For someone who looks as glamorous as native Washingtonian Kelcie Glass, it’s somewhat surprising that she doesn’t strive to be the center of attention. She’s a communications professional with her own marketing and PR firm, the director of media for a creative collective for Black women, the co-owner of a vintage clothing store, and the founder of a new media site dedicated to the exchange of information in support of racial equity. In every one of these roles, her goal is to amplify the voices, stories and creative work of others.
Her outfits though, like the shimmering yellow gown she’s wearing on the cover, can’t help but attract attention.
“I always end up looking a little bit more glamorous than I would like to,” she says with a smile. “I call it Black girl glam. I’m a bunch of different genres mixed together, and always have a hint of an extra something on top.”
“Black girl glam” is the energy she brings to each of her projects, which all fall in the realm of communications and media. Glass graduated with a degree in marketing and public relations.
“All of these different things come together to make me who I am,” she says.
Her first venture was vintage clothing store Mila & Fire, which she started with her best friend during their last year of college as a creative outlet before landing full-on careers.
“The way we found a niche in the vintage space was to redesign items we found to make them a more feminine fit. Or if something came one way, we could mix it up and make it signature so that we weren’t just like every other vintage online store.”
Then came her marketing and PR firm, Kelcie Glass, LLC. She offers a range of services, from press outreach and social media optimization to advertising and event management, with the goal of supporting progressive organizations, especially small businesses led by women of color.
She was later brought onto the team for GIRLAAA, a collective that strives to make space for female creatives of color, including artists, DJs, musicians and more. Her role was, naturally, marketing and outreach.
“A large part of GIRLAAA is amplifying the work creative women are doing already and just centering it. I’m a fangirl for everybody, too.”
She says GIRLAAA has been very heavily on the front lines with the recent Black Lives Matter protests. The team has been designing flyers, printing collateral and painting murals to further the cause.
“We’re moving in this space, and we’re continuing these conversations.”
Most recently, the current social justice movement sparked an idea for a new undertaking. Glass’ first thought on how to contribute was to create a website that highlights small Black-owned businesses.
“A lot of the Black-owned businesses being highlighted are pretty large,” she says. “They still deserve to be supported, but there are a lot of smaller businesses that aren’t getting in the big publications, like in the Complex and Cosmo lists.”
But she was already seeing that happening, and wanted to do something broader.
“I was like, ‘What do we need right now?’ And I feel like for me and my friends, we need a hub where we can hit all of those resources in one spot.”
So her spark of an idea morphed into The Black Exchange, an all-encompassing media venture to include news, different Black-owned businesses featured weekly, as well as petitions and organizations to donate to. Glass hopes this will allow people to stay focused on the important issue at hand.
“I feel like there’s so much drop-off where you’re clicking around, like, ‘Here’s where I shop at Black-owned businesses. Here’s where I can sign a petition.’”
It also plays to her strengths.
“[The Black Exchange] is a way for me to join the conversations happening right now in an authentic way: by writing about it and marketing what people are sharing, [and] marketing Black-owned businesses. That feels more personal for me just because the world is kind of loaded right now, and I feel like it’s an outlet and an opportunity.”
Regardless of which of her many hats she’s wearing on a given day, Glass says her personal style always shines through.
“We’re talking about being a creative woman taking up space.
I think your style has a lot to do with that.”
Enjoy this piece? Consider becoming a member for access to our premium digital content and to get a monthly print edition delivered to your door. Support local journalism and start your membership today.