It’s not easy to know how to memorialize our precious pets, especially when faced with difficult decisions on their behalf. Loving pet parents can struggle with the best body care method after death; whether burial or cremation. Until recently these options have been limited.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Paul Tschetter who takes some time to discuss a new memorialization option, Rooted. I’ll let Paul tell you more about this new, organic, and nature-based option for memorializing your pet.
1. What is Rooted and how did the project come to be formed?
Rooted, LLC is a Washington-based startup that provides living memorials to honor pets after they have died. We have developed a state-of-the-art composting system that processes animal ashes and/or remains into nutrient-rich, life-sustaining soil. From the ashes of death and loss, pet parents receive a living, thriving plant rooted in this soil: a symbol of both closure and continuation. Rooted is a unique aftercare option that enables pet parents to honor the memory of a pet through a natural and sustainable process. Currently, we are working with select Puget Sound veterinarians and their clients, with plans to roll out our complete service offerings to the public in the next two years.
Rooted began to take shape in 2016 after a conversation I had with my long-time friend, Greg, in response to developments in the Seattle aftercare market. With Greg’s extensive experience in composting and commercial waste management and my background in business development and sales, we specifically honed in on an opportunity in the emerging pet aftercare industry. We identified an opportunity to work together, to add value and to provide a meaningful service in an existing industry. So began Rooted.
2. Could you tell the readers a little more about yourself and how you got involved?
I am a serial entrepreneur. Business, relationships and making connections fuel me and make me tick. Over the last 15 years, I have built and sold businesses in several industries including technology, payment services, and real estate. I live on Whidbey Island with my wife and two children, but I grew up in a suburb of Seattle, where in kindergarten, I met my good friend and now business partner, Greg Schoenbachler.
Greg, also married with three children, is funny, industrious and resilient. He ran and sold a commercial waste management company about seven years ago. Since that time, he continues to consult in the waste management space, and together, we have partnered on real estate investments. Thirty-five years after we first met, Greg and I remain friends — very good friends. We are like-minded, and we enjoy working together. Rooted is the fruit of our shared professional experience and our desire to collaborate in the creation of something worthwhile and enduring.
3. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in launching something along the lines of Rooted?
One of biggest challenges we have encountered up to this point is translating the cool technology we have developed and tested over the last year into an actual service offering. We can safely and sustainably compost pet ash and remains into nutrient-rich soil, but then what? To tighten and tailor our systems and to determine the best end product for pet parents, we are currently working with select Puget Sound animal shelters, veterinarians, and their clients.
4. If someone is interested in Rooted, what does that look like?
We encourage anyone interested in Rooted to visit our website: www.rootedpet.com to learn more. At this time, our pet ash composting service is available to the public. Beginning May 1, 2017, pet parents who wish to purchase this service online can visit our website to order a starter kit, which details the pet ash shipping process. They can donate their pet soil to one of our tree-planting partners or choose to receive back a plant rooted in their nutrient-rich pet soil and contained in a lovely pot. In either case, the soil created from ash will sustain ongoing life.
5. Anything else you’d like to share with the readers?
We are a new company with emerging (and exciting) technology. As such, we want to hear from pet parents so we can offer the products and services they want. We invite your readers to follow and engage with us on Facebook and Instagram, and we welcome feedback to help us create the most meaningful living memorials we can.
6. How can people get in contact with you, and what are the next steps?
Thank you, Paul, for taking the time to talk to us about Rooted!
Adam Clark, LSW, AASW is a published writer, educator, and adjunct professor at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work. Adam focuses his work on the psychology behind the human-animal bond, specializing in endings and transitions. He is passionate about reducing the cultural stigma associated with pet loss, supporting pet owners, and educating veterinary professionals. Additional information on Adam and his current projects can be found at www.lovelosstransition.com, or he can best be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.