Changing cosmetics on campus

Photo of Chelsea Lee

Courtesy of Chelsea Lee

Photo of Chelsea Lee

Blake Pierce, Reporter

A BGSU student, activist and female entrepreneur has dedicated her spring semester to tackling an issue that she says has been prevalent amongst minority communities for quite some time.

Chelsea Lee is currently participating in The Hatch BGSU, which recently allowed the launch of her own LLC. As a Black student, Lee said she has experienced first-hand the lack of cosmetic products that cater to the Black community.

“Last year was my first year being actively on the BGSU campus. I found that the closest store to get the proper hair products is over 30 minutes away in Toledo,” she said. “My friends, who are also people of color, were experiencing the same situation. That takes a toll on a person’s mental and physical health because if you can’t look good, you won’t feel good.”

Lee said though there are some hair care stores in the Bowling Green community, they fail to cater to all demographics.

Looking for a solution, she launched “Just for Hue Beauty” that focuses on implementing accessible and convenient ways to purchase self-care products.

In participation with The Hatch, she is working to provide vending machines filled with hard-to-find minority hair care products to increase inclusivity, accessibility and availability of self-care for campus members. The products cater to a wide variety of consumers, coinciding with Lee’s belief that the beauty industry must be welcoming to all.

“Three months ago, I never would have seen myself doing something like this,” she said. “There have been plenty of highs and lows, but I learned that if you don’t do something now someone else will, so I just like to focus on that.”

Over the past month Lee says her life has consisted of filling out “seemingly endless” paperwork, conducting consumer research and promoting her business across the BGSU campus.

Lee has a contingent offer with BGSU Vending Operations to get placement for the vending machine on campus and is continuing to remain vigilant on ways to scale her business to other neighborhoods, where she eventually hopes to work brick and mortar.

John Horner, faculty mentor, said he is excited to see what Lee will take on, following the completion of the 2023 Hatch program.

“It has been inspiring to watch Chelsea grow throughout this program and show her passion not only for business, but life in general,” said Horner. “She has displayed perseverance, despite encountering the inevitable challenges that coincide with entrepreneurship.”

Lee’s mother, Yolanda Nixon said she is excited for her daughter to pitch the innovation to potential investors Thursday, April 13.

“Chelsea’s ambitious drive has warranted major success towards her goals,” said Nixon. “I am sure that her company will be a huge success and will grow an excellent reputation.”