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Michigan woman loses auto job during pandemic, turns old vending machine into cosmetics business

Posted at 6:08 PM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 18:08:27-04

(WXYZ) -- When the pandemic dealt Annette Perryman a tough blow, she didn’t even blink.

"I have these on right now and these are my glamorous lashes, my favorite ones," said Annette.

After losing her job at an automaker during the pandemic, the Macomb resident set out to be her own boss, launching a vending machine lash and cosmetics business.

"I was just wondering one day, 'what do I want to do with my life?' And I was scrolling on Instagram and I'm like, 'oh, a vending machine with cosmetics? Oh, OK. So maybe I could bring that here in America because that was in the U.K,'" she said.

That previous work experience in the automotive industry came in handy, helping her turn an old vending machine from drab to fab.

"During the pandemic, I was out there in the garage and I was literally fixing on my machine. And ... you should have seen me like a mechanic out there," said Annette.

And soon LashTower was born – with her first location inside Lakeside Mall.

"When I first seen my vending machine put up, I was like, 'this is surreal, OK?' I had the vision in my head. But to actually see it, it's a whole 'nother story. I did that. You know, I stayed up, 4 o'clock in the morning every day," she said.

The vending machine offers customers a variety of lash options.

"I sell all different kinds of lashes, 3D, 5D mink lashes, silk lashes," she said.

Annette said she also sells lip gloss and shea butter inside the machine, which she makes herself.

"I do make lip glosses that have real fruit in there," she said.

Annette said the first vending machine was such a hit, that she’s put up another inside Great Lakes Crossing. She’s also working on a kid’s line to include.

"You know, if mom gets something, you've got to get some for the kids, too, right,'" she said.

Her plan in the next five to ten years, Annette said, is to keep expanding the LashTower footprint.

"I hope to be all over the world. I really want to go to Atlanta ... Chicago ... just grow my audience," Annette said.

And if anyone else out there is thinking about following a dream, Annette has this message for you:

"We tend to kind of question ... ourselves. 'Do I want to do this? Do I want to do that?' Just go for it and just do it," she said.

This story originally reported by Alexandra Bahou on WXYZ.com.

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