A Staffordshire woman is setting herself up as the country’s first “funeral consultant”, offering tailored final days for people looking to go out in style.
Glorianna Langley-Finch, from Uttoxeter, decided to trade in her ten-year career as a funeral director after realising there was little out there for those wanting an unusual kind of exit.
Customers of her new business, Personal Wishes Funeral Services, can plan their own funerals, from service to burial or cremation to dispersal of ashes. And some of the more dramatic departure ideas Ms Langley-Finch has worked on range from people having their ashes made into a firework and sent into space or being floated in a paper boat downstream like the old Viking funerals.
She said: “Everyone deserves a funeral which leaves family and friends with happy memories rather than a feeling of emptiness,
“People need to think about this before it’s too late and try to get the send off they want. There are lots of options to make the funeral more personal, from releasing doves, butterflies or balloons to employing a lone piper or even creating a snow storm.
“We employ wedding planners to organise our wedding, travel consultants for our holidays, business coaches to help with our business and personal trainers to keep us fit, yet we don’t plan that final event in our lives because we choose to ignore it.”
She has already received orders for customised coffins including a cabin cruiser, football boot and one made from cardboard rather than the conventional oak.
Ms Langley-Finch turned to Business Link in the West Midlands for help, which she received by the spadeful.
Adviser Lorraine Neville said: “Glorianna is extremely good at marketing her services and all the promotional aspects but because she is doing this alone she was struggling to find the time to focus on the business she was actually promoting.
“I had several meetings with her where I set out a plan which started by addressing some financial difficulties she was experiencing as a result of all the marketing work she had done.
“We then looked at how she could generate more contacts within the existing supply chain and how she could break into the market. The small independent firms seemed more comfortable with her ideas, than the larger businesses, so we targeted those.”