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  • This is my mom, and the diamond was made from her ashes.

  • This is a story about a radical death care company called Eterneva.

  • With backing from Mark Cuban, Eterneva is turning people's lost loved ones into diamonds.

  • Wow! Welcome home, honey.

  • The way people react when they hear about this,

  • it was either like, "This is the most amazing and incredible idea I've ever heard," or like, "I don't know, this is kind of weird."

  • They believe that America's cultural response to loss is broken, leaving people without rituals to help them heal.

  • Grief is an experience we're all gonna go through; it's one of the most shared human experiences there is.

  • And yet, it's governed by just tradition and obligation.

  • That's doing more harm than good.

  • And so, we have to overcome every obstacle because the cost of our mission not being seen out is too high.

  • There's a slight lag.

  • If I step on you at all, I apologize.

  • I'm not trying to cut you off; there's just a little bit of a lag.

  • I'm literally fundraising right now, and all VCs do is cut you off, so, I'm very used to it.

  • This is one of our machines.

  • This one is under pressure.

  • So, we are currently actively growing a diamond right now.

  • At these stations...

  • Adelle Archer is the co-founder and CEO of Eterneva, and she's on a mission to transform the way that we grieve.

  • After completing her MBA, Adelle got the idea for Eterneva in 2015 after losing her good friend and mentor, Tracey.

  • When Tracey passed, she actually had her ashes split between three of us.

  • And she was just like, "Hey, you know, go do something meaningful that you think both of us would really like."

  • So, we started doing a ton of research.

  • Everything felt really, like, trinkety and cheap and transactional.

  • And, you know, nothing, kind of, really spoke to me.

  • But then, Adelle had a conversation with a diamond scientist.

  • And he's like, "Well, if we can get the carbon out of Tracey's ashes, like, I think we could grow you a diamond."

  • And, I mean, as soon as he said it, I was like, "This is the idea. This is the thing that I'm... I'm meant to work on."

  • She was the first diamond that we ever made.

  • Um... this is her black diamond.

  • I wear it every single day.

  • I am so excited to introduce y'all to Peggy.

  • We are growing two beautiful diamonds, one for her daughter, Laurie, and another for her grandson, Alex.

  • Yay, Peggy!

  • Any time you start a company, it's like a huge rollercoaster.

  • One of the challenging things about starting Eterneva was just, like, it was so unknown in so many different ways.

  • I mean, like, what we do has so much pressure, you know?

  • Like, we're handling someone's most valuable possession, basically.

  • And you have this incredibly difficult thing to do, which is growing a diamond from carbon.

  • In the beginning when we started, this was a crazy supply chain to set up.

  • A lot of these scientists don't even exist in the United States.

  • You know, we were hunting down scientists internationally.

  • You know, flying to Europe, convincing them to get coffee with me, and having to learn how to negotiate in completely different business cultures.

  • A lot of this technology actually came out of Russia.

  • So, dealing with Russian business cultureit's so different than the United States.

  • Honestly, that was kind of my first encounter with a... a bit of misogyny.

  • Gosh, I learned a lot.

  • But, Lord, the lows can be excruciating.

  • We've had moments where our entire supply chain went away.

  • They basically were like, "Good luck."

  • And then in 2019, Eterneva caught a big break.

  • A 600,000-dollar deal with Mark Cuban.

  • Going on "Shark Tank", I mean, that was a moment.

  • We were the first death care company ever to go on "Shark Tank".

  • That was really a turning point, too, in how people started seeing this.

  • They're like, "Oh, wow! What if diamonds become the new urn?"

  • Eterneva commissioned grief research from Baylor University to investigate the diamond's impact on the recipients' mourning experience.

  • This is like John coming home.

  • John coming home.

  • Early reports suggest that Eterneva's months-long diamond-making process supports the vast majority of participants through their grief journey.

  • You know, going into this, we thought that this was all about the diamond.

  • But what we ended up finding was, every time we shared an update with the family, we would just get these unbelievable responses.

  • I wanted something that... when I had her diamond and people would ask me,

  • "That's so beautiful; where'd you get it?"

  • And I can say,

  • "This is my daughter. And this is how beautiful she really was."

  • Some of the biggest problems that we have are things that we don't talk about that much.

  • Death and grief is one of those.

  • That's what I think that we at Eterneva can make a mark on this planet is by helping remove that stigma.

  • And I can tell you that your dad would be so proud of who you are.

  • And for that reason, we would love to grow his diamond for you.

  • Hey, Cecilia, this is Garrett.

  • This is going to be the starting point to create your beautiful diamond of Cali.

  • We have Cali's diamond.

  • We are going to grade and certify her diamond.

  • It's really beautiful; thank you so much.

  • A lot of death care has been transactional, right?

  • You buy a coffin, you have a funeral, and then we're done.

  • And that's not how grief works.

  • The death care industry used to be funeral homes, burials, and later, cremations.

  • In 2021, human composting, biodegradable coffins, trips to space.

  • These are just some of the growing number of alternative options better suited to individual values.

  • I think what resonates with a lot of people about the diamond is you have that physical anchor to your loved one.

  • This is the most precious thing I own.

  • One of the things that I realized was that I really find a lot of purpose in helping somebody through a hard time and helping them find some brightness in it.

  • Eterneva's mission is, you know, really to challenge culture and to shift people's perceptions of grief and loss.

  • There's this window of time that they're forming meaning around what just happened.

  • And if you can meet them in that window and you can help shape the messages that they tell themselves...

  • ... you can go and change the world.

This is my mom, and the diamond was made from her ashes.

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B1 US diamond grief growing death peggy cali

The startup turning human ashes into diamonds | Challengers by Freethink

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    natsuki posted on 2022/08/25
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