“This one officially makes number four,” Traci Smith-Cone says of a new store in Westgate Mall in Amarillo.
Smith-Cone, who started the concept with Nathan Smith in 2010, says that mall is the only one in a 125-mile radius, and it’s in a great spot.
“Amarillo is often referred to as the crossroads of the United States,” she says.
Until now, the chain’s concept has been to specialize in custom caskets and urns, but memorial products are an increased focus of the business.
“Grief isn’t just a one-time event,” Smith-Cone says. “It is ongoing.”
They’ve found that items such as memorial bracelets and ornaments are popular. In Amarillo, that will be what occupies the store instead of caskets and urns, though those are still part of the business.
The new store is a corporate store, which all four of the chain’s stores are. That includes the store here and ones in Phoenix and New Orleans. The chain no longer franchises its concept.
For various reasons, a couple of other markets that the chain was in or had plans for either closed or didn’t happen.
Smith-Cone says she and Smith are going to proceed slowly with expansions.
“We want to do it right,” she says. “We want to get each one positioned to be successful.”