05/31/2019 13:19 EDT

Victoria Woman Makes Jewelry Out Of Breast Milk, Placenta, Hair

It's part of a popular trend.

Sacred Life Jewelry/Facebook
This piece by Victoria jewelry designer Sandra McMullen contains a mom's breast milk and some hair from her baby's head.

Breast milk is often called “liquid gold,” but a jewelry designer in Victoria is taking the reference to the next level.

Sandra McMullen of Sacred Life Jewelry creates pendants out of breast milk — a niche trend known as DNA jewelry that involves incorporating elements of humans, animals, or plants.

While McMullen also makes pieces out of placenta, hair, umbilical cord, cremated ashes, and animal fur, she told the Sooke News Mirror that her breast-milk jewelry is by far the most popular. In fact, she has a five-month wait-list for her pieces.

“I get breast milk in my mailbox every day, mailed to me from all over Canada,” she told CTV News.

“It captures that breast feeding journey which is incredibly special and important, and it can be hard to let go,” she told the Sooke News Mirror. “Just to be able to have that memory, you can look down and have that time together again.”

DNA jewelry isn’t an altogether new concept, and it was actually quite trendy in the Victorian era to weave jewelry out of the hair of dead loved ones. Today, making gemstones out of cremated remains is a popular business (there’s even an Etsy page for it).

On the other end of Canada, a P.E.I. company makes keepsake rings out of baby teeth, ashes, and even cannabis strains.

Business partners Bradley Gallant and Justin Somers of Charlottetown told CBC News they’ve received orders from across the county.

“The sky’s the limit for what people want on their ring fingers,” Somers said.

Breast-milk jewelry started taking off around 2013, according to an article on The Bump dedicated to the trend (who knew?!).

Typically, the preservation technique involves expressing some of your breast milk into a storage bag, shipping it to the artist, and that artist then mixes it with chemicals, lets it harden, mixes it with resin, and shapes it into your jewelry, The Bump explains. 

And companies that do this exist all around the world, including award-winning Beyond the Willow Tree in Australia.

It takes about three weeks to create a breast-milk stone, McMullen told the Sooke News Mirror.

McMullen started making breast-milk jewelry in 2017, after hearing about an Australian company that did it, and wanting a piece for herself, she explained. It took her a year to perfect the craft.

She also get requests for jewelry made from blood, teeth, and fetal tissue, McMullen told CTV News.

“It’s like a blood diamond but totally ethical,” she said.

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