Dying will never be the same again as a South Tyneside funeral director leaves grieving relatives all shook up – with an Elvis Presley coffin.
Christopher Sample is attempting to lift the secrecy and demystify the myths surrounding death and burials.
He recently set up a new funeral directors called Your Choice on Frederick Street at Laygate in South Shields.
And he is offering bespoke funerals which are unique and personal to his clients.
That means they can decorate coffins with images of their favourite musician or sports personality, of a favoured hobby or particular passion. Christopher, who works alongside wife Carly, offers a range of different packages from a motorcycle hearse, London bus, woodland burial, to standard traditional funerals.
He said: “Inside our office we display a range of different coffins from our Elvis Presley coffin, a decorated wicker coffin and a pink traditional one.
“The Elvis coffin has definitely become a talking point amongst the public and is showing them that not every funeral has to be same; they can make it as unique and personal to them as they want.”
And Christopher, who at just 23 is bringing a fresh approach to the funeral business, has taken on a new taboo – by publishing his prices in the window of his premises.
He said: “I have been working in the funeral industry since I was 16. It was always an ambition of mine to become a funeral director – even during school I chose to visit a funeral parlour when doing my work experience in Year 10.
“From that day I loved every minute of working in this industry and found a great sense of achievement knowing I was helping people in their time of need.
“Over the past couple of years I have noticed a large increase in the price of a funeral service and have asked the question – why are the prices rising so quick?
“I created Your Choice Funerals to bring the price of a funeral service back down to an affordable and fair price which has proven very popular amongst the public of South Tyneside.
“People are intrigued with funeral directors as death is still not talked about among the public.”