Capsule Urn: Bringing sleek, modern design to the funeral industry

Vancouver entrepreneur Eric LaBrant

The idea incubated for years as Prastka and Chua fine-tuned and tested it. They entered mass production in 2010, and have been growing rapidly ever since.

“We wanted to focus on modern design and make it in America, right here in Vancouver, Washington,” said Prastka. “To make something attractive to modern consumers.”

And it appears they hit their mark. The company has won four major design awards in the last two years, including Gold at the 2013 Spark Design Awards and the 2012 International Design Excellence Award.

Capsule urns are sold through the company’s website, www.capsuleproject.com, as well as through distributors who work with funeral homes and crematoria.

“There are well-designed funeral industry products out there,” noted Prastka, “but they are obscure, start at several thousands of dollars and are mostly found in Europe. Capsule is widely available online in the United States and through distributors.

“We get traffic from all over the world,” he added. “Many people are finding us through social media and the Internet – Pinterest, for example, as well as through more traditional routes like trade shows.”

Making their products in America is also a key issue for Prastka and Chua.

“We want to employ people in the U.S., instead if in sweatshops overseas,” said Prastka. “It means more to our customers, means a lot to us and of course provides jobs here at home. We use American-made aluminum, American-made fasteners and the products are assembled in the U.S. It’s a part of our value proposition.”

Even with the additional regulations that make manufacturing in the U.S. more difficult, Capsule Urn has developed the ability to be nimble and respond quickly to customers’ needs.

“Using digital machining,” said Prastka, “we can scale up to make thousands of more popular items per week, or do very short runs for special customers.

“The industry is changing,” he added. “These are shifts that not everyone may agree with, but it is happening. And Capsule Urn is responding with modern alternatives.” 

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