Making Death Affordable
Wednesday - May 13, 2009
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By Claus Hansen
Co-owner for Affordable Casket and Moanalua Mortuary
The death of a loved one is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. We’re here to help. Affordable Casket & Moanalua Mortuary strives to provide top-notch funeral services at rock-bottom prices. We can do this because we only make purchases directly from the manufacturing source. Think of us as the Costco of funerals.
I come to the funeral industry from an unlikely place: aviation. In the late 1990s I was helping a friend perform aerial ash scatterings from his small plane. From there, I gradually learned that funeral prices in Hawaii were - pardon the pun - sky high. I realized reasonably priced funeral merchandise and services would sell well on Oahu.
The subject of death was sensitive to me because I had not long ago buried my own father and knew what a complicated maze of emotions accompanies a death. Affordable Casket started in 1999 with the intent to help others in a vulnerable place in their lives. We do that not only by walking them through the process, but also by not gouging their wallets. The business was an instant success, and within a year we moved to a much bigger location, which also included our full-service discount mortuary.
We are the best-kept secret about Hawaii’s funeral industry. We compete with firms that have been here for decades and have much higher name recognition than we do. We counter that with no-nonsense pricing, fantastic customer service and word-of-mouth advertising among our customers and friends.
We are a small firm and can implement changes as needed.
Everyone works hard and takes pride in performing many different functions, so if one person is out, then another person can fill in, so the customer receives seamless service. Despite this multitasking ability, our staff is highly skilled in their individual areas of expertise.
We have nearly 60 years of combined industry experience and continuously strive to improve ourselves.
We help families when they need it most, both by giving them guaranteed best prices and by compassionately guiding families who need our help.
We consider this our way of helping the community, and as an extension of that, we sponsor cultural and ethnic events as our way of further giving back.
I work six days a week, but my day off I like to spend with my wife Diane and toddler Olivia. In addition to being with my lovely family, I manage my stress by training for triathlons and working toward a black belt in Japanese Jujitsu at Hawaii Zenyo Jujitsu Kai.
The beauty of my line of work is that it makes me appreciate life - and the importance of living mine.
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