Archive for the ‘wonderful world’ category
Tuesday 19th October 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, 16 comments
Looking back to April 2006 when I set up Sentiment Ltd, we were the only UK company on the web that was related to funeral event planning and tribute video production. At the time, Sentiment was being run from the website sentiment-farewells.co.uk with the business model of being funeral event planners and offering memorial video tributes and photo slide-shows.
To get any financial backing, we needed proof that there was a market, this meant researching other companies that offered the same service. In 2005 and 2006 there was nothing out there. The closest I could get was a company called Lights Enterprises in the USA.
In the UK there were some great funeral related businesses – Green Fuse (who back then, were celebrants offering training from a flower shop website). There was also a website offering online obituaries and of course there was the then fast growing Colourful Coffins and the trusty Natural Death Centre and its affiliates of radical funeral directors, woodland burial sites and Eco coffin manufacturers. The NDC was and still is very successful in promoting the green funeral movement as was Judith Pigeon who was at the time developing a network of holistic funeral and farewell affiliates.
I researched Lights Out and was excited to see that I wasn’t the only crazy person in the world trying to make my way in what was essentially a ‘non-existent market’. I contacted Lynn of Lights Out and we had some good chats on email. She had done so well to get where she had. She was a real inspiration, something that kept me on the path of trying to kick holes out of the brick wall that is the UK’s funeral industry.
The past 4 years has been amazing, watching the change unfolding on the Internet today, seeing a growth of fantastic and inspirational memorial and funeral planning options and the media interest.
The idea of changing funerals was certainly not original to Sentiment or to all the other companies that have surfaced and set up over the past few years – It’s a natural progression, a natural change, a shift in attitudes that has created a demand. If anyone has ever read ‘The Tipping Point‘ you will understand that Gladwell defines a tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” The book seeks to explain and describe the “mysterious” sociological changes that mark everyday life. As Gladwell states, “Ideas and products and messages and behaviours spread like viruses do.“
I have found myself amongst very good company of some great ‘Farewell Innovators’ – The Fantastic Funeral Company, Phoenix Diamonds, Much Loved, The Good Funeral Guide, Colourful Coffins, Volkswagen Funerals, funeral celebrants, My Last Song, The Natural Death Centre, Heavens Above Fireworks and OneLife Ceremonies to name a few (sorry if I’ve forgotten you on here, feel free to reply to the blog and give me a cyber slap for forgetting you!)
There is now an abundance of resources available to the consumer there are so many new products available that there are books and even websites showing you just a handful of the products out on the market today such as Funeral Inspirations who have a clean website offering a choice of products. The Transitus Resource List have a PDF full of their network of funeral innovators, and then there is The Good Funeral Guide which offers not just a blog and websites full of information and advice and help but also a book too!!!
So signing off today, I’d like to say a huge congratulations to everyone who has taken the plunge and set up unique business in the farewell, funeral and memorial industry (both in the UK and to those of you in the USA) You are all the reason why this industry is now at a very positive Tipping Point.
Wednesday 7th July 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, 2 comments
So I’m back down to earth and getting into the groove of juggling business, baby, family and everything else that we call ‘life!
Sentiment was busy while I was away, with funerals being filmed and memorial photo sideshows being edited to a superb standard. Also the Sentiment-Productions division was busy with show reels, wedding edits, birthday gifts and memory books. So I would like this opportunity to say thank you my team for holding the fort while I was away and thank you to those clients and well wishers for the cards, flowers and gifts.
So I’m back down to earth and in true tradition have a Spotify Play List to go with my ramblings!
With all thats being going on I think about how Lucky I am, some of you maybe aware that we actually thought we had lost Arabella when she was born, had it not been for something guiding us to being checked out by a midwife a few hours before I went into labour both myself and Arabella may well have died.
Awareness of death gives us a greater appreciation of living today and empathy for those who are suffering and struggling with their own grief and loss.
If you only really have trivial problems in life – smile and pivot those negative feelings and see the wonderful gift of life – for its it very very short and ever so precious.
here is my own personal ‘Celebration of Life play list‘ I listen to it a lot, it keeps me grateful.’
Tuesday 29th June 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, 10 comments
We took a couple of weeks off from work after Arabella was born and headed to Glastonbury festival with my husband Harry, daughter Constance Avalon, and our new born baby daughter Arabella Leah. (not forgetting our 20 odd friends and my dad!) ‘mad’ most people called us, especially because I’d had a c-section 5 days before, but for me it was a chance to relax with my family, for Connie it was time to dance, have fun and be free, for my husband it was a chance to unwind and have a few beers with his friends and for baby Arabella, well a chance to feel the energy of the life we love .
We were featured on the orange Blog and on channel 5 as Arabella was the youngest festival goer at glastonbury (untill Saturday that is!!!) Another crazy mum came back on site after having her baby (Ruben) who was 2 days old… lets hope we see littel Ruben in the NCT tent in the Kidz field next year and meet his fab folks
We went to Arabellas Bridge, after all Arabella is named after the famous Arabella Churchill . We also took Connies ‘anual’ photo at the Avalon field (her middle name is Avalon after the Glastonbury fields of Avalon – Yes we love glasto that much that we name our kids after the fields!!! Next child is due to be called Arcadia or maybe Trash City !!!! :O)
The whole 5 days Arabella never cried, she just took it all in, slept and fed… she just seemed to kick back and enjoyed the energy of the best festival in the world.
I was well looked after by the Radical Midwives in the Healing fields, who would check my scar and check Arabella over. On our walks though the Greenfields I was always give a stern warning from Liz (The Greenfields co-ordinator) to take care and not walk too far :O)
The sun was hot hot hot hot, so we would have to get up early to ensure we found shade for the midday sun, this meant we had to miss a few bands, but it also meant we had no other option other than have time to relax (which was great for me after my operation) so we spent a few days in the Greenfields under the shade watching the world go by, chatting and hanging out with our friends, people watching, eating wonderful fresh organic food and drinking healthy smoothies and consuming a fair amount of ice-cream!!!