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Homemade Jewelry creates lasting keepsakes

Debbie Unrau creates original breast milk and memorial jewelry as lasting memoentos for customers

As our children grow, they leave behind the milestones of their lives.

The first is when our babies become toddlers and move from breast feeding to sippy cups and then on to regular glasses.

For some mothers, remembering this very special time in their relationship with their children can be preserved forever with a unique keepsake created by Debbie Unrau and her Milk Made Costume Jewelry.

Although Debbie’s breastfeeding days are behind her, when she discovered this unusual product she was intrigued.

“I was browsing online and ran across breast milk jewelry and thought what a great way for mothers to remember their breastfeeding journey.”

Debbie began researching how to create this original jewelry, which is a combination of clear resin and breast milk. For the next three months, she experimented and found what didn’t work and finally refined what did work.

“I watched a video, but that was a dismal failure.

“I just kept trying and finally figured it out. It’s a combination of how you handle the breast milk and the balance of breast milk and resin.”

After creating jewelry for several local women and receiving positive feedback, Debbie launched her Facebook page about a year ago and has been receiving orders, inquiries and feedback ever since.

She also had found that women have different colours of breast milk and she determined it was dependent on the amount of fat in the breast milk. This aspect of the process adds individuality to the jewelry.

Debbie also said she keeps the women’s breast milk on file should they want more. This aspect of the process is in powder form.

For each women looking to preserve her breast milk for this application, Debbie says they need only freeze a relatively small amount of their breast milk because an ounce of breast milk makes a lot jewelry.

Debbie also faced the challenge of finding the right molds so the resin won’t stick to it – silicone molds are the best and this crafter has also been making her own silicone molds.

“I had a customer who wanted a breast milk teardrop of a specific shape and size to fit a ring she had.

“With the dimensions in hand, I searched everywhere for the right kind of item to make the mold to create the breast milk teardrop but couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally, at a specialty store I found a rock that was the perfect dimensions and with a bit of back-and-forth, the customer was very happy with the results.”

Customers from across Canada and especially the Lower Mainland have sent by courier their breast milk for Debbie to create their very own individual breast milk jewelry.

Just as Debbie was going into production and getting comfortable with the process and her product line, a customer, out of the blue, asked if she would do memorial jewelry, using either human or animal ashes.

“My first reaction wasn’t all that positive; I was quite taken aback.

“But it didn’t take long before I saw the potential.”

It was another learning process. Although she still worked with clear resin, handling the ashes took more finesse than the breast milk, but she mastered it.

After overcoming the first few stumbles, Debbie began taking orders. She has made memorial jewelry from human, dog, cat and horse ashes.

Debbie operates as a home-based and mail-order business and as she also has a job, will remain on that basis.

“Both breast milk and memorial jewelry are extremely personal to my customers. It’s their forever keepsake for bonding with their baby, or the last memory of a loved one either human or animal.

“I’m honoured to be a small part of these very special moments in my customers lives and hope each piece of jewelry is a comforting momento.”