Tracey Wallace, Head of Brand Marketing for Eterneva, talks with us about how MoonClerk has played a part in the company’s unique business model.
Can you tell us a little about what Eterneva does?
Eterneva celebrates remarkable people and pets by turning their ashes into diamonds, through a storytelling journey as special as the loved one and diamond itself.
To do that, we craft soulful remembrances with loved ones’ stories and memories at the center of everything. Our goal is to keep their legacies alive both through their stories and the diamond. The diamond itself is personalized–color, cut and setting–and filled with meaning by remembering the memories it symbolizes.
It’s an intricate eight-month process to create these soulful remembrances. What we’ve learned is that the journey is just as important as the diamond itself. Over the eight months. we work with our customers to help them feel as special as the diamonds themselves. From interactive video packaging to hand-written letters, to a courier service that hand-delivers the diamond, customers experience a level of thoughtfulness they’ve never seen before, which brings brightness to their grieving.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
As the Head of Brand Marketing, my goal is to cultivate relationships with experts in the space, build a tribe, educate audiences on what we do and more importantly, why we do it, and ultimately build trust with the world, letting them know this is a memorial option worth considering.
That means I’m writing often, hopping in front of cameras, talking to customers, and more. I have a holistic vision of the Eterneva brand. A memorial diamond isn’t for everyone, after all. It’s to remember and eternalize the most remarkable connections in your life. But, we have options for a memorial that fits your relationship to the person, and something that helps you through the grieving process– that’s the goal. This industry hasn’t seen disruption or really any change for nearly 100 years. It’s about time people have more options. Everyone will experience this in one way or another. We are here to help people learn from our customers who have gone through it, and to educate others on how to help friends and family members going through a difficult time.
We want to reshape the conversations around death, dying, and grief – removing the stigma and bringing light and love to the hard conversations and experiences.
How did Eterneva get started?
Three years ago, our co-founder Adelle’s close friend and business mentor, Tracey, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A month later, she had passed. Because Adelle and Tracey were so close, Tracey’s family gave Adelle some of her ashes. Adelle, like so many of us, immediately went to Google, searching for what she could do with the ashes, something that felt like it memorialized Tracey and their relationship in the way that felt right to Adelle.
She stumbled across the ashes to diamonds process,and knew immediately that was it. Tracey was a diamond after all – and Adelle and her often compared their business mentorship to Tracey pushing Adelle down a black diamond (a Ski Slope example), teaching her the hard way – but the most effective way – how to get up on her own two feet.
The problem, though, was that most of the companies turning ashes into diamonds talked about the entire thing very scientifically. There was little to no emotion in it. Plus, those companies were based overseas – in Russia or Eastern Europe. Adelle didn’t feel comfortable sending Tracey’s ashes to them.
So, she figured this was Tracey pushing her down another black diamond, encouraging her to figure out this process and the supply chain, and to build a better company and experience for others.
And she did! Adelle was our first customer. Tracey our first diamond.
What have been some key factors in your organization’s growth?
We often work with people in their darkest moments, and one of our biggest challenges is just getting people to know this is an option. We’ve been bootstrapped up until summer 2019 (when we raised $1.2M from local entrepreneurs who believe deeply in our cause), so we knew we had to do a couple things:
- We launched Google PPC ads so that folks searching for what to do with ashes, like Adelle did, knew this was an option.
- We started going to events! We knew we needed to get in front of people, and have face-to-face conversations. Death isn’t an easy topic. It’s made easier when you can build relationships through empathy, vulnerability, and honesty.
- Once we started getting customers in, we made sure that they had the absolute best experience. Most of our customers tell us that we are now like family! Just check out some of our Eterneva reviews! And they also want to share the story, and the story of their loved one’s life. So, we’ve invested heavily in video – to bring people along the entire diamond growth journey, as well as to show people on Facebook and Instagram the beautiful, emotional impact this memorial diamond has.
What do you use MoonClerk for?
We use MoonClerk for our payments. Our memorial diamonds begin at $2,500, and we’re working with people at one of their most vulnerable times in life.
So, we needed a payment system that could handle large amounts, that was incredibly trust-worthy and secure, and that was easy to use for our customers. We don’t want to make anything harder on them than things already are!
What problems did you have with your previous payment system?
We searched long and hard for a system that hit those requirements, and we’ve been very happy with MoonClerk. We started up only three years ago – and at first, people would just mail us checks. This is a lot more secure, and easy, for everyone involved!
What made you finally decide to use MoonClerk?
The security, ease-of-use, and convenience of MoonClerk’s platform was why we ultimately decided to go with them. And, the ability to process large payment amounts – or offer payment plans if absolutely necessary for our customers – was amazing. Every single customer of ours is different, just like every single grief journey is different. We needed a payment solution that could be flexible and personalized for each unique situation.
What was your experience when getting started with MoonClerk?
Our entire team uses MoonClerk, as well as all of our customers. It’s incredibly easy! We have a small, but nimble team – from our co-founders to our sales folks to our operations folks. And as a startup, we rely on fast payment processing to keep things running. MoonClerk is incredibly easy to use, fast, and secure.