Think back to the last time you went mattress shopping. The pain of dealing with pushy sales reps, the huge price tags, the overwhelming number of options. It’s stressful and confusing process similar to buying a used car or ordering off a ten-page menu.
After experiencing the headache and inconvenience of traditional, brick and mortar mattress shopping, co-founders Russell Suskind and Brendan Rice knew their had to be a better and more affordable way to get a great night’s sleep. The two recent graduates were living in Downtown Detroit as a part of the Venture for America* fellowship program when they started devising a strategy to add simplicity and convenience to the mattress shopping experience. In mid June, after partnering with a Baltimore based manufacturer, Suskind and Rice launched Doze, an online mattress company geared specifically towards college students and recent graduates.
The company’s mission is simple: provide the highest quality memory foam mattresses, delivered straight to consumers’ door, at an affordable price. By selling exclusively online, Doze is able to eliminate the high markups and overall inconvenience experienced in a traditional retail store. The company offers a 75-night risk-free trial during which consumers can test out the bed and receive a full refund if they are not completely satisfied with the product.
While there are other direct-to-consumer companies that have begun selling exclusively online, Suskind and Rice saw an opportunity to target college students and recent graduates who were transitioning from their freshman door room to an off-campus house or moving to a new city to start their professional careers after graduation. In addition to being overlooked by most of the existing brands, the college student and recent graduate market consists of consumers who demand convenience and affordability and feel comfortable making larger purchases online.
To get in contact with this consumer base, Doze has established partnerships with training and fellowship programs like Teach for America, Venture for America, Quicken Loans and property management at college campuses around the country. Currently, the company is hiring brand ambassadors in an effort to get the word out to college students.
*Venture for America is a two year fellowship program that places top college graduates in startups within emerging cities to help generate job growth and train a new generation of entrepreneurs.