By Jack Toporek
It’s 1 in the morning and I need a snack. It was a long day of classes and a long night of drinking. Similarly to most other college students, I bolt to my fridge as soon as I return home. I need something, anything, to give me energy and protein. I open the door to my refrigerator and find heaven: an unopened 12-pack of Michelob Ultra, two jars of Grillo pickles, a pound of deli meat, cheese and an assortment of condiments and sauce packets. Mission accomplished.
Dillon Shipper, son of Cynthia and Ronnie, is a Dallas native and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2017. He participated in Greek life and now works as a senior development coordinator for Bonner Carrington in Austin. However, this isn’t his only responsibility or job; Shipper is the mastermind behind an Instagram page called
@dudefridges, which has soared in popularity as of late. DudeFridges has gained just over 22,500 followers in six short months running the page and even earned over 2.12 million views on one reel video.
The idea came to him before college, but as he began to see more of his friends’ fridges at school, he realized that so many men “had these fridges that looked like no one can survive off of. I started thinking more about how crazy it really was.” After taking care of his personal career and earning an outstanding job in real estate, he decided to start the page in November 2022 with the central goal of “making people laugh and having fun.” He saw an opportunity to capitalize on a basic joke.
Shipper carefully plans most of his posts before posting, but notes that there is no specific formula for when or how the ideas come to him. It can be a spur-of-the-moment feeling, because he never truly knows when he will cross paths with something worthy of a DudeFridges post. However, he sometimes receives direct messages or scrolls by memes that make him so eager to create a post that he has to “just pause my day and cook this post up. I can’t forget it while I have it!” The timing and content of every post is so unique that it allows Shipper to be flexible in his own life about when to balance his time between running his social media page and being a senior coordinator for a real estate development company.
While there is no clear way for Shipper to know exactly when he will think of post ideas, he can still manage his time effectively. He divides his days, leaving “days for real estate and nights for the fridges.” This means that nighttime is when he is scrolling through direct messages, creating or curating a post and formulating or executing long-term goals. Shipper sees a bright future for his page, consisting of three key facets: advertisement sales for brands; sales of personal company merchandise with the logo; and a philanthropic component.
The tagline “JUST THE ESSENTIALS” and new logo give Shipper’s page a strong sense of individuality and relatability for followers. The potential for this to continue to surge and gain traction is undoubtedly present, and Shipper has successfully put his idea on that path to success.
The motivation is higher than ever, and Shipper is poised to bring this page to the next level. He now aims to take the next steps in securing deals for advertisement sales and evolving the merchandise for his brand. Shipper explained how he never originally envisioned himself being involved with something like this on social media, but “it has been so surreal and really cool to gain fans and see it all unfold.” He says the most important thing is to continue having fun, but it is undeniable that DudeFridges’ thousands of followers are anxiously waiting to see how this once simple idea continues to thrive in the coming months.
Jake Toporek is a journalism student at the University of Georgia in Athens.