Name: Jake Lomax
Course: Masters in International Development
The Everurn gives people the flexibility often needed during the early stages of bereavement. People can keep ashes in an attractive, natural, ceramic Everurn, which also allows for easy scattering if and when they decide to do so. After scattering, the Everurn may be used as a memorial planter, maintaining a lasting memorial to the one they've lost. This allows families to keep ashes for as long as they wish, scatter the ashes easily if and when they are ready, and create a living memorial – all within the same product.
What motivated you to set up this business?
More and more people are choosing cremation and bringing the ashes home, but 75% of them don't decide for at least a year what to do with the ashes. My grandfather's ashes were scattered after years sitting on top of the freezer in my parents' garage. There is a lot of ash, more than people think, and my father didn't want to create a large pile of ash. He thrust them into the air instead. As it was a windy day, some of the ash carried much further than he expected, down towards some people having a picnic.
Scattering is difficult, emotionally and practically. Commemoration rituals following cremation have not yet been properly established. I wanted to design a product that gave people flexibility in keeping or scatting ashes, and made it easy to scatter once that decision had been made.
What have the biggest challenges been setting up your own venture?
Becoming a self-taught product designer and creating a product with very little start-up capital has been a massive challenge. It has taken a year of prototyping and refining the concept into something that is feasible to launch on a small budget.
How did UEA Student Enterprise help you?
UEA Student Enterprise has provided invaluable support in training and guidance meetings with business advisers. They also helped with a 'try it' grant of £500 that really helped give some momentum to the project.
What are your dreams and aspirations for the business?
Above all I want Everurn to drive a change in the way people deal with ashes after cremation, to make the process much more personal and more meaningful.
What advice would you give other students and graduates looking to launch their own venture?
Talk to people about your ideas. Make something tangible (whether it's a product or service) and take it to market as soon as you can.