Mother-of-four who started making jewellery from her own BREASTMILK while feeding her twins in lockdown reveals she’s been ‘inundated’ with requests from others – despite some branding her work ‘disgusting’
- Alison Hawthorn, 30, first made jewellery using her own breastmilk to create a ‘keepsake’ while feeding her twin sons – now 17 months – during lockdown
- However, she decided to turn her hobby into a business, creating a range of jewellery that lets mums turn their breastmilk into wearable pieces
- Also uses hair, pet fur and ashes to create pieces – but says some people have told her that her business is beyond the pale for using parts of the body
- Hawthorn, from Wirral, says she boils up the breastmilk before adding a preservative that lets it be turned into a hard resin-like material
A mother-of-four has revealed how she’s turned a lockdown hobby into a viable business – after she experimented with turning her own breastmilk into jewellery.
Stay-at-home mum Alison Hawthorn, 30, from Wirral, decided to try and make a ‘keepsake’ last year using her own breastmilk while feeding her twin sons, now aged 17 months.
After the pretty trinket – a keyring – turned out well, she began offering her services to others who wanted to transform their own breastmilk into something they can keep forever.
Alison Hawthorn, 30, first made jewellery using her own breastmilk to create a ‘keepsake’ while feeding her twin sons – now 17 months – during lockdown
The mother-of-four decided to turn her hobby into a business, creating a range of jewellery that lets mums turn their breastmilk into wearable pieces – pictured with a breastmilk necklace
Alison says she’s faced criticism for using body parts – including ashes and pet fur – to make jewellery. However, she also says she’s inundated with orders from people looking to preserve their breastmilk into keepsakes. Pictured: a rainbow charm for women who’ve miscarried and are now pregnant again
After expanding the business to make jewellery from ashes, pet fur and human hair, she claims she has been inundated with orders – but reveals some have branded her work ‘disgusting’.
Alison, who lives in the Moreton area of Wirral with her boyfriend Dan Byrnes, says she’s shocked that a lockdown hobby has seen her in such high demand, saying: ‘I just felt like I was going crazy in lockdown and I wanted to do something for myself.
‘It was difficult being stuck inside all the time so I felt like I needed a new hobby.
‘When I first started, someone screenshotted one of my posts and put it on a roasting page on Facebook, and they were majorly slagging it off and there were some really vile comments.’
She says the comments were ‘very discouraging for me because I’d only just started and I was really pleased with how far I’d come in such a short space of time. But I’ve come such a long way since then.’
To make the jewellery, a customer sends at least 10ml of expressed breastmilk, double bagged and in a padded envelope to Alison.
From there, she uses a double boiling method and adds preservation powder, before leaving it to dry for a few days on greaseproof paper.
After this, Alison crushes it into a fine powder with a pestle and mortar and adds it to the resin to create the jewellery.
The mother-of-four says she’s learned to appreciate that the breastmilk jewelllery isn’t to everyone’s taste.
She explains: ‘I was at a crafts fair recently and there were quite a few people that were quite disgusted by it, but I usually just say I understand it’s not for everyone.
How it works: To make the jewellery, a customer sends at least 10ml of expressed breastmilk, double bagged and in a padded envelope to Alison; she then boils it up twice
She then adds preservation powder, before leaving it to dry for a few days on greaseproof paper. Finally, she crushes it into a fine powder with a pestle and mortar and adds it to the resin to create the jewellery – before setting it into metal pieces
‘I get loads of lovely comments as well and messages from people saying they love what I’ve made, and that makes my day.’
The inspiration came from seeing others use resin to preserve things on social media, and Alison decided to have a go at her own jewellery.
‘I started off making little key rings and things like that, just messing around. Then, when I was approaching a year of breastfeeding and wanted a keepsake, I has the resin already so I thought I’d give it a go.’
When she shared her creation on social media, she was flooded with comments from people asking if she sold the jewellery and requesting different pieces.
Alison said: ‘I had quite a few different people contacting me asking if I could do things like hair in pieces and different pieces of breastmilk things, and I’d try and accommodate their needs.
After showcasing her work on Facebook, Alison says she gets ‘loads of lovely comments as well and messages from people saying they love what I’ve made, and that makes my day’
Her lockdown hobby has expanded to include resin bears made using human hair – the hair is seen in the hearts of the teddies
A heart breastmilk necklace is another piece in Alison’s current collection
She says she could easily turn the business into a full-time job, where it not for caring for her four young children
She says the business is ‘doing really really well, because people like things that are a bit different’
The jeweller says she’s thinking of new ways to include more items, including rainbow charms for women who’ve endured miscarriages
‘I still do that now, I’m always happy to expand and take on new challenges.
‘It was actually one of my friends who first asked if I could do something with her little one’s hair, and then another friend got in contact to ask about making something from her dad’s ashes.
‘Since then I’ve just researched and researched and practiced and practiced and now we do all sorts of things.
‘I’ve just introduced a new charm that has rainbow incorporated into it, for ladies who have miscarried and are now pregnant again, so that’s a nice little keepsake for them.’
Now, it could easily be her full-time job, if it weren’t for her twins and two other young children.
‘I’m struggling with orders because I can only really work when all the kids are asleep. It’s doing really really well, because people like things that are a bit different.’
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