New service RezEssentials aims to curb move-in day headaches


Source: RezEssentials

The 3.1-cubic-foot refrigerator is an item offered by RezEssentials, a new service from Northwestern Student Holdings. The founders of the business say they have sold dozens of the refrigerators.

Cat Zakrzewski, Assistant Summer Editor

A new service from Northwestern Student Holdings may ease move-in day challenges for incoming students.

RezEssentials allows students to place online orders for large dorm items ranging from fridges to futons. Student employees then deliver the products to customers’ residence halls before incoming freshman arrive on campus.

“The idea kind of came from move-in being such a hassle,” said Communication junior Oskar Melking, the project’s chief operating officer. “Parents are coming in with big vans, having to drive to Target or Walmart, and then they have to deal with getting it up the big flights of stairs. We just thought this would be a great way to cut out that hassle.”

The service launched earlier this month and will continue accepting orders through Wildcat Welcome Week.

The founders of RezEssentials said they have had a successful start, selling about 50 refrigerators thus far. With about a month left until move-in day, sales are beginning to pick up, they said.

Weinberg junior Wendy Cyffka, chief executive officer, said the project targets freshmen and some sophomores living in on-campus housing. She said it will likely appeal to students from other countries.

“I’m in international student myself,” Melking said. “It was very hard to get all the big items. My parents didn’t come with me.”

Cyffka and Melking said their own experiences influenced the service as they developed it over the winter. The most difficult part of creating the project was coming up with a name, Cyffka said.

“We wanted to capture the entrepreneurial spirit but also be appealing to parents,” she said.

RezEssentials joins five other projects from Northwestern Student Holdings, a student-run portfolio of campus businesses.

Cyffka said RezEssentials will work with both BoxCo. and Project Cookie. Students who purchase a refrigerator from RezEssentials will be able to store it for free over the summer with BoxCo., a storage and shipping company. Customers will receive a promotion from Project Cookie when they open their orders.

Northwestern Student Holdings is trying to reach out to new students through the Office of New Student and Family Programs and the International Office. The group has developed a program called RezAmbassadors that awards discounts to new students for getting the word out about RezEssentials. By promoting the service via email and social media, incoming freshmen can receive up to 30 percent off their orders.

Looking forward, Cyffka and Melking said they plan to expand RezEssentials once they test it this fall. They also hope to add new items and possibly operate other times of the year.

“This is our main focus because it makes sense,” Cyffka said of their fall deliveries. “Why didn’t people think of this before?”

Assistant summer editor Cat Zakrzewski can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at