Willow and Green are one of the newest businesses to come to Ashford Town Centre. Located in the High Street, you're sure to spot it with it's stylish deco and inviting atmosphere.
We caught up with Peiter and Elle at Willow and Green to find out more about the family-run, funeral directors business.
Watch the video interview here
Tell us about Willow and Green and the wonderful team of staff you have.
We are fortunate to have a helpful team that brings different skills and experiences to the business. One thing we all share is a passion for people. It is a privilege to help families with the practicalities of funerals and also provide emotional support.
Pieter started his career in England as a gravedigger, but quickly moved on to work as Biomedical Scientist for the NHS. His passion for the community and the environment is where the dream started. As well as our traditional services, we have a focus on “green” alternatives. We also endeavour to strike a balance between mourning the loss and celebrating the life.
Both Christine and Elle have backgrounds in Psychology and it is their love for people that drives their desire to support people that are grieving. Our Bereavement Drop-in Mornings (first Thursday of the month) gives the community an opportunity to reminisce, laugh and journey together through the bereavement process.
What makes Willow and Green different from other Funeral Directors?
We have a passion for the environment, hence our tagline: ‘funerals that don’t cost the earth’. From woodland burials to biodegradable coffins and local flower farms, natural funerals are growing massively in popularity. We also want our branch and business to be run in an eco-friendly way, so we are keen to get involved with green initiatives in the community.
Funerals can be very expensive, so we see how important it is to make sure our pricing is transparent to help families make informed decisions. We work with a range of local charities, who do brilliant work in the community to help support bereaved people.
We love your interior design, it’s so welcoming and comfortable. What was your inspiration behind that and why did you decide to go that direction?
People often don’t know what to expect when they walk into a funeral home - we wanted to take away that mystery. We tried to create a warm and welcoming environment that helps people feel comfortable enough to have difficult conversations around death, dying and planning ahead.
Families are inviting us into our lives at a very vulnerable time and we wanted our branch to feel like we have opened up our home to them.
Why did you decide to set up your business here in Ashford? What is it you like about Ashford?
Ashford is a large town in Kent with a small town centre. There is so much potential!
Our decision was vindicated by the support we received from the council and other businesses in the town centre. It is a privilege to be part of this community.
What is one of your proudest achievements? It can be business or personal!
Opening up our doors for the first time and every family we helped is a source of pride. We are also really happy to have created a community space where people feel comfortable to drop in for chat or to ask for advice.
On a more personal level it is an incredibly rewarding experience starting a new business and raising a young family together as the Greens of Willow & Green.