Anchorage woman’s homegrown business about to expand national presence
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It was a business born of necessity, but Anchorage entrepreneur Jasmin Smith says the expansion of her company called BABYVEND has surprised even her.
“It’s a little bit on the stressful side but it’s a good stress,” Smith said. “It’s amazing actually.”
Smith founded BABYVEND, a company that sells baby products from vending machines, in 2016. The idea was born when she was Christmas shopping with her young twins at a local mall and realized she desperately needed a diaper.
“I was looking around, asking people for a diaper and no one had one,” she said. “And so I was like, let me do some market research and see what this industry looks like.”
Her first machine went into the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in 2019. It carries everything from snacks and diapers to clothing and pacifiers. Today there are several more BABYVEND machines in Alaska, including the Anchorage Museum and the Dimond Center and Fifth Avenue Mall. Smith will also have a machine at this year’s Alaska State Fair.
Smith also has the machines in a number of states in the Lower 48, but will be expanding them this fall in Minnesota, California, Arizona and Maryland.
“To go from just one or two machines to 23 locations in 23 cities and 10 states is a big jump,” she said.
Smith said the machines are going in airports and malls, including the Mall of America.
“We’ve got some really fun locations coming up,” she said. “That’s one of the ones that we are very, very, excited about.”
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