Archie McPhee's Owner Talks About His Biggest Mistakes

Posted on March 12 2017

Mark Pahlow with his pal Bigfoot
When Crain's contact our owner, Mark Pahlow, about his biggest mistakes he didn't have to think too hard. In fact, the list of products was right on the tip of his tongue. From Ear Guards to the Modest Urn to Jinx Removing Spray, he had something to say about them all. Most of our mistakes come from trying to be ahead of the curve. But, instead of being ahead of everyone else, we take a wrong turn and end up on a different curve altogether. 
Modest Urn Lebowski
Here's Mark's take on the Modest Urn:

And then, did you see the movie 'The Big Lebowski?' Remember the Dude and Walter carry Donny’s cremated remains in a Folgers coffee can? Then they throw the ashes in the ocean, but they blow back on them? We liked the idea of coffee cans for human remains. We called them Modest Urns. We made a line for humans, which included a sticker that said, “Hello, I was so-and-so” and little suggestions for obituaries. We did it for pets as well.

We thought it was pretty funny, and we thought it was time for people to confront their mortality and to cut back on funeral expenses. Just do a coffee can. It’s cheap and environmentally sound.

Turns out, we again were ahead of the curve philosophically. The Modest Urn was an enormous failure as well. At trade shows, people would just kind of look at us like we had horns or martian ears. It was one of those incredulous kinds of looks where they’re nervous being around you because you were bringing up death.

Read the rest of the interview here!


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