DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – When you hear the word ‘concierge’ you may think about someone who assists guests at a hotel or apartment building. But a University of Michigan MBA student is starting a new concierge service for end-of-life issues, to help families make funeral arrangements.

Sage & Grace came to life after its founder faced the possibility of planning a funeral after her mother had a cardiac arrest.

Grad student Holly Price said her mother did recover, but there were a few days when things were touch-and-go.

“I was learning how scary the funeral business was after my mother got really sick,” she said. “In addition to the stress of family obligations, I was stressed about how I might plan and pay for her funeral.

“For someone who is college educated from a middle-class background, I have no idea where to start- if I needed to plan her funeral. Thankfully, she recovered and I was able to go on and go to school but it kind of lit a fire in me – to start seriously thinking about this idea – thinking that if this is a problem for me – it’s probably a problem for a lot more people.”

She says the purpose of Sage & Grace is to “help guide people through the process” of making funeral arrangements — and supplying trustworthy resources for people along the way.

“When I say concierge service that was really borne out of conversations with people where they said, ‘you know, I would have paid you money to come with me to the funeral home and advocate for me and my family to help us know if we were making the right decisions — because I felt I wasn’t getting everything I needed to get out of those conversations.'”

Sage & Grace is one of 60 ventures that University of Michigan students across campus are pushing forward with support from the institution’s top-ranked entrepreneurial programs.


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