“Life is not measured by the breaths we take... But by the moments that take our breath away”
So true, isn’t it? It’s those moments, those split seconds of absolute perfection, those incredible once in a lifetime days, that instant where everything was so perfect that our breath was stolen from us like a thief in the night, those instances that are the very foundation from which we not only catalog our life but also what we fall back on to remember our family and friends that have died. And it’s because of those amazing moments, no matter how many or how few of them you have, those moments are the WHY behind what we do.
But we got a little ahead of ourselves. That’s great that you know our WHY but that doesn’t tell you anything about WHO we are, HOW we got here and WHAT you can expect from us. It’s not a fairy tale by any means but it’s a pretty good all American story about how if you dream it and you are willing to work hard and never take no for an answer, you can achieve it. Because we did.
Who are we?
We were two guys who worked together in a local lumber yard and we literally worked our way up from the paint department to the sales department - all by our early 20’s. Life was good - decent money, interesting work, easy hours. But we would talk and dream about being our own bosses, doing something great, something big, something that at the end of the day, we knew that we had made a difference. Talk about dreams happens easy however, and it took some time but eventually we decided to walk the walk and talk the talk. We quit our jobs, yes QUIT, pooled our resources and struck out to the vast unknown, convinced that in a short period of time, everything that we imagined would be ours. I know - we look back and laugh too.
We had some things in our favor. We were close, close as brothers, and individually brought unique attributes to the table. Family is extremely important to both so we knew that in some way, shape or form that had to be an integral part of our business. Third, we had some discretionary yet limited capital we could invest. And, finally, we had a willingness to learn and work hard. A recipe for success - right? Yes, we look back and laugh still.
Our product was going to be pet urns. See, we are dog owners, animal lovers, four paws are part of the family, type of people. We have had animals for our entire lives and cherish them. So we thought "We have a member of the family that is a master carpenter and from kitchens to cabinets to bar tops, the workmanship was top notch and highly sought after." When one of our dogs died, Kappie, he built a wooden urn for his ashes. And there became our product! We knew there were others that loved their pets as much as we did - our consumer base. The urns were beautiful and could be made from anything the customer wanted and there was little to nothing available on the internet - this was going to be our nitche. And we could be giving pet owners something they desperately needed that would help them remember their pet - our passion to give back. All we need to do is build it (the website) and they will come (pet owners). Piece o cake! Yes, we can laugh about it now.
How we did it.
We took our first website course and boy, if you could see that first site we built you would be thinking “What a talented five year old!” Complete with sky blue background, white puffy clouds and an exciting product base of six pet urns. And we just sat back and waited for those orders to come pouring in. And waited. And waited. And waited some more. And after months of the sporadic urn purchase here or there, we deemed it might be necessary to go back to the drawing board. In our search for knowledge we came across a trade show happening in Las Vegas that was centered around the funeral industry. Las Vegas, funeral directors, slot machines - what’s not fun about that combo? We booked our tickets, wrapped up a couple of urns and off we went. No laughing matter.
While in Vegas, we went from vendor to vendor and focused on one thing - asking questions? What were families looking for? What was the funeral industry not providing? How personal were the services they offered? While there, we were approached by a vendor about a product she called cremation jewelry. Okay, ‘This is Different’ was our initial thought. But we took a gamble and sat down and talked with the vendor extensively and by the end of the trade show, our passion for cremation jewelry and what it could provide families had us excited and driven to make things happen. This was it. We could make this work and really, truly make a difference. How little did we know…
When we got back we went all cylinders ahead. Invested money in researching website design so that our site would be not only appealing to our customers but functional, easy to use. New products were uploaded to the site and new products were researched and designed. We eventually had to hire a few more employees (everyone this is Mom. Mom, this is EVERYONE) to help with answering phones, processing orders, providing customer service to our that was genuine and compassionate. And we never looked back. We’ve extended our offices, doubled our employees and sent our urns and our jewelry to over 30,000 families and made a difference by giving them a way to remember parents, children, good friends and family pets. And it has been amazing. And humbling. And we are just getting started.
What we do.
Want to know what you can expect from us? It’s easy really. That part of our business model hasn’t changed from the inception of our dream.
- Integrity. If you can’t believe in our word, our products and what we stand for, than what do we have as a company? As individuals? Our integrity and our honesty are our most important assets and we extend them to every person that calls, emails, orders, chats. We don’t aim to give you our best - we give you our word that we will give you our best. Our best quality of product and our best customer service - every single time. There is no sales pitch because at the end of the day, we want you to be happy with what you’ve chosen.
- Compassion. We are you. We have lost grandmothers, sons, nephews, good friends, parents. Beloved pets. Our hearts have been broken, we haven’t known where to begin, how to move forward, overwhelmed with decisions that no family member ever wants to make. We’ve lived it. We will do all we can to answer every question, never hurry you off the phone, be patient and kind. Always.
- And, hopefully, Comfort. At the end of the day, we hope to bring you some comfort. Some peace. A little reminder of those moments you shared that took your breath away, the magic memories that make up the dash between birth and death.
So that’s our story. Some great moments and some epic fails but, for us, perfect in its imperfections.