Terpiture furniture rental service expects to help students furnish starting this summer
From left to right, Johnny, Danny and Ronnie Dubbaneh
Johnny Dubbaneh wants to make sure no student has to move in to a new off-campus house or apartment and find out he or she doesn’t have a bed.
Last month, Dubbaneh and his older brothers, Danny and Ronnie, launched a new furniture rental company, Terpiture, with the tagline “Fear the turtle, not the furniture.” Along with allowing students to rent out furniture, the company buys and sells students’ unwanted furniture and offers moving services for students who want to bring furniture from home.
“I was thinking of problems I have as a student and other students face, and one is getting furniture and getting rid of it when you graduate,” said Johnny Dubbaneh, a junior finance and information systems major. “[Terpiture] lets parents’ and students’ lives be hassle-free and have everything already furnished when they come.”
While Terpiture has yet to see business, the brothers expect to snag their first customers when new students move in during the summer. To prepare, Johnny Dubbaneh has been busy contacting landlords and apartment complexes that do not furnish their spaces to spread the word about the company.
“For now, we’re staying at UMD to perfect our craft,” he said. “Then, if it works out, we can move to neighboring universities.”
Terpiture offers two furniture rental packages — bedroom and living room — and customers can split the cost of a living room package between roommates. On a year-round lease with the company, monthly rent is $40 for a bedroom package and $60 for a living room package. On a nine-to-10 month lease, the prices would be $60 and $80 a month, respectively.
While Terpiture currently gets most of its furniture from Ikea, founders hope to eventually partner with a furniture distributor to get higher-quality products. A bedroom package includes a twin mattress set, desk, bookshelf, chest drawer, night stand, lamp and a complimentary Maryland flag and bottle of Febreze. Meanwhile, those who purchase a living room package will receive a sofa, futon, lamp and two tables.
When junior psychology major Hanna Hutter first heard about Terpiture, she was a bit apprehensive but open to the idea. She lives in a fully-furnished Varsity apartment, but she is moving at the end of the summer into an off-campus house for her senior year.
“I would have to see pictures of all of the furniture, because I would be afraid that furniture used exclusively by college kids would get destroyed or be low quality,” Hutter said, but added, “As long as it’s a legit company and not some guy renting out his old sofa, I would use it, and I know plenty of my friends could benefit from it, too.”
As a New Jersey resident, Hutter especially liked the idea of using the company’s delivery service, which could save her the hassle of packing furniture into her car and making multiple trips.
“I think it’s genius and I’m actually surprised something like this doesn’t exist already,” Hutter said.
While the Terpiture founders have yet to see if their company will succeed, Johnny Dubbaneh said he definitely plans to continue the business even after he graduates next year.
“I’m the fourth of my family to graduate from here; it’s the end of a Dubbaneh era,” he said. “And a business allows my brothers and me to stay connected to the Maryland community.”