Well Urned, The Birth of a Small Business, with Steve Kinch

A higher end one-of-kind urn, crafted by Steve Kinch

Kamloops man, Steve Kinch, has been busy this past two years starting his own unique business.  The idea for the business was in his mind for a decade before he got serious about the venture.  He is now making hand crafted urns out of a showroom that is attached to 7-Point Millworks.

With a background in carpentry and years of experience building cabinets, designing and creating comes naturally to Steve.  But how did he end up making urns of all things?  And how did he come up with his business name?

“I made the first urn by the request of a co-worker 12 years ago. I instantly found satisfaction with being able to be creative while helping someone at the same time, while they were hurting inside. We both loved the result.

That got me thinking about how my skills match this perfectly as a business. 10 years passed with that in the back of my mind. Two years ago I decided I’m not going to wonder ‘what if’ anymore. I started to do my research. I quickly realized that the choices for urns was very limited, very expensive, and mostly imported from overseas.

I feel very strongly about supporting local small businesses and felt I may have found my niche. I needed to think about a name for such a business. One night, just watching television with supper, it hit me like a brick wall: ‘Well Urned’. It was perfect on so many levels.

The following morning I forgot the name….for the entire day!  I decided to recreate the previous night and it worked!”

Steve’s level of craftsmanship is evident in the curved staircase at the Kelowna Yacht Club where he played a key role in the building of it.

In 2018, Steve auditioned for Dragons Den, a reproduction of the first urn tucked under his arm. He was never expecting to make it on the show, rather, he was seeking feedback after keeping his idea a secret for so long. The response was easily good enough to encourage him to press on. 

He still had many steps to take before becoming a small business.  And he had yet to secure a work space that would accommodate such hands-on work.

“It was around this time I decided I should trademark the name. It’s not a simple process but can add a lot to the value to a business. I started reaching out to the people in the funeral services profession while taking every business class or seminar I could find during the evenings.

Next was the big step to get tangible feedback from the BCFSA’s Annual Convention this past April. It was by far my biggest expense yet. I rented an exhibition booth and stayed at the Delta Grand. The response kept the wagon rolling. Money was getting tight.

I was confident that I had done my due diligence from the business side of things but hadn’t yet secured a workspace. Then I saw an amazing opportunity. The chance to rent what was the old showroom of the same cabinet shop I work for.  It allowed me to scale up the business more controllably.

I was short on two things, time and money, so I sold my rental unit. This freed up some cash and eliminated the time it was taking being a landlord.

Then I renovated the showroom, my new space, and saved a ton of money by doing all the renos myself. Just days ago I finally received the final approval notice of my trademark application which means I legally own the name in Canada. I never thought I would own two words of the English language!”

While Steve is maintaining a full time job, in the back of his mind he is constantly thinking of new designs using cutting edge materials and finishes. He wants families to have a good experience and beautiful, personalized options when faced with such difficult life events.  He wants to help make the process better.

Urn for pets, made of bamboo, by Steve Kinch

“It’s been a two year process to get to this point but my instincts have proven themselves to always be listened to in every facet of life. It’s been an incredible ride starting my own business, and whatever happens next, I’ll never have to wonder….What If?”  

For more information, you can go to Steve’s website at wellurned.ca

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