The first quote attributed to Titan Caskets co-founder and former Amazon employee, Josh Siegel, is about “disrupting” the industry of grief. It doesn’t get better from there, either. Courtesy of a write-up over the weekend from The Seattle Times, the new startup aims to be — their words, not ours — “the Warby Parker of caskets.”
“Funerals are changing. The generations that are now planning funerals, your Generation X and millennials, expect to make decisions online,” reasons Siegel.
While it’s true that us young whipper-snapper millennials (staring down our 40th birthdays) are accustomed to buying many a thing online, we do have our limits. Those limits? Well... probably discount caskets, now that we’re thinking about it. But what do we know? Business is allegedly booming for Titan Caskets, which claims to have quadrupled in size during 2021.
Handling physical, not emotional, logistics — Look, we all love a good bargain, and Titan Casket’s reportedly $700 to $2,500 price range sounds like a steal... but that really only gets you so far when it comes to the grieving process. We’d never tell you what to do with your earthly remains, or how loved ones should mourn, but one of the big draws to funeral homes is how they handle the immediate shock and despair that comes from death.
“Filling out forms online will deal with the disposition of the deceased. But it won’t address that human need,” Dutch Nies, treasurer for the National Funeral Directors Association, told The Seattle Times. While Siegel and Titan Caskets counter that their service ensures bereaved “don’t let an emotional loss turn into a financial loss,” it’s hard to feel a lot of human warmth and compassion whenever startup buzz phrases like “disrupt the industry” get used.
A casket? In this economy? — And yet, unfortunately, cheap(er) direct-to-consumer caskets will almost assuredly find a customer base these days. Budgets are being stretched extremely thin right now, and it’s easy to envision families relying on companies like Titan Caskets to help defray some of the exorbitant costs that often accompany funeral arrangements. It’s a weird time to be alive... or dead, now that we think about it.