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She's Got Legs

Pantyhose vending machines

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This story appears in the June 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

On her way to a job interview four years ago, Janice McLean got a hole in her stocking that "you could see from Seattle." Horrified, she ran into a convenience store and bought a pair of pantyhose, then realized that she had no place to put them on. Fortunately, her future employer didn't hold the fashion faux pas against her, and she got the job. But her experience set the 31-year-old former administrative assistant on a mission: To install pantyhose vending machines in restrooms across America.

Today, her Baltimore company, McLean Machines and Company Inc., exists to keep women safe from pantyhose disasters, offering four types of legwear styles in small to extra large for $2 to $4 a pair. Twenty-three vending machines are installed in churches, municipal buildings and airports in the Baltimore area, but McClean hopes that's just the beginning. She plans to install the machines wherever hoseless women can be found: in schools, bus depots, hospitals, theaters and other hot spots around the country. McLean will also offer the vending machines to women-friendly businesses.

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