BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bladen County man is trying to put a smile on the faces of grieving families.
He started his own business making custom caskets for people from New Jersey to Alabama.
Fletcher Collins says he has made nearly 100 custom caskets for people of all ages.
This one that he delivered Wednesday is one of those extra special projects it’s going to a little boy.
“We know we cannot take the pain away from a family,” Collins said. “But it is our God given gift and our desire to help share it.”
It’s not something you would expect to find joy in.
Collins grew up loving to paint, but that was not exciting enough for him.
“I don’t like traditional things,” he said. “I don’t like normal.”
That’s when Collins told his dad about a dream he had. It took things to a whole new level.
“I said I wanted to start designing caskets,” Collins said. “He said, ‘Fletcher, you come up with some of the wildest ideas, but I know you’ll be good at it.’ Six months later, he was my first customer.”
Six years later, Collins and his team at Glorious Custom Designs have made almost 100 custom caskets.
“A plain casket, it does not characterize the beloved,” he said. “It doesn’t leave that warm impact when you’re sitting there at a funeral, saddened. So we wanted to do something different that would help bring back good memories.”
Collins makes each casket from scratch, then hand-delivers them to families all over the country.
This one is for a six-year-old Alabama boy who drowned last week.
“He said his son loved ‘Paw Patrol,’ and Chase was his favorite character of the Paw Patrol.”
Collins crafted a casket into a “Paw Patrol” boat, all in less than 24 hours.
He says the work is nothing compared to the joy he can bring families in their darkest times.
“It’s more than a blessing,” he said. “It’s more than an honor. I find it greatly amazing for God to have chosen me and to allow me to have the gift that he gave me, and to give this back.”
Collins says he talks with each family to figure out exactly what they want for their loved one.
To get in touch with Collins, you can search his Facebook page, Glorious Custom Designs. You can also give him a call at (910)-872-3451.