Bare Necessities, a college delivery service providing students with necessary toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, is launching at ASU for the upcoming fall semester. Founder Lou Cesario came up with the idea when a friend forgot to buy shampoo at the store. “Why can’t we have these sorts of things delivered to us?” Cesario says of his inspiration. “They are needs that apply to everyone … It would be a great service for college students, especially freshman, because they come in not knowing what to expect.” At $24.99, each bag has a guaranteed value of $60 of product that includes random promotional products from sponsors outside of ASU. Several distribution companies have expressed interest in working with Bare Necessities and plan to offer special promotional packages as well.
The two-month-old company earned its start-up funding through the ASU Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative, an annual event that provides grant funding to a number of ASU start-ups. Proposals go through five rounds of judging until the top 50 are selected to receive funding and resources. “Out of 400, we placed in the top 50,” says Cesario, “and that opened a lot of doors for us not only at ASU but other universities.” Bare Necessities is planning to launch by having its packages already waiting in the dorm rooms for arriving students. “Our goal is to become habitual as a product and a service that remains with the student for all four years,” he says.
“Bare Necessities is segmented because we are targeting college students as well as parents and relatives on their behalf,” Cesario explains, and adds, “There are products and services similar to ours but there is not much that captures the same demographic as us and provides the same amount of products and value we give to the customers.
“Aside from the college aspect, we are also looking into retirement homes and military as well,” Cesario says, noting that Bare Necessities aims to grow its demographic. “Right now we have ASU, and that is a great start, but by no means is that where we are going to end.”