Congratulations on having an amazing year in 2014! If you could highlight one accomplishment, what would it be?
One of the highlights of 2014 was having a party for the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association Convention here in Dallas. I wanted to show my appreciation for all the support I received. The party was at my home and I had shuttle buses arranged to pick up guests and drop them back off at the hotel. Everyone enjoyed the food. There was BBQ, potato salad, beans, etc. All in all I purchased 30 cases of liquor! I had a DJ that played all the old school classics. People really admired the red carpet and the Eiffel Tower lighting. The party was a big success and everyone had a good time. The party even generated some business!
When have you been most satisfied in your life?
I love what I do! It is my passion. It is a blessing to have accomplished so much in over 30 years of being in business. Being an independent owner and more importantly, a black woman, I have been truly blessed to have everything in my favor. My sons Daryl and Tiger are finishing mortuary school and are with me now. I am so proud that my funeral home will carry on to the next generation. I am currently programming my 11 and 12-year-old granddaughters to go this route in business. They have already told me they are interested in funeral service and do not mind working on Saturdays.
Who is your role model and why?
My mom has always been my role model. Without her, I would not be where I am in life. Growing up, I never understood why she made me participate in a bunch of activities. I was in show schools, music schools, debutant balls, etc. I could not go anywhere without a chaperone, and I used to think it was horrible. Now that I am older, I appreciate everything she has done for me. It has made me a better woman, mother, and just all around person.
What things do you like to do?
I like to relax! When I come home from a long day of dealing with families, I take a bath, jump in bed with a glass of wine or a shot of Crown Royal and read my magazines.
What is your superpower or spirit animal?
I have a sixth sense. I am able to hear and see things before anyone else. I dream a lot about things and God shows me things as well. God came to me in a dream and told me “Everything around you will fall on which it was built, but you will be left standing. Just keep the faith and trust in me, and I’ll take care of you.”
Tell me about a recent project or problem that you made better, faster, smarter, more efficient, or less expensive.
I tried to make more affordable funeral packages for the community. There are so many families that have other things to worry about and they let the insurance lap. I make affordable funeral and cremation packages, so families can bury their loved ones. I am very proud of my efforts and it has been very successful.
Discuss your position as owner
I am the decision maker at all times. I have always taken control of every situation and task to make sure it is done correctly. I always weigh my options and think about advantages and disadvantages. I also rely on my instincts for decision-making; it never seems to let me down.
How many funerals does Sandra Clark Funeral Home do a year?
We do 300 a year, of which a 100 are cremations.
Are cremations a big part of business?
Cremations have become a very big part of my business. A lot of families simply cannot afford the cost of traditional funerals. Our cremation packages are more affordable and come with the same level of respect and service as the other packages.
How many employees do you have?
I have four (4) full-time employees and ten (10) part-time employees.
Do you ever get strange requests for funerals?
I once had a lady ask me if she could take her husband home so they could sleep together one last time.
What is the most important thing you have learned in funeral service?
The most important thing I have learned in the funeral industry is to look out for you. You cannot worry about what others are doing. Take care of your clients and put your focus on them. You have to be honest and upfront with everyone.
What are your lifelong dreams?
My dream is to have my own crematory. I would also like to pay off my parking lot at the funeral home. Purchasing a new Cadillac is high on the list as well.
List five words that describe your character
Strong, supportive, independent, loving and determined
What is your personal mission statement?
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
What do you ultimately want to become?
I would like to be known as Sandra Clark, the lady who helps a lot of families and makes funerals affordable.