If you’ve ever wanted to have the ashes of your pet hermit crab turned into a piece of wearable jewellery, you don’t have to look much further than a Ballarat business.
Cindy Hobbs is behind Breastmilk Jewellery, which is currently a finalist for the 2017 AusMumpreneur awards, and crafts jewellery by hand from keepsakes. Using anything from breast milk, cremation ashes, umbilical cords, first curls and teeth, pet hair and ashes, bridal flowers and dresses and graduation tassels, Ms Hobbs fashions jewellery for families to mark special events in their lives.
“All inclusions are professionally preserved and hand crafted into jewellery grade resin pandora style beads, pendants, crystals, rings, earrings, cuff links, men's shirts studs and other custom orders,” Ms Hobbs said.
“All my orders are irreplaceable to my clients, from mothers with the last of their milk after a stillborn to hair curls from a lost child or cremation ashes from a loved pet, everything is made with a great deal of meaning to the owner,” she said.
Ms Hobbs has even crafted a heart pendant locket set with the cremation ashes of a pet hermit crab and said about 70 per cent of her market is now overseas in the US. The overseas interest means she now holds a licence to import biological items. The inspiration for her business was due to the loss of a baby boy, which meant that the achievements and milestones of her next child were something she wanted to make sure she celebrated. She did this by learning how to preserve breast milk and turn it into stone, which she ultimately crafted into jewellery.
“Then of course I tried my hand at hair curl, followed by placenta capsule, and it all rolled on from there,” she said.
“Friends started ordering and I would make them something special with anything from wedding flowers in a pandora inspired bead to breast milk in a ring. I am very shocked and honoured to have even made it past the first round to be honest.” Winners of the AusMumpreneur Awards will be announced on August 25.