Movers & Shakers: Mindy Horwitz Establishes mindyKNOWS for Parents of College Students

Read the full article as published in the Ladue News by Alice Handelman Apr 15, 2021 Updated Jul 20, 2022

Mindy Horwitz first became aware that out-of-town parents might need a “local mom on the ground for assistance” two years ago when her oldest son was a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis.

“When Josh’s roommate hurt his ankle and was hobbling around campus, I realized his mom didn’t know who to turn to for help,” Horwitz says. “I knew that I could not only handle the situation from afar but could also serve as a great resource and service for all out-of-town parents with my local connections.”

Thus was born mindyKNOWS. Horwitz’s company helps students set up furniture, jump-starts their frozen car batteries and delivers custom care packages, including items such as hot chocolate bombs, birthday cakes and big balloons, in signature black bags with red ribbons. This unique service also helps new students find local doctors and places to eat.

Launched in the summer of 2019, mindyKNOWS offers subscriptions as well as à la carte services and packages. “We provide our customers help with a myriad of needs,” Horwitz says. Most customers are the parents of Wash U students. However, mindyKNOWS will gladly assist those from other local postsecondary educational institutions. The company currently has around 45 paid subscribers and has sold more than 300 packages.

Like a doctor, Horwitz is “on call” most of the time. She has a small crew of helpers but tries to do as much as she can on her own. “One day, during move-in, the parent of a freshman needed a mallet to help raise the bed in his dorm room,” she describes. “So I ran to Schnarr’s, purchased him a mallet and had it dropped off at his hotel within 20 minutes!”

Horwitz credits some of the parents with helping her drum up creative offerings for the company. “Little did I know that students would love our bagel package or that sushi trays in the shape of the birthday number would be so popular,” she says. “We hear a lot of ideas, and if we like them, we run with it.”

mindyKNOWS has established partnerships with several local treasures, including Companion Baking Co., The Cup, The Cakery Bakery, BUDS, Drunken Fish, Gold Creative Studio, Millbrook Pharmacy and Meshuggah Café. “We only partner with places we personally use and love,” she says.

Her family can often be seen helping Horwitz with mindyKNOWS projects. One of her sons designed the logo for the Valentine’s Day package and hangover kit, and her husband serves as the company’s delivery assistant on the weekends. The effort seems to be paying off, as customers from California to New York have sent letters singing praises for the service they call “immeasurable.” One parent from Miami wrote: “You truly are a lifesaver. It gives me such peace of mind knowing you are there.”