Pretty Rocks Made From Human Ashes? How This Founder Convinced “Incredibly Skeptical” Funeral Homes to Sell His Novel Service.

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Pretty Rocks Made From Human Ashes? How This Founder Convinced “Incredibly Skeptical” Funeral Homes to Sell His Novel Service.


The firm Parting Stone provides a novel provider: It turns the ashes of deceased humans and animals into rather tiny stones — savor river rocks. And when Justin Crowe primarily based Parting Stone in 2019, it gave the impact glaring who his first customers need to be. “Our examine showed that while 1.6 million American households prefer cremation through a funeral home every 365 days, there are already 75 million folks within the US living with pet and human ashes at home,” he says.

Courtesy of Parting Stone

In other phrases, Crowe planned to skip the effort of persuading funeral properties to present Parting Stone’s “solidified remains” as a replacement to ancient cremation. As an different, he’d sell his provider suddenly to those 75 million buyers with an urn within the basement.

But when the firm launched, issues didn’t fling as planned. Crowe had to step again and think again his scheme. In doing so, he realized that numbers aren’t the complete lot. Most incessantly sales hinge on something much less quantifiable: belief.

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Crowe isn’t the principle person to rework ashes into keepsakes. There are other corporations that place remains into objects savor jewellery or vinyl recordsdata. “But this stuff employ, savor, a teaspoon of ash,” he says. “There’s peaceable 10 cups left that fling within the closet.” Crowe, who has a graceful arts diploma in ceramics, wished to build something that extinct all of a person’s ashes, and regarded as if it could perchance per chance be made easiest from the ashes: a “chanced on product,” savor a stone. He got a grant to work with a ceramic submarine engineer and developed the Parting Stone notion.

When he launched in 2019, Crowe went all in on user sales — building a digital advertising group and investing in online commercials that targeted folks living at home with ashes. But to his alarm, early inform sales were scandalous. And to his shock, practically 100 funeral properties reached out and requested how they could well offer Parting Stone’s companies to their households.

That used to be an unexpected turn of occasions. “The industry is extremely skeptical of outsiders and slack to innovation,” Crowe explains. “As regards to 90 p.c of funeral properties are mother-and-pop outlets, many of them multigenerational.” And yet, there they were, asking for more knowledge. So Crowe scrambled to space them up with the tuition and advertising materials to open offering the provider. Quickly after, sales soared.

As it became out, the issues that made funeral properties slack to innovation — affinity for custom, and alarm of offending disaster- households by suggesting something newfangled —­ moreover made them essentially the most honest evangelists for Crowe’s provider. That mattered lots better than the 75 million folks which have ashes stashed at home.

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As soon as he realized his sales scheme used to be spoiled, Crowe path-corrected. He halted Parting Stone’s user-­targeted online commercials, redirected his advertising group’s focal point to funeral home sales calls, and produced point-of-sale retail displays for these areas. “I used to be spending most of my days on Zoom conducting sales conversation trainings for complete teams of funeral administrators,” he says. That helped him title danger functions he hadn’t regarded as sooner than, savor how funeral properties produce wholesale orders. Parting Stone rapidly built a wholesale again reside into its user-focused web pages.

Two years in, the shift is paying dividends. “Extra than 80,000 households per 365 days look solidified remains in funeral properties now,” Crowe says. “And we’re finding that as our provider through funeral properties grows, our inform-to-user sales are continuously rising. They’re taking on a lifetime of their very hang.”

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