I’ve been an entrepreneur and have started some businesses outside of the death care realm. I think one of the things that happens to every entrepreneur who starts a business that is new and unique is that they open their doors for business and then wonder if anybody will purchase their goods and/or services. No matter how many times you have started a business. . . .I think that exact moment you are open for business is somewhat nerve wracking.
I’ve been there. . . and I know the feeling.
My favorite story goes back to 1964 when a mentor of mine who was a machine designer decided to open his own one-man business. He got everything ready, his shop set up and set out on a Monday morning to be ready to “open for business”. He opened the door and then thought, “What do I do if I get a customer?” He immediately ran and locked the door.
Well, he eventually opened the door and that business has grown into one of the main employers in my hometown. . . employing 690 people today. And, according to this history, you can see over 12,000 of the company’s automated packaging machines in over 30 countries world-wide. A true small town success story from one man’s dream and drive.
Those of us in the death care business have followed Katrina Spade and her relentless journey and drive to bring natural organic reduction/recomposition, or as some would say – human composting, to a consumer death care option. I’ve never met Ms. Spade, and recomposition may not be my choice. . . but, you have to admire this lady for her relentless drive to move her dream to reality.
This recent article from the Seattle Times gives us an update on the business, named Recompose, that she not only had to prove the science of, changed a state’s disposition law to allow, and had to raise, what the article suggests is $6.75 million to get her business off the ground.
That’s a lot of work. . . .and I’ve seen start-ups stop with a single mountain top far smaller than the Mt. Everest challenges she has encountered.
In any regards, the article points out that her business opened with 10 “vessels” to receive remains for recomposition. That was in December 2020 when the first human remains were put in a vessel on December 20, 2020, and in mid-January 2021, according to the article, eight vessels were occupied with human remains.
According to the article, recomposition or natural organic reduction (NOR) takes 30 days to complete in the vessels and pricing is listed at $5,500 per body.
The Seattle Times article is a fascinating article not only on the entrepreneur spirit, but on what may someday be a very welcome niche for consumers and their options for human disposition. It is filled with pictures of her facility and some of the science behind the process as well as some consumers’ reasons for choosing such a disposition. If you are a death care professional, you should read this article.
Funeral Director Daily tips our hat to Katrina Spade. Recomposition still has much to to prove in its wide-spread acceptance to the consumer public. But, as an entrepreneur and start-up business artist, she has proved she has what it takes!!
More news from the world of Death Care:
- Lawmakers to bolster Native Hawaiian burial traditions with modern technology. Radio and print modes. Hawaii Public Radio
- VA gives timeline for Raleigh National Cemetery flooding repairs after dozens of veteran graves left underwater. Video story and print article. 11 ABC News – Raleigh (NC)
- Prior to arrest, Lake County coroner agreed to surrender funeral home registrations. Video story and print article. 9 NBC News – Denver
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