LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV) -- In 2019, a UC San Diego student started a website and business to fulfill what was originally a personal need. But now, the young entrepreneur is catering to hundreds of students on campus.
When Jaida Day moved from Los Angeles to La Jolla to attend UC San Diego in 2018, she immediately noticed a problem.
"I would ask around, 'Where is the nearest beauty supply?' and they would say, 'It's 30 minutes away from campus, driving,' and I'm a freshman, and I'm like, 'I can't do that all the time! I need these products right now,'" Day remembered.
To maintain her beautiful braids, the 20-year-old needed to either get a $40 Uber ride to get two products 30 minutes away or stock up when she went back home.
The university, which according to 2019 statistics, has a 2.9% African American undergraduate population, did not have the Black beauty products Day needed on campus. So the Math and Computer Science major took matters into her own hands.
"I'm like, your local beauty supply, that's what I like to tell people," Day laughed.
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.
"You add to your cart, I email you what my availability is, I package your order, and give it to them," Day said.
Her online shop spread by word of mouth, and now, her dorm room has become a stock room. She serves hundreds of customers like 21-year-old Sociology, Law and Society major, Kayana Hudson. The Compton native said the products in the student store just weren't cutting it.
"Honestly, it saved my life. It gives students access to Black hair care on campus," Hudson said. "We have Pantene products in the market, but I need my Mielle sometimes."
While Day is proud of her business, she does not 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."
This story originally reported by Rina Nakano on 10News.com.