LifeArt Is First Company To Go Global With Printed Caskets
Having spent the majority of his working life as a bricklayer, Desy Stevenson recently took a leap of faith to start a new business to die for.
Since January, Desy, a father of six from Scarva, has been carving out a living selling ecologically friendly coffins, and just recently he’s branched out into ground-breaking printed coffins.
He said, “I’m a bricklayer by trade. The recession hit and work was hard to come by. One of the last jobs I was working on was an extension at a coffin factory. They never stopped. It was like a conveyor belt. I thought to myself, ‘I wonder can I get involved in something like that, but a bit different’.”
He continued, “Instead of MDF we’ve got environmentally friendly coffins. It began with willow coffins but now I’m the LifeArt rep for Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland.”
The Australian company LifeArt manufacture coffins from EnViroboard, made from recycled, sustainable materials, which in turn allows the second unique aspect of the business to flourish.
Desy explained, “It’s unique in that people are able to design their own coffin from the comfort of their home. They send us the design and we print it on the coffin. We’ve also got designs of our own to choose from.
“For example it could be a favourite sports team. We were doing a exhibition at a retirement home and one woman told me she wanted Elvis on her coffin. Her husband wanted a lone piper.”
Desy said as well as family members designing coffins for loved ones, people regularly designed their own coffins.
He said it was possible for a person to design and buy their own coffin in advance of their death and then carry a card, like a donor card, to inform people after their death that their coffin was being held in storage by Desy.
He also pointed out that a funeral director could not object to someone being buried in their own coffin rather than one purchased through the same funeral home.
CEO of LifeArt Mike Grehan said, “We were the first company to go global with printed coffins. A few companies are trying to imitate us but we’ve spent millions on the technologies so no one has been able to match us.”
Desy said, “A coffin is a person’s final resting place and therefore choosing the right coffin is very important.”
While they may not be to everyone’s taste Desy and Mike explained their aim is to give people a wider choice, while at the same time promoting a more eco-friendly option.