Solace, a New Portland Start-Up, is Reinventing the Funeral Industry
Created by two former Nike executives, Solace is bringing the funeral industry into the 21st century by offering convenient, compassionate online cremation and funeral planning services to Oregon and Washington consumers
April 3, 2019 (Portland, Ore.) – In the United States, the funeral business is a $19 billion industry with an analog model that has been relatively unchanged over the last century. Former Nike Executive Creative Directors Keith Crawford and David Odusanya are set to change that with the launch of Solace, a digital-only direct cremation service that melds online ease with simple, transparent and compassionate service.
Solace is the brainchild of Crawford and Odusanya, whose own experiences with the death of loved ones inspired them to apply their innovative, consumer experience-driven design expertise to the funeral industry. Their deep design and branding background has allowed them to reimagine the funeral business and all aspects of the consumer experience.
“Solace is born out of our own experience with the funeral industry, and the discovery that — unlike almost every other industry — it has not evolved to match market preferences for a modern, straightforward digital-based experience,” said Crawford, Solace co-founder and CEO. “However, purchasing cremation services shouldn’t be an anonymous online transaction, because nothing is more deeply personal than handling the passing of a loved one. And so Solace is committed to delivering a compassionate, personal and concierge-level service to anyone tackling end-of-life planning.”
Added Odusanya, “As creative directors, we solve problems through design, with the consumer experience always at the center. This was our guiding principle in creating Solace: to help people navigate a necessary process in the least painful way. If we can make that journey easier for people and make a positive impact on their lives, there’s nothing more gratifying than that.”
With an increasing number of people choosing cremation services over funerals, both as a way to save money and to reduce environmental impact, Solace’s online-only offering appeals to digital- savvy consumers. The Solace leadership team includes Jeremy Frank, Chief Operating Officer, who brings a deep background in operations, strategy and finance, and Funeral Director Malisa Riceci.
“I see my work with decedents as a relationship. I might not have known them while they were alive, but I meet them through their loved ones and I take the trust they place with me very seriously,” said Riceci, who has previously worked with a number of independent funeral homes in the Portland area. “I am honored to be a part of Solace, which sets a high bar for personalized care while making it easy and convenient for people to make cremation arrangements while going through a difficult time.”
The Solace Model
Solace offers a modern, simple solution for anyone in the Oregon and Washington service area — currently Multnomah County, Clackamas County and Washington County in Oregon, and Clark County in Southwest Washington — seeking direct cremation services.
The completely online business includes 24-7 access to a compassionate support team, making the experience of arranging a cremation simple, transparent and professional.
Customers pay one flat fee of $895. There are no surprises and no add-on fees. The fee includes 24-7, concierge-style customer service; funeral director and staff; assistance with paperwork; transportation of the deceased; cremation; return of cremated remains; and all necessary permits and fees.
About Solace CremationSolace Cremation is a licensed immediate disposition company providing modern cremation care balanced with a human approach. With services that are easy to understand, transparently priced and delivered with a personal touch, Solace provides concierge level support that puts the focus on the client’s needs. The Solace Care Team is available 24-7 to provide professional, compassionate care and helpful answers any time of day. Co-founded by Keith Crawford and David Odusanya, Solace is headquartered in Portland, Ore.