Beauty Genie Founder Ebony Karim Helps Bring Black Haircare to HBCUs

Ebony Karim, CEO and founder of innovative hair care delivery system, The Beauty Genie is expanding the business and improving access to Black hair care products to Black students in hair care deserts across the country. The Chicago State University graduate recently partnered with Rahya Kelley, a student at Olivet College in Michigan to bring hair care vending machines to Black and Brown consumers in the region.

As students can attest, finding hair care products on or near predominantly White colleges and universities can prove especially difficult as they are not available in many areas and if so, they are in limited supply and selection.  

Olivet College is a private Christian college in Olivet, Michigan. The school’s Black population makes up nearly one-fifth of its student body, 

In a partnership with Beauty Genie, Kelly will provide like edge control gel and bonnets, along with many other Black hair essentials to students through strategically placed vending machines. 

The vending machines will be available campus starting in August, with Olivet College being the inaugural school in its rotation. Black hair care products will no longer have to be found at students’ hometowns or the closest Walmart that is beyond walking distance.

Their business extends beyond selling products, but also educating buyers on how to best protect their crowns. On their machines, videos from hair care professionals on topics will be on display to provide tips and tricks.

In an interview with Beauty Genie’s founder, Karim explained that besides 24-hour access, consumers will have a high quality of hair care products available at their fingertips. “We are very strategic with our collaborations and partnerships. We want to be able to sponsor and foster other Black-owned beauty brands. Some of our major brands include Mielle Organics,  Curlmix by Kim Lewis, and Pink Luster products, [and] other smaller entrepreneurs who are trying to make a footprint.”

To expand upon their partnership with colleges, an ambassador program is in development to involve students in the business aspects of restocking and marketing for the company.

While Olivet is the first school to try out this collaboration, Beauty Genie is hoping to extend their services and connection to more schools beyond the region.


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