Happy Second Anniversary, Solace Cremation
After a year of planning, in April of 2019, two guys with an idea launched a company that has now served hundreds of families.
Motivated by design thinking and inspired to reimagine the funeral industry, Keith Crawford and David Odusanya launched Solace Cremation, joining with experts in business strategy and hiring an experienced funeral director and caring staff.
We asked our Solace staff for some of their favorite memories to serve as a reminder of where we’ve been as a startup, and where we are headed.
Lead funeral director Malisa Riceci says the early days were exciting, but quiet at first, “There was so much excitement in the beginning. The website and phones finally went live and for weeks it was like watching a pot boil, waiting for those first families to serve. Now, there are days where the phone doesn’t stop ringing. The excitement is still there, every day, knowing that what we built works and is really helping families.”
Care Team member Thaddeus Juscak says the “small world” phenomenon played out time and again, “A friend recommended me for the position at Solace. We’d known each other for more than 10 years. Last year, we helped the family of the uncle of a mutual friend. The mother of another of our mutual friends contacted us later, out of the blue.”
Jade Colley, another Care Team member, says the thanks of families is never expected, but always a generous gift, “It happens a lot, but it’s always amazing to me when families take the time to send us appreciation to let us know that we have helped during a difficult time. I’ve spoken with people who are thanking us through tears and I think that’s so kind and generous of them.”
Portland outreach director Linda Dahan feels thankful for the hospice connections she’s made, “they are the superheroes who helped my family through the deaths of our parents. Their hearts are big and I am honored to know so many.”
And on the lighter side, many of our staff remember the time someone called to ask if we could cremate a horse.
As we’ve grown, Solace has invested in carbon offsets, expanded our staff and we joined organizations encouraging open conversations about death, like the EOL collective in Seattle and EndWell in San Francisco, as well as hospice non-profits in the markets we serve.
We never would have imagined that we would be spending our whole second year in business in the lockdown caused by a pandemic, but it quickly became clear our services were more important than ever, especially because we were, by design, completely able to serve customers with no in-person contact needed.
But of all the many things we are proud of, our 5-star reviews are the most rewarding because they prove our idea that there was “a better way” was right, and that families indeed needed a new alternative that better suited their situations than the old model.
To the families we served: Thank you for trusting us. For our friends in the end-of-life space: We appreciate your friendship, collaboration and inspiration. For our employees: we literally could not have done this without you. To those who have watched us grow: Thank you for your interest and keep watching, we look forward to serving even more West Coast families later this year.