HBCU Student Kah’Milah Ledgester Landed Her Designs In Both Target And JCPenny Stores For Black History Month
Photo Credit: Alicia Devine / Tallahassee Democrat

HBCU Student Kah’Milah Ledgester Landed Her Designs In Both Target And JCPenny Stores For Black History Month

This Florida A&M University student bet on herself and landed in national stores.

Kah’Milah Ledgester submitted her designs for Target’s 2021 HBCU design contest and JCPenney’s Young, Gifted and Black design challenge. And, putting her hands in various baskets paid off.

Ledgester was informed she won both competitions during the spring of 2021 and to expect them displayed on a national scale for Black History Month of 2022.

“I always get a little excited because of the fact that I did the Target challenge, and I also did JCPenney and won both of them. It made me feel very good because I took a chance,” said Kah’Milah Ledgester, according to Tallahassee Democrat.

Ledgester's Design Was A Knock Out

Ledgester’s award-winning design for JCPenny features a man and a woman with afros looking upwards with the words “Just Breathe” and “Remember to Exhale,” coinciding with JCPenny’s theme of “Black Health and Wellness.”

For Target, Ledgester opted for a design of a woman sporting a fro with citrus fruits. She says she was inspired to embody Blackness through an uncommon lens.

“There are so many reasons why her artwork stood out,” said Tawnya Artist, director of Multicultural Product Design and Advancement at Target, Tallahassee Democrat reports. “Her illustration was beautiful, and it was so unique. Her color use was joyful and there was a clear story that engaged the judges. The more we learned about her thought process, the more we knew we were looking at a winning design.”

Student Design Will Receive Additional Support To Further Career

You can find Ledgester’s design in all JCPenny and Target stores for Black History Month until it sells out. In addition, Ledgester will receive $3,000, a laptop, and a UX Design bootcamp course from Target to amplify her design endeavors. She also did a voiceover for a Spotify commercial.

In addition, JCPenny awarded the blooming designer $2,000 and an opportunity to participate in a mentorship program to work alongside industry professionals.

Ledgester will use the resources to elevate her skills and further her career. She also plans to acquire additional funding by selling prints.