just spread positivity, the founders said. They are also about bringing unity and representation to their community, White said.
"We lead with love— genuine, authentic love. That's where we'll see a true difference in the world that we live in," Bennett said. The bottles feature phrases such as "Just Start," "Find Yourself" and "Surprise Yourself."
BLACC Bottle founders Ralph White, Necas Collins and Delano Bennett were inspired by the social upheaval in the summer of 2020 after George Floyd's death to create the company and "promote positivity and love," White said.
The new BLACC bottles will also have NBA team logos and text in new colors to match the teams.
Bottles featuring teams including the Knicks, the Lakes and the Celtics will be available later this month on the brand's website for $39.99.
White, Collins and Bennett have also created a financial literacy program and scholarship for Connecticut high school students. The program grants students access to an investing course and a monetary award to invest.
"I've always made it an objective to give back and paid forward," said Bennett, who credited the support of his community to his success after immigrating to the U.S. from Jamaica at a young age.
"I learned [financial literacy] at a later age," Collins said. "And I'm thinking to myself 'how many kids out there that don't know how to manage their money? And if they do know, how much of a better shape they would be?'."
The team is excited for the collaboration with the NBA Lab because it will give BLACC Bottle access to a bigger audience.
"When you blend the NBA teams with the messaging that we have and what we stand for, I think it's like a match made in heaven," White said.
While the brand's mission was what brought the NBA Lab's attention to BLACC Bottle, Kid said he was also impressed by the quality of the product.
"The engineering and the design behind it is top notch," said Kid.
The founders of BLACC Bottle are hoping that people will be inspired by their bottles and use the inspiration for their own dreams.
"I'm looking forward to just watching people resonate with the message and then taking that message and try to do something on their own too, in order to also create a positive impact," White said.
Author Adriana Morga (Hearst Connecticut Media Group)