Owner and founder of Ann Nichole’s Vending LLC, Taylor Winston wants to bring inclusive personal care vending machines to Bowling Green State University. The mission of Winston and their company is to make personal care products for people of color and other minorities more accessible on college campuses where such items may be in short supply.
“I conducted a market analysis of five universities in the Ohio area, Bowling Green State University being one of those universities,” Winston said.
Winston’s research indicates that the nearest beauty supply store is a nine-minute drive from BGSU’s main campus.
According to measurements made with Google Maps from Offenhauer Towers, the nearest beauty supply store, Sally Beauty, is a seven-minute drive away.
Sally Beauty offers a range of hair care, coloring and styling products as well as nail care items, cosmetics and skin care items. Many of these products are aimed at Bowling Green’s predominantly white population.
BGSU senior Taylor McFarland said she sometimes has to go home to find the right products for her hair and can rarely find substitutes in Bowling Green.
“It’s definitely not easy to find personal care items, especially hair care products. When I got to Bowling Green, I already knew I was going to have to go home or somewhere like Toledo to get everything I was going to need. It seems I can only find everything I need in predominantly black areas. Otherwise I travel to somewhere like Sally’s or at the very least Walmart, places I I know won’t have what I need but will have something remotely similar,” McFarland said.
McFarland also said having something on campus would be a relief for her and other students of color, because of the proximity.
“The idea of personal care products becoming more accessible to people of color sounds like a relief, like, I don’t have to travel far to get what I need because I always had to. if I wasn’t in a predominantly black neighborhood,” McFarland said.
BGSU senior Kayla Wright said not only is it difficult to find personal care products, but trying to find natural products is another big hurdle.
“Finding skincare in Bowling Green is extremely difficult. Only super generic brands are available. I have complex skin and need all-natural products and those hardly exist here,” said said Wright.
With the installation of vending machines, many of these problems would perhaps be solved and the solution could be found on campus.
“If you have the chance, Ann Nichole’s Vending will be your one-stop vending machine. We pride ourselves on providing quality products such as gel, hair spray, shampoo, conditioner, extensions hair, eyelash extensions, accessories, nail supplies and more, while still offering them affordably to students,” Winston said.
Winston reached out to student organizations, such as Disability Rights Education Advocation and Mentorship, also known as DREAM, to further their understanding of what products would like to be seen in vending machines and how to make them accessible to everyone.
There is no word from BGSU or Winston on an official partnership between the two for plans to install vending machines on campus.