Return to Sender
Greg Holdsworth and his wife Leanne were in Paris when news came Leanne’s father had died.
What struck him after the dash back home was how the handles of the casket were warm.
“I found what I thought was metal was plastic, the wood had artificial grain and there was all this synthetic material inside. There was a mismatch in values between the coffin and the guy inside, who used to spend his weekends sanding down old wooden sailing boats.”
When he was completing a product design degree at Unitec several years later that memory came back, and he designed a different sort of curved coffin. That led to orders, and business grew. As well as the original plyboard Artisan casket, Return to Sender makes a basic pine box caskets to compete with the MDF and plastic-handled models. It is also investigating cardboard.
“As more of the baby boomers start dying, people want more individuality in the way their funerals will be run,” he says.