At the 2015 ICCFA expo in San Antonio, I saw numerous new casket and urn choices on display. Along with new players displaying their wares, long-established companies also offered fresh products. Here’s a quick run-down of new items your faithful correspondent discovered.
Aurora featured a new casket model called Homestead, made of poplar with a distressed wood finish. The look was inspired by an independent manufacturer who created caskets from old barn wood and couldn’t keep them in stock.
The company also offers a keepsake box with a matching distressed wood finish. The box allows family to hold on to items that might otherwise be buried with the deceased. Aurora also offers new personalization options for inside panels that can be tucked into the pleats of the lid or adhered onto the inner edges.
Cherokee Child Caskets
Even funeral directors have a hard time with caskets made for children. Mike Mims, President of Cherokee Caskets, has seen funeral directors at expos deliberately detour to another aisle to avoid passing by his booth. “I don’t take it personally,” Mims said. “Their job is much, much harder than ours.”
The 74-year-old company sells more than 10,000 variations of caskets sized for infants up to youngsters in their tweens. This year, Cherokee Caskets showed a new dual-colored brushed finish on steel.
“The death of a child is out of the natural order. Children deserve as nice a casket as adults, if not nicer,” Mims added. He and his wife know from their own experience, after they had a baby that was stillborn. www.CherokeeChildCaskets.com
Even eco-friendly burial products can be personalized. Darren Crouch, President of Passages International, showed how they can laser etch most of their products in-house, with names, dates, phrases, artwork and other personalized details.
The company also debuted a new six-sided wicker coffin and a memorial tree program.
“People at green shows keep asking me, ‘How do I turn myself into a tree?’” said Crouch.
Passages provides a certificate to the funeral home, which in turn gives the certificate to families who buy Passages caskets. The family sends the certificate to Passages, and in return receives an evergreen tree seedling appropriate to the climate zone in which they live. www.PassagesInternational.com
LifeArt Caskets added matching cremated remains keepsake boxes to their line of customizable recycled wood fiber caskets. Andy Brown, Director of Sales, shows a matching casket and ash container in a camouflage pattern – perfect for the hunter in your life!
LifeArt creates memorable, environmentally friendly caskets for cremation and burial. They offer an Online Casket Designer that allows families to be expressive and celebratory while designing an individualized casket. Their caskets are made of 97% recycled wood fibers that generate 60% fewer emissions in the cremation process than particleboard or timber caskets. www.LifeArt.com
Here are snapshots from other exhibitors at the 2015 ICCFA convention & expo:
Terrybear Urns & Memorials offered brass pouncing cat urns in four different colors. www.Terrybear.com
Life Chest introduced a prototype cigar and whiskey box to support all veteran groups through the Hometown Heroes program. It’s a limited edition box that includes spaces for challenge coins that are popular in the military. www.TheLifeChest.com
Albuquerque-based John Berger Hardwood Containers now offers to personalize urns with inlay or etching. www.JohnBerger.biz
R&S Designs makes memorial urns from stone and marble. This style is called Kingdom. www.RSMemorialProducts.com
Love Urns’ latest urn style is Blessing Birds, enamel on metal in a variety of sizes. www.LoveUrns.com
For more coverage of interesting new products at this year’s ICCFA expo, visit The Family Plot Blog’s Tools of the Trade category.