College Products found its beginning in a dumpster. Yes, you read that right. Twenty years ago, a dumpster diving RA founded College Products to bring the best of the best in “dorm” furnishings and appliances to university residence halls around the country.
We pride ourselves in our unusual and fun beginnings because that’s what we stand for. It’s representative of our fun, diverse team, which includes a farmer, a race car driver, a meditation teacher, and more. Each of us pools our resources and skills to make our products the best they can be for our partnering universities and their students. Innovation, efficiency, and safety are synonymous with our loft kits and MicroChill units. Learn more about our cool staff and take a look at the products (Lofts, Fridges & Extras) we have in store for you.
So here’s how it all went down. In 1997, while working as a Resident Assistant (RA) at the University of South Dakota, our company president Eric Hennings was assigned to make sure all of the trash got IN the dumpsters during move out. At that time the school allowed students to build their own lofts out of lumber. This is when Eric came up with the idea that would one day become College Products. Having grown up on a working Iowa farm, Eric was taught to conserve and reuse all of his resources, and that’s exactly what he did when he saw all of the old lofts being thrown into the dumpsters. He knew reselling these materials would save perfectly good wood from being thrown away, and it would save parents and students time and money during move-in.
The next fall he brought back all of the lofts that he had scavenged from dumpsters (and cleaned/repaired), and his inventory sold out! Seeing the huge demand for affordable lofts, he then set out to create a prototype out of steel that could be used year after year. This concept grew and developed over time into a patented steel lofting system that adjusts in length and width to accommodate all sizes, styles and brand names of beds provided at any given school. This became a viable solution for all colleges and universities across the country.
Fast forward through years of growth, a name change, and the addition of dozens of partnering schools; another idea was born. Eric wanted to add more service options for the schools to offer their students such as delivery, assembly and collection. Now, College Products delivers and picks up loft systems at the majority of their partnered schools. This service added great value, ease and convenience for the students and parents renting lofts.
College Products didn’t stop there. They have since added fridges, futons & personal safes to their repertoire of products.
After a few years of carrying the same fridges as everyone else, we were on the hunt for something more eco-friendly and energy efficient for the students and our planet. That’s when we began carrying MicroChill® refrigerators, microwaves, and micro fridge combo units. So why MicroChill®? The ozone layer of course! MicroChill® was the first company to supply refrigerators directly to the college and university market that removed ozone depleting Freon refrigerant and replaced it with an all-natural, eco-friendly choice. College Products became first national distributor of the MicroChill® brand.
Now with years of success in our back pocket and a solid plan for the future, we have implemented a controlled growth pattern to ensure that we are able to maintain our elite standard of Customer Service and program operations. Each year we add a select few schools to our family. Want yours to be next? Contact us to learn about how your school can join our team!