University News

After leaving the nest, undergrads hire ‘Mother Goose’

Founded by an alum, Campus Goose aims to provide the comforts of home on College Hill

Contributing Writer
Friday, October 11, 2013

Campus Goose, a new College Hill concierge and errand service starting this year, offers students and their family members a range of services provided by staff members in packages of time ranging from 10 to 100 half-hour units.

Services range from decorating dorm rooms, cleaning apartments and running errands to providing transportation from the airport to Brown’s campus, organizing reservations for family visits and providing parking spots, according to the Campus Goose website. But the staff is prepared to accommodate most requests that abide by the University’s Code of Conduct and local laws, said “Chief Goose” Michala Kepple.

The company aims to be another useful University resource and help students navigate the resources Brown already provides, she said.

One sample service listed under the “TLC” section of the service’s website offers to “send a local mom to discreetly check in and see what’s going on” for parents who have not heard from their student recently or feel “unsettled” after last speaking to him or her.

Campus Goose was created by Mimi Sternlicht ’83 and her business partner Amy Jurkowitz, both mothers who discovered the challenges of college life through the experiences of their children, Kepple said. The founders “discovered as their kids went through college certain things are tough to do from miles away” and thought a business offering services that can fill the void left by students’ caretakers would be a “great idea,” Kepple said.

The company’s name is a play on the fairytale character of Mother Goose, Kepple said.

The two worked for months “getting to know the area and the best services, like restaurants,” and created the Campus Goose network, Kepple said.

Requests for Campus Goose services come “half and half” from parents and students, Kepple said. Students typically ask for day-to-day services like help with utilities issues or last-minute errands, with the most common request being the company’s door-to-door laundry service and dry cleaning, which helps students to maximize their time, she added.

“Campus Goose is a great opportunity for time management for many students. Their time is valuable, so it ends up being a worthwhile expense,” Kepple said.

Parents generally tend to request presents or cleaning services for their children, Kepple said. One of Campus Goose’s more unique services is the opportunity for parents to send students a surprise on their birthdays, such as cupcakes, balloons and cards, she added.

Students said they had positive experiences with Campus Goose.

Eleni Samara ’15 learned of the company through a Facebook advertisement and used it to get help assembling the IKEA furniture for her apartment and handling electrical problems. Campus Goose was “very helpful” and efficient in rendering the necessary services, she said.

The company and Chief Goose Kepple are “accessible” and easy to use, Samara said.