October 19, 2015
Last summer, Russell Suskind along with a few of his friends from Venture for America, wanted to test an idea before turning it into a full-fledged business.
They ran a “proof of concept” campaign called Campus Sleep by partnering with a local mattress supplier in Florida. Their goal was to sell memory foam mattresses to recent college graduates, college students and anyone looking for an easy way to get an affordable and comfortable mattress.
“We did over $13,000 in sales in less than three days. The Campus Sleep campaign validated our conviction that there was a need and opportunity,” says Suskind, a co-founder of Tuck, a company that sells mattresses right to your door.
- The mattresses arrive in 2-4 days by Fed-Ed in a small box
- Customers can test Tuck mattresses for a 75-day trial period
- If consumers don’t want to keep the product, they are granted a full refund and Tuck donates the mattress to charity.
- Tuck uses 3” of gel memory foam and 7’ moderate density support core.
- Tuck works on flat surfaces such as box springs and foundations, slats, platform beds and on the ground.
Additionally, Tuck has eliminated the middleman, which makes the delivery process more efficient and effective for consumers.
“By partnering with our supplier and exclusively selling online, we don't hold any inventory, pay for sales reps, or spend money on rent. This allows us to sell the same mattress that retails for $2,200 in stores for around $500 on our site.”
Additionally, to help penetrate its target market, Tuck has already and hired brand ambassadors at the University of Florida and Northwestern.
“We're specifically targeting college students and recent graduates who are transitioning out the dorms and into a new apartment or moving to a big city to start their careers,” says Suskind who also explains that Millenials are more comfortable buying products online.
More about Tuck and the Team
Tuck isn’t Suskind’s first entrepreneurial endeavor. During college, he worked on an app with his brother called UpGradeMe that allowed users to upgrade their seats during a sporting event. After graduating from Syracuse University in 2014, Suskind participated in the Venture for America Fellowship Program.
In addition to Suskind, the team includes co-founder Brendan Rice and Tuck’s contract designer, Daron Simon. Both work in Detroit while Suskind runs some of the operations from Miami.
Suskind’s advice to other young entrepreneurs is simple: “focus on creating a strong relationship with your first customers. Even if your service or product isn’t perfect yet, if early adopters feel the love and a connection to the brand and team, they will be brand advocates and provide valuable feedback.”
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