AMISH CARPENTRY SKILLS ARE LEGENDARY. FROM BARNS TO FURNITURE, FINE CABINATES TO HARDWOOD FLOORS, THE AMISH CAN BUILD JUST ABOUT ANYTHING YOU MIGHT NEED IN LIFE. BUT AN AMISH FRIEND OF OURS HAS MADE A NICHE FOR HIMSELF EQUIPING FOLKS FOR THE AFTERLIFE.
Kevin: A lot of people look at an Amish businessman and have preconceived ideas. You should not do that with Joe Schmucker.
MEET JOE SCHMUCKER, MAKER OF FINE HANDCRAFTED HARDWOOD COFFINS.
Joe: We’ve shipped caskets to California, Colorado, Utah, a lot of states.
THE AMISH BURY THEIR OWN IN PLAIN PINE COFFINS BUT AT GRABILL CASKETS JOE SCHMUCKER TAKES THE FINEST HARDWOODS AND SCULPTS THEM INTO THINGS OF BEAUTY…THIS IS HIS ALL CEDAR MODEL. SCHMUCKER DOES MAKE A PLAIN COFFIN, LINED WITH DENIM NOT SILK FOR NO FRILLS FOLKS. BUT MOST OF HIS CASKETS ARE WORKS OF ART. AND THEY SELL FOR ABOUT 13-HUNDRED BUCKS, ONE THIRD THE COST OF A VENEER CASKET. THE IDEA FOR THE BUSINESS CAME TO JOE ONE NIGHT A FEW YEARS AGO..
Joe: Had a dream that night it was life or death I’m gonna make it. In the morning I got up and I asked her what do you think about building caskets? What’d she think? Oh she thought I was crazy.
ONE OF JOES BEST MOVES WAS HIRING KEVIN MCDONALD AS HIS SALESMAN, WHOSE FIRST JOB WAS TO DESIGN A COMPANY WEBSITE, WISEBUYCASKETS. COM.
Kevin: A lot of people don’t expect an Amish operation to have a really nice website and that’s been a good twist for us.
GRABILL CASKETS IS A FAMILY BUSINESS, JOE’S SON ASSEMBLES HARDWARE, DAUGHTER MARTHA DOES THE FINISH WORK. AND FATHER JOE DOES THE REST..AND CONTINUES TO DREAM.
Joe: Where’d you like this business to be five years from now ten years from now, where do you see it? Well I’d like to be big enough to where I could sell it and retire and spend some time with my kids.
ERIC OLSON REPORTING OUT IN YOUR COUNTRY.
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