Bryan Chandler

I’ve lured so many great writers to the blog (Kim Stacey, Don Shell, etc.) that I’ve added separate links for each of their growing collections.

If you look at the categories to the right (choosing a category helps you find other articles that have been assigned or “tagged” with a theme) you’ll see links for the following writers:

Kim Stacey, funeral home copywriter and owner of Marketing Funeral Services
Don Shell, Lifestory Network writer
Robin Richter, HR Expert and “Queen of the Scrappers
Bryan Chandler, owner of Chandler Funeral Home and Cremation Service
Candace Craw-Goldman
, photographer and owner of In Repose
Deidre Blair, event planner and owner of Final Reflections

 Of course, we’re still looking for a “few good writers” who want to share their insights.

So drop us a line or comment hear if you’ve got something to contribute, a product to share with our readers or an interesting story to relate.



Bryan Chandler, owner of Chandler Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Ohio, has been a long time reader of Final Embrace.  In fact, his kind words about our podcasts got me started on the interviews and other features you’ll find today on our Podcast Page.

Bryan runs one of the “new breed” of funeral homes.  Not content to simply offer the same funeral service to every client, Bryan is constantly learning new techniques and improving on old ones.

In his first contribution to the BE OUR GUEST series, Bryan shows us how to make inexpensive memorial candles.  As a value-added free gift to a client family, a memorial candle can generate other sales and impress other members of your community.

Bryan’s got even more coming our way.  Look for more “On A Shoestring” features and other great articles that detail his experiences in the industry.  He’s also started his own blog, Chandler’s Corner, where he’ll share even more with his readers by “offering simple advice for funeral directors.”

The video above is a commercial Bryan made for his local news media.  And while the copy (the words being spoken) is not revolutionary, the staging of the commercial is, as it shows real people in the funeral home doing real things.  Too often, pictures and video used to advertise funeral homes are filled with nothing but empty rooms and empty chairs.  But an empty chair cannot sell “we take care of people” or “our services celebrate a person’s life” because people have a hard time imaging items or people in an empty space.

I’m preparing a longer article about this strange funeral home phenomenon, but until then, notice how Bryan’s commercial skillfully shows the steps to plan a funeral and the amenities his firm offers.

Thanks for joining us, Bryan.  Your perspective is invaluable. 

Shoestring            candle1.jpg

If you’ve read a trade journal or visited a funeral convention lately you’ve probably seen Memorial Candles available at several price points. 

If you aren’t using these by now you should start today.  No, you should start yesterday! 

Several companies are offering these customizable candles.  Most cost around $12 to $40 a candle, but you’ll still have to do the customization.  And while the ones available commercially are nice quality and simple to use, I’m going to show you how to make your own on a Shoestring budget.

Purchase a case of candles from the Root Candle Company (ask to speak with Lorie).  These clear candles are special as they are thick walled so as not to melt the label we will use later. 

Next, purchase Avery Sticker Project Paper Labels from any office store or big box store.  All that’s left is your creativity use any program such as MS Word, MS Publisher or any of the other programs available.  I prefer The Print Shop 21 to create label for my funeral home.

I used to merge a background with the deceased picture in front but recently I have been just using photos of the deceased to create the entire label.  Once your creation is finished, print the label out on your color inkjet printer and attach to the candle. 

candle3.jpg  candle2.jpg

I also add a small clear mailing label to the back that has the funeral home name and address on it, in case anyone forgets where they purchased the candle and to encourage reorders. 

Typically I set the first free candle on the register stand and light it during visitation.  I sell extra candles to the family for $10 a piece. 

After all costs, the Shoestring budget candle costs less than half what some companies are charging and everything is done in house, which I like. If you have any questions or would like me to forward you some templates feel free to contact me. 



chandler.jpgBryan Chandler is the owner/operator of Chandler Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Caldwell, Ohio.  One of the “new breed” of funeral providers, Bryan serves up practical advice, gives away Shoestring Budget tips and offers simple advice for funeral directors on his blog at Chandler’s Corner.  Bryan can be reached at 740-732-1311.