In May 2020 many seniors in high school were having make-shift pandemic proms, and wondering if their fall college semester would be virtual. However, this pair of local seniors let their entrepreneurial spirit fly in the name of bringing awareness to the Chesapeake Bay.
Kaitlyn Mescher, a senior at Annapolis Area Christian School, and Chase Hilliard, a senior at Severn High School, started a T-shirt company called Beyond The Bay. “Last spring, when the whole country was in lockdown,” Mescher says, “it became more apparent than ever that this world has hardships that need helping. So, we wanted to start somewhere! We both live on the Severn River and saw the health in the Bay decreasing every day. We could not sit back and watch this continue to happen, so we decided to help!”
From An Idea To A Sold Out First Production Run
Mescher and Hilliard pitched their idea to Kyle Poore, owner of Brackish Life, a local performance wear line of clothing. With Poole’s mentoring about promotion and production their endeavor took flight. In October 2020 Beyond the Bay took its first order. Two weeks later the first production run sold out.
Mescher serves as the company’s graphic designer. She wanted to come up with a character who would showcase all the things people cherish about the Bay. Soon the mascot Baylor the Chesapeake water dog was born. “Baylor is relatable, lovable, and loves to do all kinds of activities; eating crabs and representing Maryland are two of them,” Mescher says.
Hillard directs the company’s finances and marketing. His goal is for Beyond the Bay’s brand to be family-friendly and lovable to all. He and Mescher want their customers to be confident that when they wear the T-shirts, they are representing the Chesapeake Bay and making a difference. The profits from the $25 shirts go to local environmental organizations dedicated to improving the health of the Bay, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Order Your T-shirt and Make a Difference
“We started Beyond The Bay because the Bay is more than a body of water,” says Mescher. “It is a place where people can come together and enjoy themselves.” You can support their cause and purchase a shirt, using their online order form. You can also follow @BeyondTheBayCo on Instagram to stay up to date on the company’s designs.