Vending machine selling beauty supplies for women of color started by Wayne State student

There's a new vending machine in downtown Detroit but it's not selling snacks. The Lavish Box is packed with beauty and hygiene products designed specifically for women of color.

"I went to hair school," said Leslie Williams. "I've been in the beauty industry all my life, my grandmother was a hairstylist and I have a lot of women in my family who are hairstylists.

"I am very familiar with this industry and I am a makeup artist myself. So I know what our girls want and need and what our girls use."

And that is how the Lavish Box was born, cosmetics you can buy in a vending machine.

"It was kind of like my quarantine project, that turned into a business," she said.

Williams, a Wayne State University student, is targeting women of color.

"I just realized how hard it was to get our beauty essentials," she said. "I caught myself going in alleys to get edge control, and braiding hair and just the simple things I need that they didn't have at Target, Walmart, or the other department stores that were open during the time."

It is helpful during the pandemic located inside New Center One at 3031 W. Grand Blvd in Detroit. As long as the building is open you can go, or even check in with an ID to get access. Shoppers can have less contact amid a pandemic and really flexible hours.

"Now you don't have to wait from 9 to 5 for the beauty supply for you to finish your hair," Williams said. "I have staple brands that we all know and love, Kiss, LA Colors, Ardell and I even have my brand Lavish glosses in there. What I want to do, my goal with the Lavish boxes is to feature Black-owned businesses, Black brands." 

As of Wednesday Williams has only been in business 17 days. She says she's looking forward to growth, growing beyond Detroit and maybe even into airports.