After Running Out Of Diapers For Her Twins At The Mall, This Anchorage Entrepreneur Started A Business

By Devin Kelly
Alaska Dispatch News, Anchorage

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the mompreneur who came up with the idea to create a baby supply vending machine after running into a situation while traveling.

Alaska Dispatch News, Anchorage

While shopping in Anchorage’s 5th Avenue mall with her infant twins, Jasmin Smith ran out of diapers.

She wound up in J.C. Penney, fashioning a makeshift diaper out of a blanket and two pairs of children’s underwear.

The experience, coupled with other new-parent mishaps, led the Anchorage entrepreneur to the idea for a startup — a baby supply vending machine that will soon be installed at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Smith plans to stock the machine, expected to open by November in the South Terminal between gates C1 and C2, with a mix of items.

Her list includes pacifiers, dry baby formula, blankets, bottles, teething rings and wipes. She’s also considering snacks, activity kits and earplugs for kids.

“Anything a parent will have in a diaper bag,” said Smith, whose twins, Elohin and Akaiya, are now 3.

Smith’s startup, Baby Vend, fits into a larger project for Anchorage airport concessions managers: Getting more people, especially parents, to feel comfortable coming to the airport early, staying later and spending more time and money there.

Walking above the airport’s C Concourse last week, Javier Robinson, the longtime concessions manager, pointed out a newly unveiled wooden model Alaska Airlines plane for children. The little plane, built by a local designer, simulates a flight from Lake Hood.

In recent years, the airport has invested in expanded food and service offerings, including a sushi restaurant.

Above the intersection of the C and B concourses, there’s a public lounge with a bar, a big-screen TV and a virtual-reality fishing boat. The airport also has a nursery and a children’s book donation program.
Robinson refers to it as a “little city.”

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