Startup Life in the Death Business
From the first day I met David Odusanya and Keith Crawford in a bustling coffeeshop, I knew working for a cremation startup was different. These guys were not the stodgy stereotype you might imagine with cold clammy hands and ill-fitting suits. They were young, athletic and bright-eyed, and of course they had cool sneakers (as one might expect from former Nike design executives).
“Could I start Monday?” they wanted to know. Everything was moving so much faster than my last corporate job where I interviewed three or four times over more than a month before being hired.
One thing this startup didn’t have was an ever-changing mission like some of the places I’d worked before. Solace has from the very beginning had a laser-focus on serving families and we have the Google 5-star ratings to prove it.
At Solace, a lot of us have been through traditional death and funeral home experience and we think there’s a better way …
- A way that’s sensitive but not without humor, creativity and fresh ideas.
- A way that is digitally enabled and human-powered.
- A way that offers the simplicity and transparency of one price.
As a former journalist, I’m always curious about new ideas and interesting people. At Solace, there is no shortage of either. I found out you could have your ashes turned into diamonds or rocks or shot into space or into fireworks. Our compassionate staff comes from a wide variety of industries from child and health care to coffee and beer. In the end, I’ve come to realize that this startup is onto something, that it is really a business about living. It is a business where every family and every day is different.
Photo by Grace Young