Labels We Love: Kali’s Kits
At 11 years old, Kali alongside her mother Shannon Lukei created a girls’ beauty/hygiene survival kit featuring a solar and battery powered phone charging station + 19 other “essential” items. “I wanted teach Kali that anyone can become an entrepreneur at any age, and that every venture should include a giving back component”, Shannon told Modeliste. “For every kit we sell, we provide a school kit to an underprivileged child. So far we have brought 50 school kits to children in South Africa and another 70 are in route to Nepal.” Modeliste had the privilege of sitting down with this inspiring “empowerment through entrepreneurship” duo and this is what we learned.
Describe the overall concept of Kali’s Kits.
Kali & I wanted to provide girls/women of all ages with a cute and convenient compact “kit” that contained all those items women find themselves needing in a pinch. When we combined the accessibility of these essential items with the necessity (these days) of backup smartphone battery power, we knew we had a product that would be both appealing and useful for pre-teens, teenagers, and women of all ages.
What inspired the creation of the line?
Originally, Kali’s Kits was created to provide teenage girl’s with on-the-go beauty and hygiene essentials. When Kali was starting middle school, we asked ourselves: what products do girls need in a pinch? We googled “girls survival kits” and found there were very few available and none that met our requirements.
How did Kali’s Kits evolve into what it is today? Tell us about your journey.
Kali and I started at the drugstore and compiled sample items from the list of essential items we put together. We held informal focus groups with friends and family to get their input on what should and shouldn’t be included. We then sourced our items. Once we had our item dimensions, Kali and I constructed a very rudimentary cardboard prototype of the actual kit, hoping to create a compact case to house the essential items. We came up with a box containing a removable tray, which would display the more fun beauty items while concealing the more personal items.
Once our prototype was complete, we shared the design with a friend at a local battery company. This friend suggested adding a solar and battery powered phone charger to the box – something every teen would always love to have on-hand. He took the cardboard prototype to his engineers, and they created a 3D print of the custom box. From there we created the mold, started manufacturing the kit, ordered our first set of 1000 items, and we were on our way.
What makes Kali’s Kits so unique?
Although other consumer products are beginning to offer solar powered energy options, we believe Kali’s Kits is the first product to combine solar/battery powered technology with a durable beauty/hygiene package containing 20 essential beauty and hygiene products. And for all it offers, the kit remains compact; about the size of a school pencil box.
Below is a photo of the solar panel included on the bottom of the kit, which will fully charge the kit charger after 2-3 hours of exposure to direct sunlight. The solar panel also provides enough battery power to make a phone call from a dead cell phone within 5-10 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight.
Of course, the internal charger can be powered traditionally as well, using the kit’s charging cord and a power outlet. The dual ended power cord is designed to charge both the kit and a call phone simultaneously, ensuring that with preparation, both your cell phone and extra kit charger will be fully charged and ready to go.
What products are inside each kit?
Each kit includes the following beauty/hygiene/life necessity products:
- Nail File and Clippers
- Lip Gloss
- Brush and Mirror
- Hair Ties and Bobby Pins
- Hand and Deodorant Wipes
- Makeup Remover Wipes
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Breath Strips
- Women’s Products
- Solar/Battery powered charging station
- Dual Phone/Kit Charging cord compatible with both iPhone and Samsung
- Safety Pins
- Aspirin pack
Can you tell us about your “Giving Campaign” and to what causes the proceeds for your kits go towards?
For every “Kali’s Kits Survival Kit” sold, the company donates one “Kali’s School Kit” to an underprivileged child. Each “School Kit” contains a pen, pencil, ruler, eraser, pencil sharpener and a pair of scissors. We also visit the schools and share with the children the fact that Kali, at 11 years old, had the vision to create a product and see it come to fruition. We hope to send the message that you are never too young to start your own venture. Keep learning, take chances, and the sky’s the limit! So far, we have supplied kits to schools in South Africa and Nepal. We hope to be able to provide another batch to children in Mexico this Spring/early Summer.
Going beyond just giving, we would like to have enough success with Kali’s Kits to eventually develop entrepreneurial education programs for underprivileged children here in the U.S. and abroad.
Why are those causes important to you?
At Kali’s Kits, we believe that education is THE KEY to effecting positive change, improving quality of life, and encouraging entrepreneurship for children and young adults, both here in the United States and globally. We believe in empowering children through education and belief in business opportunity, in the hopes that they can develop the skills and ability to empower themselves.
Why are Kali’s Kits the ultimate
For working women, Kali’s Kits puts all the items you need to transition from work to an evening out at your fingertips. It’s a handy kit to have inside your desk if you’re in need of a beauty refresh or have a hygiene emergency. For moms, the kit is ideal for car road trips and kids’ activities, including park and beach days. For teens the kit is a “must have” for lockers, and backpacks, especially for teens who go directly from school to after school sports/activities or out with friends. For girls/women of any age, the battery and solar powered charger is a life saver, whether a cell phone needs to be fully recharged or in an emergency. Even if your cell phone and the kit battery is dead, if the sun is out, a call can be made using solar-powered energy.
What we can look forward to with Kali’s Kits?
We are excited to announce the addition of a Boy’s Kit, which contains many of the unisex items already included in the women’s kit but replaces the feminine items with items geared for boys, including earbuds, a mini flashlight, chewing gum, pen and notepad, and lens/screen cleaning wipes. In addition, we are starting to sell “DIY” Kits, which are empty kits for customers to fill with their own essential items (charging cord included). The Boys and DIY Kits will be available this Spring.