About Me ..... Advertise ..... Contact

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Making a Business from Creating Keepsakes of Cremated Remains

There was an interesting article in the LA Times recently about Nick Savage and Loren Dion, the now 28 year old founders of Memory Glass. The five year old business makes glass orbs and incorporates cremated remains into their art, for people to save as a remembrance of their loved one.
The idea for the business came about by Nick's dad, Craig, who, according to the article, "had treasured a glass keepsake containing a wisp of a friend's ashes, but Savage's attempts to have his grandfather's ashes memorialized by glass blowers had fallen prey to a series of mishaps.

When his son and Dion completed a remodel of the Savage family home, the elder Savage suggested the recent college grads next try their hand at making a business out of such glass memorials.

With a $20,000 first-year investment, he set the two up in his garage, charging them $700 a month for the space and a small office.

The new partners gave up on using outside glass blowers after a string of bad luck, including sudden increases in supplier prices and payment demands even for bad pieces.They found a glass-blowing cooperative willing to show them the ropes. They scrounged up a gas-burning furnace, paid for a 2,000-pound shipment of glass from Holland and set up shop.

After nearly burning down the garage "at least five times," Nick Savage said, the former computer-science major built an electric furnace to replace the dangerous "beast."

The small firm, which donates a glass pendant to any family who has lost a member to the Iraq war, last year moved into its current location, a former Army barracks in a warehouse area.

A trade show last October marked the beginning of a turnaround, Savage said. It was the fifth year the business exhibited -- long enough to help persuade the conservative funeral business attendees to take Memory Glass seriously.

Today, about 300 wholesale clients account for 80% of sales, including Forest Lawn Memorial Parks & Mortuaries in Glendale and Cathedral City, Coast Cities Cremation in Ventura and Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana, Savage said."


Mommy Meryl said...

Ok - a little out of my comfort zone for me personally; but what amazing business idea because it will appeal to so many people! Brilliant!!

Anonymous said...

You really do cover it all! Thanks for such interesting posts/business ideas.

t said...

Wow. Maybe after I am cremated I will try this. Still trying to decide if I want to be cremated though.