Personalizing caskets gives grieving families a different way to celebrate the life of someone who has died. For Trey Ganem, making these caskets is a dream come true. He uses his intuitive gift for sensing the spirit of the person and designing a casket that reflects each individual.
From a humble start in 2014 as a one-person shop in Edina, Texas, he now has a team of people helping create fantastic caskets as well as creative urns. His business has hand-crafted 172 caskets in the first seven months of 2015. He personally designed and created the music-themed casket for R&B/pop singer Percy Sledge, who died April 15, 2014.
Trey Ganem first started producing personalized caskets after mulling the idea over for years. Two months after starting the company, he introduced three sample models at the 2014 ICCFA convention and expo. There was a “Duck Dynasty” themed casket for a hunter, a cowhide-lined, painted burl wood-simulation model for a rancher or cowboy, and a flame-painted version, appealing to motorcycle enthusiasts.
At the 2015 NFDA, he displayed a New Orleans jazz-themed casket, with special paint that made the keys on the piano appear to blink. There were extensions as well – an ashtray with a cigarette stuck on the side edge, and part of a trumpet emerging from a painting of Louis Armstrong on the lid. A casket for a hunter featured a painting of a leaping deer with a full rack of antlers attached.
Cemeteries and mausoleums need not worry about the extensions causing a problem fitting into a crypt or vault. The extensions are attached with two-sided tape, easily removed after the funeral. The items can be given to the family as keepsakes.
He also showed two children’s caskets, one based on a superhero theme and another on the Thomas the Tank train story. His wife Michele said, “The casket helps people open up about the deceased. Trey gets in tune with the family about the deceased. He seems to know what color scheme to choose intuitively.”
During the NFDA convention, a four-year-old girl named Lilly Garcia was killed in a road rage incident in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The story made national news, and right away, Ganem contacted the girl’s family. He volunteered to make a beautiful casket for her burial, and gave it to the family. Ganem personally delivered the light blue casket, painted with clouds, rainbows and ponies, within the week. His generosity generated positive press coverage for his business, such as this KRQE-TV news story.
The company also introduced a variety of handmade wooden cremation urns in creative shapes. Especially popular at NFDA was the six pack for cremated remains. It was the idea of one of the guys who works for Ganem. The remains are placed inside each “can” by removing a panel on the bottom secured by two screws.
Here’s a video of Trey Ganem’s debut at the 2014 ICCFA convention. Find out more at his website, www.TreyGanemDesigns.com.