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Website hopes to take college shoppers by storm

Courtesy of Dormstormer

Designer discount shopping is making its way to college dorm rooms.

Dormstormer.com is a “students only” website that features a new brand’s discounted products every 48 hours.

“It’s a way for (students) to get discounts on clothing and other stuff that they want at the best possible prices,” said CEO and co-founder Adam Gausepohl.

Students can sign up to be members of Dormstormer by entering their first name, last name and school email address on the website.

Gausepohl said finding brands that would agree to work with Dormstormer was not as hard as he expected.

“I think the hardest part is setting up the account (with a brand),” he said. “There’s a lot of paperwork to do and scheduling brands in takes time.”

Product prices range from $10 to $120. Gausepohl said Michael Kors, Urban Expressions and American Apparel products have been big sellers on the website.

“I think the Michael Kors bags sold out in about an hour,” he said.

Gausepohl said when it comes to determining which brands to feature on the site, he and the other founders turn to student buyers from the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

“We want to sell up-and-coming brands as well as popular, well-known brands,” said Jennifer Humiston, a West Coast buyer for Dormstormer from FIDM, in an email. “Instead of looking at the specific brand, we are looking at the quality of the materials, comparing the clothing to the latest styles and bringing students easy access to shop for everything from everyday wear to formal wear at a discounted price.”

The website is also seeking student feedback to help with the selection process.

In the future, students will be able to go on the website and decide if sales are a “hit” or “miss” and earn reward points for doing so. These reward points can be used as discounts at stores that partner with Dormstormer.

“We’ll get that feedback and it will help tailor our future sales so we get what students want,” Gausepohl said.

Dormstormer turns to Deanna DiChirico, an East Coast buyer for Dormstormer at FIT, for finding products that are new and unknown to students.

“We’ve got Deanna at FIT – she really brings brands to our attention saying, ‘These are brands we have to hit up,'” Gausepohl said

DiChirico said she sees neons, bold prints, color-blocking and pastels trending for the spring and summer seasons.

“I try to tune into every type of style that is out there and find brands to match that are in our target price range,” DiChirico said in an email. “In a nutshell, up-to-date, cute styles at low prices.”

This fall, the website will be doing a more formal launch. Gausepol referred to the website launch in April was a “soft launch.”

“I think we have a successful soft launch,” he said. “So as far as the rest of our future goes, we’re looking to raise a considerable amount of money so that we can make the site even better.”

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