Daily file photo by Colin Boyle
As the new academic year fast approaches, students are looking forward to new classes, friends and clubs. But siblings Marisa and Troy Hattler hope to help students get a fresh start with their new company Wildcat Naps.
The mattress rental service, launched online July 26, is available to both on- and off-campus students and aims to create a more comfortable living experience, especially in dorm rooms.
Inspired by the poor sleep they experienced on the mattresses provided by on-campus housing, the Hattlers decided to make a change by teaming up with national brand Roomie Rentals, which sets up branches at schools across the country.
The Roomie Rentals umbrella helped provide infrastructure and products for Wildcat Naps, including mattresses with 10 inches of memory foam and bed frames to convert dorm beds to a full XL size, according to its website.
“The beds in our dorms aren’t comfortable, and getting your own mattress is expensive,” Troy, a Weinberg sophomore, said. “We think we can provide a more comfortable, cheaper and overall better experience.”
For on-campus installation, bed extensions incorporate existing mattresses to retain storage —the space is just reverted and consolidated. Off-campus rentals include a bed frame, and delivery is included with all purchases. Moreover, the service is estimated to cost $1,000 less than “DIY” options, according to the website.
Not only does the business save money, but it is more sustainable than buying a mattress or mattress topper and eventually throwing it out, Marisa, a former Daily staffer, said.
Instead of creating more waste, beds will undergo an extensive cleaning process every summer before finding new homes in the fall, the Weinberg junior added.
Wildcat Naps is especially timely for Northwestern, with students now required to live on-campus for two years. That creates a focus within the company towards on-campus customers, Troy said.
The idea, although new to NU, is not new to the Hattler family. Cole, Marisa’s twin, has worked at Bull City Beds at Duke University, a similar company, for the past two years and provides guidance for his Wildcat counterparts.
“He gives us tips and tells us what’s worked or hasn’t worked at Duke,” Marisa said. “It’s definitely a family thing. We talk about it all the time.”
After positive survey results from July concluded that there was indeed a market at Northwestern, with 37 percent of 192 participants responding that they would pay to rent a larger bed, the siblings are primed for a busy year.
With five orders in already, less than a month after the business’s launch, the pair is quickly getting their business off the ground and aiming for their brother’s success.
“It’s really exciting,” Troy said. “It’s something that back when Cole was at Duke, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s a cool idea,’ and wanted to bring it to Northwestern. To actually do that, it’s pretty cool to see and be a part of.”
Email: [email protected]