When I first met Mess Wright at The Grove, a coworking space in Dallas’ historic West End, it was adore at first sight. It wasn’t just her infectious energy and humor but also her extreme passion for science and developing that passion in kids of all ages. Since 2010, Mess has offered STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) enrichment programs for children, starting with a popular hands-on science discovery center in Dallas. Years later, she would suffer a major setback in her business that most would take as a sign to move on.
Not Mess. Today, she is running pilots of her new technology camp programs for children called Renegades of Code and going stronger than ever! The camps combine discovery of analog and digital concepts, sensory stimulation, and open-ended experimentation with assorted STEM themes. With the success of her first camps at The Grove this fall, Mess plans to open a Makerspace/Science Lab in Dallas in 2017. We can’t wait to see who will follow in the footsteps of one of our favorite Founding Mother Muses Marie Curie thanks to Mess’ efforts. UGauGrrl!!!
What inspired you to do the work that you do/motivates you today?
“I have always loved Science, but I don’t feel it is presented in a way that makes it appealing to most people; I think it could be. For that reason, I opened a venue in Dallas called “The Lab.” It was very popular during its four years in operation. The Lab’s success validated my feeling that learning Science in a fun, hands-on way appeals to the masses (versus only being enjoyable to people who have an interest in and passion for science).”
How did you get to where you are and what challenges did/do you face?
“In terms of its financial model, much of what I did with The Lab was a mistake. The way it was operating, it was not a long-term sustainable, profitable business.
I have learned (through wearing the many hats of a proprietor) that I am more of a creator, entertainer, activator, and salesperson; I am not a great day-to-day operator. Because I know that now, I plan to approach this new business differently. I’m excited to be able to move on from The Lab brand but still enjoy the programs I created in a new space, with a working business model.”
Who is your she-ro?
“I have always been moved by the story of Anne Frank. I think of her often, especially in times when I face adversity. She clearly kept love and hope at the center of herself, and her thoughts and words reflect that. I read her diary regularly, and it brings me amazing peace every time.”
What does the term”UGauGrrl” (“you go girl”) mean to you?
“I think it means that we are all better off when we support the women close to us. There is much encouragement in it and the tone it expresses, and I love that!”
From Leaves of Grass:
“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
Learn more about Mess and Renegades of Code:
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