| Sarah Heinonen
WESTFIELD – For 20 years, Carolyn and Steven Couchon have been providing people with lasting memories of their loved ones.
The Couchon’s business, Memory Lane Lamps, with locations in East Longmeadow and Westfield, specializes in memorial, tiffany-style lamps, with colored leaded glass in ornate designs.
“It makes a gift truly unique,” Carolyn said. “The lamp comes through as a lasting gift.”
Carolyn said when her father passed in 1998 she realized there were not many good bereavement gifts that lasted, as many people give flowers and other perishable gifts.
“To have something more lasting is appealing to a lot of customers,” Carolyn said.
Memory Lane Lamps also carries music boxes and memory boxes that hold a photo as well as frames in the Tiffany style. She said those are usually sold to complement the lamps.
“The power of a lamp is remarkable,” Carolyn said. She told Reminder Publishing the story of delivering a lamp to a customer whose father had recently passed. Carolyn said the woman was taking it hard and when she realized the lamp was in memory of her father, she dropped to her knees and cried.
Memory Lane Lamps started as “Remembrances” in 1999 in East Longmeadow. The Couchons opened the Westfield location in 2004, and both locations were rebranded as Memory Lane Lamps in 2006. Steven and Carolyn have two employees and, between the four of them, run both locations.
The business now carries over 300 styles of lamps, including sports team designs, logos for each military branch and for firefighters. Carolyn says she is currently working on finding a lamp to honor police officers.
Included with each lamp is a personal card.
“[Customers] want to say something personal, but they don’t know how,” Carolyn said of why they include the cards.
The price of the lamps ranges from $39 to $400, and Memory Lane Lamps sells thousands of lamps each year. The company delivers lamps locally to customers and funeral homes and they also ship all over the world. Some lamps even have been delivered to the North Pole.
“I’m not sure if Santa got it,” Carolyn joked.
The lamps that are purchased at the store are wrapped in cellophane with a bow and those that are shipped come gift–wrapped within a box.
She said sometimes when people learn of someone’s passing after the fact, they will give a lamp at the anniversary or at Christmas to remember the person since the first holidays after losing a loved one are often hard.
Steven and Carolyn will often send a lamp to the family of a local fallen military member, firefighter or police officer. They recently sent a lamp to the family of Jason Menard, a firefighter who died in the line of duty in Worcester.
After the 2012 mass shooting sat Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, the Couchons drove down there and donated a lamp to each family that had lost a child, wrapped with blue bows for the boys and pink for the girls. The family of each teacher also received the lamp.
While they are known for their memorial lamps, people also purchase lamps to mark weddings and special occasions. Much of Memory Lane Lamps’s business comes from word-of-mouth referrals and repeat customers, Carolyn said.
Aside from their brick-and-mortar locations at 57 Maple St., in East Longmeadow and 53 Southwick Rd., in Westfield, Memory Lane Lamps can be found on their recently redesigned website, at memorylanelamps.com.