Parents: your son or daughter is away at school. You know all too well that they run out of things . . . or everything, for that matter. There’s no easy way to replenish them without tracking down what they need, packaging it up, and spending an arm and a leg on shipping costs. Until now. (Dramatic, right?)
Recently, I spoke with the co-founder and CEO of Co-ed Supply, an entrepreneurial company that hopes to save parents time and money when it comes to care packages. Founder Marissa Hu, a current M.B.A. student at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, says wanted to start a business that filled a major gap for college students and their (very, very extensive) needs.
“When I was in college, getting a care package or any package was the most exciting thing ever,” she says. “We decided that idea would be a great product to give to college students . . . parents always want them to have what they need to get through college.”
How does Co-ed Supply work? It’s a membership program, so you can sign up as a parent (though students can also sign up on their own), pick the gender of the package receiver (which doesn't change much except for, say, an item's color), and each month, your student will receive a care package with items in three categories: toiletries, healthy snacks, and miscellaneous. The “miscellaneous” category changes depending on the season or holiday, and in the past has included items like face paint for Halloween, hot chocolate for the winter months, and Hu’s personal favorite, gloves that work with touch-screen devices. Membership costs $20 a month, which includes shipping.
Hu says the feedback has been extremely positive. One parent even e-mailed her saying that her son wanted to know how exactly Co-ed Supply managed to know exactly what he wanted and needed each month. She adds that there are subscribers on both coasts and everywhere in between. “It’s really incredible to see people excited about it across the country,” she adds.
Co-ed Supply is currently working with various brands to include their products in the box, making sure the packages include useful things that the students want and need.
“In the short term, we want to be able to customize boxes with different sizes and different versions of the boxes—that’s a suggestion we’ve heard with customer feedback,” Hu says, adding that bigger packages can be sent to places like fraternity or sorority houses. “In the long term, we want Co-ed Supply to be the go-to website for college students to get anything they need.”
The best part about Co-ed Supply is the convenience, she says. “A lot of parents run around making care packages for their students—it’s a huge hassle, and shipping is expensive. We put all of that on autopilot.”
Interested in using this service for your college-bound teen? Visit www.coedsupply.com for information and to sign up!