Forbes magazine shares the story of how Amanda Zuckerman, along with her mom, Karen, launched Dormify while still a student at WashU.
In 2009, Amanda Zuckerman was an incoming first-year student at Washington University in St. Louis. She and her mother, Karen Zuckerman, were having a hard time finding stylish bedding and decor to furnish her dorm. This experience eventually would lead them to found Dormify, an online retail experience selling dorm-room decor.
Though Dormify was put on the back burner while Zuckerman was a freshman, during that time she did have a blog about college decor. Over time, the number of guest contributors to the blog grew to nearly 1,000. It became their proof of concept that there was a market for specialty dorm decor. In 2012, the mother-daughter team, along with friend Stephanie Kimel, began to pursue the Dormify concept in earnest. Zuckerman, who was still living on campus at WashU, used what she was learning in class and in campus life, to inform the company’s direction.
The co-founders bootstrapped the business initially, then raised a $2.125 million seed round in 2013. Today the 15-person Dormify team works out of an office/showroom in Manhattan. Amanda’s mother, Karen, works remotely from Washington DC.
In November 2018, Dormify announced a $3.45 million series A investment led by American Eagle Outfitters Inc., with whom it has an existing partnership. The founders plan to use the new funding to host more pop-up shops, explore using AI for customer service and develop new products, including dorm decor geared toward men.