WICHITA — If a business person would like to do business with the Vatican, is it as easy as calling up and asking?
The day after Thanksgiving, Smith says he and Smith-Cone signed a deal with the Vatican for Vatican-licensed merchandise.
“We are the only source for retail for all Vatican caskets, urns and memorial products throughout the United States,” Smith says. “It’s been something we’ve been working on for quite some time.”
Another company used to have the exclusive license, he says.
“That company that was doing that fell on some hard times and bad management and are no longer in existence,” Smith says.
When he heard that, he says he called the Vatican to inquire about the license.
“Through a lot of negotiations and talks, we thought it brought a lot of value to have that license from the Vatican,” Smith says. “It’s going to be a pretty big license for us.”
The company is in the process of working with the Vatican and several manufacturers on developing lines for caskets, urns, grave markers, jewelry and keepsakes.