This is part of a new series of articles that looks at some of the most bizarre and niche business ideas we see here at Springwise.
When a loved one is cremated, it’s often the case that the ashes are respectfully scattered or kept in an urn. It’s also a common sight at military and state funerals to see a 21-gun salute to honor the dead. What’s more unusual is to load the ashes of loved ones into a firearm, as Alabama-based Holy Smoke is now enabling customers to do.
Developed by enforcement officers Thad Holmes and Clem Parnell, the service gives customers the option to make a prior arrangement for their own passing, or to hand over the remains of a relative or friend. After choosing the number, type and caliber of ammunition required, the company places the ashes inside cartridge shells and packages them in wooden boxes with an engraved name. The bullets can then be kept for ornamental use, fired at the funeral ceremony, or used for recreational pursuits such as hunting or clay pigeon shooting. According to the founders, the idea for the business came from a dinner party discussion:
“My friend smiled and said “You know I’ve thought about this for some time and I want to be cremated. Then I want my ashes put into some turkey load shotgun shells and have someone that knows how to turkey hunt use the shotgun shells with my ashes to shoot a turkey. That way I will rest in peace knowing that the last thing that one turkey will see is me, screaming at him at about 900 feet per second.”
Prices for the service differ according to each customer’s needs and the rounds are usually delivered within 48 hours after the ashes are received. While Holy Smoke is an unusual company with a highly niche service, Parnell told USA Today: “This is a reverent business. We take the utmost care in what we do and show the greatest respect for the remains.” Other entrepreneurs out there, are there other niche ways to help loved ones remain close to each other after death?
Spotted by R Steinberg, written by Springwise