Marketing Your Brand: From a Grassroots Approach to Online Marketing with Amanda Zuckerman of Dormify

EXCLUSIVE: Amanda Zuckerman, 28, founded Manhattan-based Dormify in 2012 after encountering too many juvenile designs when trying to outfit her own room at Washington University in St. Louis. Dormify sells products for dorms and offers co-eds free design advice. She says that the ever-increasing desire for a perfectly outfitted dorm can be credited to one platform. **NO NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, NO NEW YORK TIMES, NO NEWSDAY**. 05 Sep 2019 Pictured: Amanda Zuckerman, founder of Dormify, is pictured in their showroom. Photo credit: Annie Wermiel/NY Post / MEGA +1 888 505 6342 (Mega Agency TagID: MEGA503006_002.jpg) [Photo via Mega Agency]

Amanda Zuckerman is the Co-founder and CEO of Dormify, a home decor brand and e-commerce store dedicated to fashion-minded girls and first-time renters. Amanda co-founded Dormify with her mother, Karen Zuckerman, while studying at Washington University in St. Louis, where she later graduated with a double-major in Design & Visual Communication and Marketing. In addition to her role as CEO of Dormify, Amanda is a founding member of Chief, a private network designed for women executives.

Amanda joins us today to discuss how her unique experience of starting a business that caters to college students while being in college gave her the focus group she needed to set herself up for success. She describes how developing a blog for her business led her to a network of brand ambassadors eager to share Dormify. She also explains how a grassroots approach to marketing was key to Dormify’s success and shares her best advice for reaching college students.

“Our grassroots approach to marketing helped us develop strong relationships with customers and excel into being a legitimate brand.” – Amanda Zuckerman

This week’s takeaways from Entreprenista:

  • The inspiration behind Dormify and how Amanda turned an idea into a business
  • Building a blog for your business and developing a network of brand ambassadors
  • How they networked and collaborated with vendors for their first line of products
  • How inexperience helped Amanda and her mom cultivate success in their brand
  • The first challenges they met in launching their business
  • What it’s like to work with your mom and how Amanda sets up boundaries
  • Her advice to Entreprenistas who work or are planning to work with family members
  • Dormify’s grassroots approach to marketing and how their marketing strategy has evolved
  • How to successfully raise business capital with friends and family
  • Building an impactful ambassador and referral program
  • The power of TikTok and Amanda’s advice on reaching college students as a market
  • How Amanda became the CEO of Dormify
  • How Dormify’s latest fundraising round positively changed the business
  • Amanda’s tips and best practices for raising capital
  • A typical day outside of work for Amanda and her thoughts on work/life balance
  • The true benefits of being the child of an Entreprenista
  • Her advice to college students who want to start businesses while studying

Resources Mentioned:

Our Favorite Quotes:

  • “Focus on building vendor relationships and respond to trends while continuing to amplify them.” – Amanda Zuckerman
  • “What made our fundraising a success was approaching people in our network who were experiencing the same problem in their lives, so they understood the purpose of the business.” – Amanda Zuckerman
  • “Being the child of an Entreprenista makes you have thicker skin and an appreciation for someone who runs a business.” – Amanda Zuckerman

Connect with Amanda Zuckerman:

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level:

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Whether you’re looking to scale your existing business and want to make the right connections, or you’re thinking about finally taking the leap to launch your business, we’re here to give you access to a community of women who will celebrate your every step, and with whom you can share the candid reality of building a business from scratch.

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