Young entrepreneurs from Alkmaar make their mark on the funeral industry

NORTH NETHERLANDS – When Esther and Paul had to deal with losses in their personal environment, they came in contact with the range of memorabilia. They felt it rushed with a beautiful product to help them cope with the grief. But the proposed selection of memorabilia disappointed them. Together with Theo, they decided to take matters into their own hands and start a webshop for memorabilia and cozy gifts, called Gedenkwebshop. Their mission is on the one hand to offer the relatives a unique range and on the other hand to realize an online scene for artists and creatives.

Personal loss
“At that time, we missed the opportunity to see the selection of memorabilia online in addition to a physical catalog,” says Paul. Once they were online, they basically saw the same products from different vendors. “It felt to us like this industry was a bit behind in online development.” adds Theo. “We saw the potential and decided to change it with our own hands.”

An appropriate memory
Especially when you remember someone you care about and cherish the beautiful memories, a memorial item, such as an urn or an ashtray, plays an important role. It is often a considered purchase. “We notice that people are increasingly wanting to look online to see what the offer is for finding a suitable product.” “In addition, we regularly see that an urn does not get a prominent place in the house, but is a little tucked away.” “Possibly because of the recognizability of an urn and its relation to death.” “We may not want to confront others with it.” A shame, Esther thinks. “For us, this is where the opportunities lie in this market.” “Offering an urn that matches an interior can be seen and therefore contributes to the treatment of the loss.”

More than just urns
In addition to urns, Gedenkwebshop offers jewelry, memorial stones, funeral veils, funeral transport, funeral photography and cozy gifts. “Our range is growing and we are working hard to be able to offer relatives unique products and services.” Theo, Esther and Paul are all still working elsewhere because the webshop currently requires primarily investment. “As a start-up entrepreneur, you know that this phase is there and that it is often a matter of commitment, consistency and patience before you can earn a living with it.” “We really want to have a positive impact on this industry and support our vision and mission,” adds Esther.

Creating an online scene
“The more thoroughly you search, the more you will encounter a wealth of unique memorabilia. Made by artists and other creatives who work with great passion on beautiful products for the funeral industry. ” “Unfortunately, in many cases, their expertise is not found in search engines, and they do not place much emphasis on the marketing of their products.” “The result is that their products often remain invisible to relatives.” Esther explains that after several conversations with these creatives, they saw an opportunity for synergy. “With our webshop, we offer an online platform for their products so they can focus on designing and creating.” “That way, they do not have to invest energy, time and money in online marketing, and relatives can see a unique selection of memorabilia.”

Future developments
“We are constantly working to find our webshop, and we try to involve different artists and creatives in our concept.” “We think the synergy we create is important, and the ultimate result is that a lot of unique products are visible to relatives.”

“We do not have a physical store,” explains Theo. “Previously, one saw a business start with a physical location and then link a webshop to it”. “Today it also happens the other way around.” “Entrepreneurs who start a webshop and open a store after a while”. “We are open to this development, although we are now focusing on our webshop first”.

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