More than 25 years in the funeral business have taught Kim Phillips that making a headstone or marker worthy of a fallen family member requires time, compassion and imagination.

Since 2014, Phillips and her staff at Monuments of Victoria have been committed to working with grieving families to celebrate the lives of their loved ones.

"We don't see it as a job. It is more of a calling," the Victoria native said. "It is tough but it is also so important for the families we serve."

Phillips attributes her success to her staff's baked-in flexibility with clients, which she said comes from an understanding that every family is different.

"Some families want to move quickly and get it in the rearview while there are others who want to take their time," she said. "We always work with their schedule, not ours."

The monument maker also offers myriad different customization options and engravings for clients to best encapsulate their loved ones, which include their traditional headstones, veterans' markers and memorial benches.

Phillips' business garnered the most votes in the Advocate's Best of the Best in 2019 and was a finalist in 2020, which she said is a great honor.

"We thankfully don't have customers that return often. Most come and see use once, so I think it speaks volumes of our approach," she said. "It means we are making a lasting impact on these families. I couldn't be more thankful and I couldn't have done it without my great team."

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