LISBON, Ohio – Richardson Monuments of Lisbon had its best year ever in 2021, with sales increasing 30% over the previous year. But the pandemic has forced the company, which makes gravestones and markers, to be patient.
“With the delays we faced [in shipping], it’s been very difficult,” says Carly Brock, president and CEO. “We see families when they lose a loved one and it’s difficult to tell them they have to wait longer for closure. It’s the last thing I want to tell people but so much has been out of our control.”
In late 2020, the company purchased Corolla Vault Co. to keep its staff busy in the winter months, which are slow because stone and foundations cannot be set in the ground, Brock says.
Also last year, the company installed its first walk-in mausoleum.
Looking ahead, Richardson is installing columbariums at two cemeteries and is working on a tribute to coaching great and East Liverpool native Lou Holtz.
The monument industry is always changing and Richardson has adapted to the growing demand for cremation by making stones that hold cremains.
To build on that growth, the company wants to do more work in-house and has purchased a laser engraver that can put images from photographs on stones, Brock says. It has also purchased an air compressor and stencil cutter.
“By doing the work ourselves, we can keep the price from drastically increasing,” she says.
Still, shipping delays and costs are issues, as is a significant increase in the price of granite.
Monuments that would normally take six to eight weeks to arrive now require five or six months, she adds.
To increase its community involvement, the company donated portions of columbariums to two cemeteries in 2021. It also completed a rebranding effort that includes a new logo and website, and television advertising, Brock says.
Richardson Monuments, founded in 1920, has four employees.