Inclusive personal care vending machines aims to collaborate with university

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Falcon Media Staff

Bowen Thompson Student Union at Bowling Green State University.

Jess Oberski , Reporter

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 these items may be few and far between. 

“I have conducted a market analysis on five universities in the Ohio region, with Bowling Green State University being one of these universities,” said Winston.  

Winston’s research reports 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. 

Sally Beauty offers a range of products for hair care, coloring, and styling as well as nail care items, cosmetics and skin care items. Many of these products are targeted toward Bowling Green’s predominantly white population. 

BGSU Senior Taylor McFarland said that she sometimes has to travel home to find the correct products for her hair and can seldomly find substitutes in Bowling Green.

“It’s definitely not easy finding personal care items, especially hair care products. When I came to Bowling Green, I already knew I was going to have to travel back home or somewhere like Toledo to get anything I was going to need. It seems like I can only find everything I need in predominantly black areas. Otherwise, I’m traveling to somewhere like Sally’s or at the very, very least Walmart, places I know aren’t going to have what I need but will have something remotely similar,” said McFarland.

McFarland also said that having something on campus would be a relief for her and other students of color alike, due to proximity. 

“The thought of personal care products becoming more accessible for people of color sounds like a relief, like, I don’t have to travel far to get what I need because I’ve always had to if I wasn’t near a predominantly black neighborhood,” McFarland said.

BGSU Senior Kayla Wright said it is not only hard to find personal care products but that trying to find natural products pose another large obstacle. 

“Finding skin care in Bowling Green is extremely difficult. There are only the super generic brands available. I have complex skin and I need all-natural products and those virtually don’t exist here,” Wright said. 

With the installation of the vending machines, many of these issues would possibly be resolved and the solution would be able to be found on campus. 

“If given the opportunity, Ann Nichole’s Vending will be your one-stop vending machine. We take pride in supplying quality products such as gel, hair spray, shampoo, conditioner, hair extensions, lash extensions, accessories, nail supplies and more, while still offering them at an affordable price to students,” said Winston. 

Winston has 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 the 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 the vending machines on-campus.