24-Year-Old Man Selling Human Bones Online

 


 Nestled within a graffiti-laden warehouse in Bushwick, a small yet vibrant showroom beckons. Adorned with mid-century modern furniture and the soothing aroma of bergamot and lavender, it exudes an aura of innovation. "Our motivation was, How could we do things differently?" muses the youthful CEO, clad in a blue chore coat. This space embodies the quintessential headquarters of a direct-to-consumer startup, complete with an earnest disrupter. However, the products under disruption defy convention—they are human bones: a tooth for $14, a vertebra for $50, a 19th-century skeleton for $6,600. One wall showcases an impressive array of spines arranged in an ombré pattern, while the opposite wall hosts a Jo Malone diffuser atop a display case of skulls.


Meet Jon "Jon Jon" Pichaya Ferry, a slender 23-year-old revolutionizing the bones business. His company, JonsBones, specializes in "responsibly sourced human osteology," aiming to destigmatize a traditionally eerie industry. Ferry himself embodies a sort of nü-goth bones-lifestyle influencer, welcoming visitors to the appointment-only showroom on a balmy May afternoon. He sports a sterling-silver spinal-cord earring and a skull ring—both available for purchase in the "Wearables" section of his chic, Warby Parker–esque website.


As Ferry showcases items from his collection, he shares the story of his journey. It began with a yellowed mouse skeleton in a small plastic box, a gift from his father, which ignited his passion at the tender age of 13. "There's nothing more well-designed than the skeletal system," he enthuses. Born in Thailand to a Thai architecture professor mother and raised partly in Indiana, Ferry's interests ranged from gymnastics to musical theater before he fully embraced his fascination with bones upon moving to New York in 2018 to study product design at Parsons. He initially honed his skills by articulating animal skeletons—cleaning and assembling bones in their correct anatomical positions—for private collectors and museums in his dorm room. The earnings from this endeavor funded his foray into entrepreneurship, enabling him to print business cards and distribute them in Times Square. Then came the pivotal moment when he encountered his first human skull at Obscura Antiques & Oddities on Avenue A. "I was like, 'Is this legal?'" he reminisces. "And they were like, 'Yeah, it's no problem.'"

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