By Cody-Leigh Mullin
Have you heard of the Student Furniture Co-Op? Founded by UC Santa Cruz’s own William Wall, a second-year business and economics major, the Student Furniture Co-Op provides quality furniture to students in the Santa Cruz area at a low cost.
City on a Hill Press (CHP) interviewed CEO Wall about the roots and workings of one of the lesser-known co-ops available for students.
CHP: How did the idea of the co-op come about?
Wall: When I was down on my luck in freshman year I was like, ‘Okay – what am I going to do?’ When I moved in to my new place, it was great, but the hardest thing for me was figuring out… ‘Now how do I get stuff in it?’ When you move into the dorms, they’re fully furnished with a bed, a desk, a closet, everything. But you don’t have any of that when you move off campus.
We just started it because we wanted our friends in their sophomore years to have furniture.
CHP: How has the Student Furniture Co-op grown over the past year?
Wall: We have acquired a nice little stock; we have a nice four-car warehouse that we use which is actually at our house. At the beginning of the school year we just put our name out there as much as we could – posters on the bus stops, Facebook, just whatever we could do. And we got our name out there!
CHP: Where do your donations come from? Do you stay local in Santa Cruz or are you branching out?
Wall: We’re strictly out of Santa Cruz. We help out this community, so we’re not really trying to go large-scale with it because we’d rather provide localized perfect service rather than have it deteriorate in a bigger scope.
CHP: What are your plans for the future of the co-op?
Wall: We helped 100 students last year in our minimal efforts, and now we actually have a budget. And we also got a trailer donated, so the value of the non-profit organization is around $1200 to $1500. Now that we have those assets, we’re thinking about getting some stickers, printing up more flyers, and just trying to get out in more publications. We’re just trying to do anything we can to get over 100 students. We’d like to go to 250 – that’s the next available number.
CHP: 250 students is the next goal?
Wall: I don’t see why not. That’s not just the students, it’s 250 for the community so we are hoping to blast past that.
CHP: On average, how are the items priced?
Wall: Our products are dirt cheap. We charge $5 to $10 for a couch including local delivery. And if you go to the Salvation Army and Goodwill downtown, their couches are $110 and you have to get it out of there yourself.
We’re trying to help the students so if they have anything that they want to get rid of, we’re more than happy to accept it and if they have anything they need, we’re more than happy to help them find it.
Inventory, directions, and contact information for the Co-op can be found at http://www.studentfurniturecoop.com.