Eco Wedding Invitation Company Enters Green Funeral Market

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Twisted Limb Paperworks, one of the first recycled invitation companies in the nation won a $10,000 grant from the EILEEN FISHER company to add green funeral cards to their offerings. Twisted Limb founder Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese learned about the grant's availability through attendance at the Green Business Conference and Green Festivals in Chicago and Seattle in 2008. Through these events, she also partnered with the Natural Burial Company in Portland, Oregon to distribute Twisted Limb's line of recycled memorial designs alongside the earth friendly caskets and urns the company supplies.

Twisted Limb Paperworks, an eco-friendly papermaking and invitation company based in Bloomington, IN has been creating its handmade 100% recycled paper and invitations in the Indiana countryside for eleven years. The colorful paper is created from used colored office paper, grocery bags, grass clippings from their pasture, ferns collected from their woods, and water recycled from the studio's air conditioner and dehumidifier. The business's entire operations are carbon neutral and 22% of annual profits are donated to environmental and community groups. Over time, the production art studio has added holiday greeting cards, business promotional items and school fundraising products to their line.

Twisted Limb Paperworks was one of five businesses to receive funds through EILEEN FISHER's 5th Annual Business Grant Program for Woman Entrepreneurs. The program recognizes women-owned businesses that have a strong vision, a solid business plan and are in need of start up funds or growth capital to support the emerging future of their business. Applicants were evaluated on the innovation, social consciousness, sustainability and environmental impact of their business, intended use of grant money, and alignment with the mission of EILEEN FISHER.

Ms. Woodhouse-Keese attributes her interest to enter this new industry both to growing up in a large Catholic family and attending many funerals as a child as well as to a recent fascination with the HBO series, Six Feet Under. The impersonal memorial card presented at the death of a lifelong friend a few years ago inspired her to design a customized memorial bookmark that with a photo and personal description captures at least in a small part the essence of a loved one.

Fifteen funeral homes in Western, East Coast and Midwestern states currently carry Twisted Limb Paperworks' handmade 100% recycled personalized memorial bookmarks and seeded thank you notes. Additional card designs and memorial programs will be added this year.

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Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese
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