Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Man Diversifies by Making Pet Caskets

Man Diversifies by Making Pet Caskets

An man is diversifying his wood products business by building caskets for family pets. Matthew Dow, who operates Dow's Wood Products, is making custom-built pet caskets and urns that he is marketing through animal shelters, pet stores and veterinary clinics.
Dow first began making the caskets a couple of years ago after talking to funeral directors, who told him that they could fill a void. An Albion family then hired him to make a casket after the family cat died.
"They didn't want to just throw the cat in a hole," Dow said. "They wanted something to put the cat into."
A year later, the family ordered another casket for their family dog.
Dow comes from a family of woodworkers and is carrying on in the family tradition _ but in ways his forebears would probably never have imagined. When Dow first mentioned his pet casket idea to others, they responded with amused skepticism.
Now he's trying to turn the venture into a viable enterprise.
He has a brochure in which he lists four casket sizes ranging in price from $95 to $395. The boxes are made of pine and are lined in satin, and customers can buy engraved brass plaques for an additional fee.
The biggest challenge is getting the word out.
"I had many people telling me I had a great product at a reasonable price, but I needed to advertise," he said.
One casket takes Dow about a day and a half to make, but he can produce up to six of the same size in three days once he has his tools calibrated to that model. For now, though, all his orders are custom-made.
"What I'd like to do is to be able to get up enough inventory so if somebody needs one today, it is right here," he said.