A very personal choice: customized caskets and urns

WICHITA — Nathan Smith wants to talk about his new store, but first he has a few questions.

"Are you ready?" he says of the new business at Towne West Square.

“Are you sure you're ready? Is Wichita ready?”

His business, 'Til We Meet Again, will sell custom caskets and urns.

"It's very specialized, very unique," Smith says. "You can personalize it however you want."

That could be with such things as a college-themed casket or one decorated with motorcycle memorabilia. There's a whole service-oriented line, such as for firemen and members of the military.

The business is a switch for Smith, who has been a sales-and-marketing consultant across the country for the last 16 years.

"I was tired of the travel and tired of relocating my family," he says.

He's long had the idea for this company.

"I drew my first custom casket in a meeting — a very boring meeting, obviously.

The funeral of a 13-year-old boy Smith knew gave him the inspiration.

"It really bothered me that a 13-year-old boy was in a casket that didn't represent him at all," Smith says. "Even the person doing the service made the statement that this does not represent this kid."

The custom-casket business has grown 700 percent since then, Smith says.

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