Parting Stone

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Edited by: Mark Furr
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Parting Stone Shark Tank Update

Parting Stone

Mark Furr

This post contains affiliate links, and we may be compensated if you buy something after clicking on our links.

Parting Stone offers a new way for people to preserve the remains of their loved ones by transforming created remains into a form which resembles smooth stones. But, will a Shark be willing to join in this new way of helping people to remember and honor their departed loved ones? Find out how it works and everything about it in our Parting Stone Shark Tank update.

What is Parting Stone?

Parting Stone is a company which has created a new way to keep human and pet remains after cremation. Following cremation, Parting Stone converts the ash remains into a form which resembles smooth stones. The company is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

The appearance of the solidified Parting Stone remains varies naturally from person to person in shape, color, and texture, making each collection uniquely beautiful.

Who created Parting Stone?

Parting Stone Founder

Parting Stone was founded by Justin Crowe in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Justin attended college at Alfred University in New York, where he earned a BFA degree in Ceramics. After graduating from college, Alfred worked in a variety of positions in the art world, including teaching middle school Ceramics. He also held positions as Managing Editor for several online publications, including Viral Swarm, a pop culture blog, and, a successful visual culture blog.

Justin founded his first company,, in 2011. The platform was designed to be a fine art alternative to Etsy. Prior to founding Parting Stone, Justin also held the position of Director of Operations for Cfile Foundation, an educational resource for ceramic art, design, architecture, and technology. 

How did Parting Stone get started?

On the Parting Stone website, there is an interesting video of Parting Stone founder Justin Crowe discussing the creation story of his company. Justin says that he was much influenced by his grandfather, who, like himself, was an entrepreneur. Justin says that it was the intimacy with his grandfather while he was dying which gave him the courage to talk to others who were experiencing loss. 

Jason said that people would often talk fondly of their remembered loved ones, but they also admitted to him that they were keeping the cremated remains of their loved ones in the basement or in the garage. Justin felt that the relationship which people had with cremated remains was really tragic, and he believed that this was because cremated remains are sent to people in a really gross form.

Justin decided that as a ceramic artist, perhaps he could come up with a better way of handling cremated remains. He started on this journey when his new venture was awarded a grant to work with the materials scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Justin said he told the scientists at Los Alamos that he wanted to invent a new form of human remains, but no one thought it was possible. 

One veteran materials scientist at Los Alamos had studied ceramic materials for over 30 years, and at first, he thought that Justin’s idea was too basic for the lab, but eventually, he realized that it was a complex process, and he said that he came to believe that “We think that this can be a tremendous transformation of the human remains industry.”

What happened to Parting Stone before Shark Tank?

While Parting Stone had been in business for a number of years prior to pitching in the Tank, the company still had not achieved profitability. Justin revealed to the Sharks that in the three years prior to his pitch, starting with 2020, the company had $350k in sales, and they had lost about $300k. In 2021, the company had $850k in revenue, and had lost $800k. For 2022, the year their episode was taped, Parting Stone was on track to have $1.3 million in sales, but they were still projecting a loss of $800k.

Prior to going into the Tank, Parting Stone had already raised a considerable amount of money, $2.5 million, from 55 angel investors. During his pitch, Justin informed the Sharks that the company projected that they would reach a break even point in about 2 years. 

Having raised a ton of money, with nothing but losses to show for it, Justin could have been in for a rough ride with the Sharks. 

What do customers think of Parting Stone?

Parting Stone Product

The reviews on the Parting Stone website appear to be verified by a third-party site, There are a total of 138 reviews, with an average rating of 4.93 out of 5 stars. Interestingly, the company also says that they invite each family they work with to share their experiences with their stones. They have posted copies of many of the handwritten letters which they have received from families who have received their Parting Stones. 

What are customers saying about Parting Stones?

There are a number of really moving stories among the reviews for Parting Stones. One very satisfied customer wrote:

“I had never known that turning remains into beautiful stones was even an option until I read about it in an article from my insurance company. My husband passed away a year and a half ago, and I have had his ashes in a box trying to figure out what to do with them. I think ashes are a bit creepy and ‘spreading’ them somewhere just did not sit well with me.

When I read about what Parting Stone does, I knew immediately that is what I wanted to do. I could have some stones with me and share some with close family and friends. Well, I could not be happier with not only the beautiful stones, but with the amazing customer service Parting Stone provided from the moment I submitted a request, until after I received the beautiful stones.”

Another customer related the story of discussing Parting Stones with her husband before he passed:

“We were able to discuss cremation with my husband because that is what he wanted. When the funeral director showed myself and my sons the forever stones, we all said that my husband would like that. We took the information home to my husband to see what he would want. He was surprised and said that would be great because he loved the ocean, and he said we could share the stones with any family members who wanted some, and then throw the rest of them in the ocean where he could be at peace forever!”

The only slightly critical review which we found discussed the steep price increase which the company had put in place: “I love mine, but I wouldn’t be able to afford them again after the sharp price increase. I got them at half the cost.”

When did Parting Stone appear on Shark Tank?

Parting Stone appeared on Shark Tank in Season 14, Episode 19, which aired on April 7th, 2023. This episode featured regular Sharks Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, and Guest Shark Gwyneth Paltrow, actress and founder of lifestyle brand Goop.

Parting Stone was not the only company with an unusual product to appear in the Tank in Season 14, while not as serious as Parting Stone, check out our ZipString Shark Tank update for a look at another unusual product which appeared during the season.

What happened to Parting Stone on Shark Tank?

Parting Stone founder Justin Crowe entered the Tank and asked the Sharks for a $400k investment in return for a 5% equity stake in the company.

Justin walked into the Tank and pointed to a large photo of an elderly man; he said, “This is my grandfather.” Justin then told the Sharks that he had become very close to Gramps as he was dying, so it was very difficult for Jason when Gramps passed away. 

Justin said that losing Gramps was hard on the whole family, and receiving his cremated remains didn’t make it any easier. Justin then held up a large plastic bag with ash inside. The bag was closed with a zip tie. Justin told the Sharks, “This is the way that 1.9 million Americans, every year, receive the remains of their loved ones following cremation. This zip-tied plastic bag was how I received Gramps, and it was awkward and uncomfortable.”

At this point in the pitch, Justin, and nearly all of the Sharks, were on the verge of tears. Justin then informed the Sharks that many people simply put the remains of their loved ones away in closets, basements, and garages. He told the Sharks that he had created Parting Stone as the result of the experience he had with the remains of Gramps. 

The Sharks learned that Parting Stone had developed a new form of human and animal remains. Following the cremation, he said, Parting Stone returns the remains in a form that resembles a collection of smooth stones, and that each collection varies naturally, from person to person, with different hues, textures and colors for each person. 

Next, the Sharks were invited to look at the boxes in front of them, each containing one stone. Kevin O’Leary asked Justin, “Who’s in the box?” And Justin responded that these stones were the remains of his grandfather, to which O’Leary replied, “Is it really Gramps?,” and Justin assured him that it was him. This revelation appeared to be moving for all of the Sharks.

Guest Shark Gwyneth Paltrow next commended Justin for taking on something that is very uncomfortable for people. Barbara Corcoran then wanted to know how the client avoided receiving the cremated ashes if they had to mail them out, and Justin informed her that most of their business came through funeral homes, who sent the remains directly to Parting Stone. 

Barbara then followed up to ask Justin how much the process cost, and he told her, “retail for a person is $995.” She then asked how many stones she would receive, and she learned that the average person results in between 40-60 stones. 

Gwyneth then asked how many funeral homes that they had online, and Justin told her that they were currently offered in about 600 out of 20,000 funeral homes in the US. Mr. Wonderful told Justin that he had a company called Basepaws, which did DNA testing on cats, so they “knew when Fluffy was going to go snuff city,” so he wanted to know the cost for a pet. Justin told O’Leary that dogs were $595, and cats were $495.

Mark Cuban inquired what it cost Justin to make the stones, and he learned that the business-to-business cost was $300. Kevin O’Leary now wanted to hear about sales, and Justin told him that the company had sales of $350k in 2020, $850k in 2021, and they were on track for $1.3 million in the current year. However, the Sharks also learned that the company had lost $300k in 2020, $850k in 2021, and they would lose about $800k again in the current year. 

O’Leary spoke up to say, “The business model is broken. You’re not charging enough.” Lori then asked Justin to explain the extreme losses, and Justin said that the losses will be fixed through automating the process, so the company had already raised $2.5 million from 55 investors, and they are spending the money to automate the process. 

The Sharks all agreed that Justin needed to raise prices, or the company would never make it, and at this point, it appeared that everyone would swim away quickly.

Did Parting Stone get a deal on Shark Tank?

Parting Stone did get a deal in the Tank. Lori Greiner and Kevin O’Leary agreed to invest $400k in return for 10% equity and a royalty of $20 per customer for direct-to-consumer clients, and $12.50 for business-to-business clients. 

Mark Cuban was first to declare his intentions, as he told Justin that he was invested in a company called Eterneva, which is a company that transforms human remains into diamonds, so this was a direct competitor to Justin, so he had to go out. Barbara quickly followed Mark to the exit, as she said, “I just can’t get past the losses, and the raising you’ve done.”

Gwyneth Paltrow told Justin that she thought he would be really successful, but the situation was just too far out of her wheelhouse for her to be helpful. Lori then remarked that she believed what Justin was doing was genius, but she was hoping that she would hear fabulous numbers; however, after saying this, rather than going out, Lori stated that she and Kevin both found it interesting.

O’Leary then came in with an offer from himself and Lori of $400k for 20%. Mr. Wonderful said that for decades he had invested in two recession-proof spaces: weddings and death. 

Justin told the two Sharks that with all of his investors, he couldn’t do 20%, so he countered at 7%, and O’Leary told him, “I won’t get out of bed for 3.5%.” At this point, Barbara said that she had liked what she was hearing, so she would come back in for $400k for 10%, with a royalty of $20 per dead person or animal until she got her money back.

Mr. Wonderful then asked Jason if he was willing to play with royalties, and Justin told him that he would consider royalties, so Lori told Jason that they would match Barbara’s offer. Justin wanted to differentiate the royalty between direct-to-consumer and business sales, and Lori agreed to go to $20 on consumer sales and $12.50 on business sales.

Barbara was trying to tell Justin that “Gramps is speaking to me;” however, Lori said, “No, I’ve been holding Gramps in my hand the whole time.” Justin paused, and said, “What do you think, Gramps?” Then, he turned to Lori and said, “We’ll take it.”

Parting Stone Shark Tank update, what happened next?

There is no indication that the deal between Parting Stone and Sharks Lori Greiner and Kevin O’Leary has closed yet, but there is some evidence that the company experienced a positive Shark Tank effect when their episode aired. 

In New Mexico Angels, a trade publication for investors in New Mexico, Parting Stone founder Justin Crowe told the publication, “This was a big experiment. We educated more than 10 million people on a single night that when you choose cremation you don’t have to receive ashes, there’s another comfortable form of remains.”

Justin also said, “We’re now gathering the data, looking at the results, figuring out where the interest is, where the traction is. We’re going to put energy and resources into that.” Since appearing on the Shark Tank episode, Crowe said Parting Stone has been tracking data such as sales-team outreach, number of partner corporations, funeral home sales, direct-to-consumer sales and traffic to the website.

On that last data point, Crowe said Parting Stone has seen a 900% increase over the past week. Social media traffic has been up too, he added. “We’re like blowing up on Tik-Tok right now.”

Another change we’ve noticed since the Shark Tank episode aired is the fact that during his pitch, Justin told the Sharks that the retail price for a Parting Stone direct-to-consumer client was $995; however, according to the Parting Stone website, the retail price is now $2,495, a 150% increase in price since the pitch was filmed. The Sharks had all told Justin that he needed to increase his price if the business were going to survive, and he has obviously listened to their advice. 

Finally, if customers are still willing to purchase the service at the new price, and Kevin and Lori eventually do come onboard, it appears that Parting Stone could become a real Shark Tank success story.