*It all started over braids.
UC San Diego freshman Jaida Day moved from Los Angeles to La Jolla to attend UC San Diego in 2018, and immediately noticed the lack of beauty supply stores in the neighborhood. Informed that the nearest one was 30 minutes away, and that to maintain her braids she’d need to get a $40 Uber ride, the 20-year-old Math and Computer Science major decided to take matters into her own hands.
In 2019, she opened up a pop-up shop every other week at the campus Black Resource Center. But since the pandemic, she shifted operations online to a website she created called Black Beauty Near You.
As you can imagine, her online spot spread by word of mouth, and her dorm room now doubles as a stock room. She serves hundreds of customers, including 21-year-old Sociology, Law and Society major, Kayana Hudson. The Compton native said the products in the student store were inadequate.
“Honestly, it saved my life. It gives students access to Black hair care on campus,” Hudson told WMAR2 News. “We have Pantene products in the market, but I need my Mielle sometimes.”
While Day is proud of her business, she doesn’t want it to last forever. She hopes her business inspires the school and other college campuses to cater to a more diverse student body.
“I hope that by the time I graduate, Black Beauty Near You is not going to be necessary on this campus anymore,” Day said. “That we will have what we need in the markets on campus. That would be lovely. That would be the goal.”