Jeweller who makes rings, pendants and earrings out of BREASTMILK divides This Morning viewers with her unusual keepsakes – as one admits they put them off their lunch
- Alison Hawthorn, 30, from Wirral, creates jewellery out of women’s breastmilk
- Started with own breastmilk to create keepsake for twin sons during lockdown
- Now women put in orders using their breastmilk, sending it to her over post
- This Morning viewers were disgusted by idea when Alison appeared on show
An entrepreneur who makes jewellery out of breastmilk and is keen to progress onto umbilical cords left This Morning viewers divided today.
Alison Hawthorn, 30, from Wirral, told hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langford how she started up her business in lockdown, initially using her own breastmilk to create a keepsake for her twin sons.
The mother-of-four said she got the idea after experimenting with resin, and now receives orders from women who send their breastmilk through the post to have it turned into necklaces, rings, earrings and pendants.
But some viewers admitted to feeling a little turned off by Alison’s business, with a number claiming they found the idea of breastmilk jewellery disgusting.
Alison Hawthron, 30, from Wirral, revealed on today’s This Morning what got her into making jewellery out of breastmilk
Some This Morning viewers were not convinced, with one claiming Alison’s jewellery had put them off their lunch
Speaking about how she came to craft the unusual jewellery, she explained: ‘It was just before the first lockdown, a tough time for everyone.
‘I felt like I was losing my mind, I was going crazy, it was just kids and nappies day in morning and night, and I said to Dan, my partner, “I need to do something for myself”.
‘I decided that my resolution for the brand new year would be to make jewellery with resin. I started making things like keyrings.’
Her experimentation with resin gave Alison an idea: ‘This whole time, I breastfed my twins for the first year and as we approached the year, I wanted something to celebrate our feeding journey,’ she explained.
The entrepreneur brought some of her jewellery onto the show, which included rings and cufflinks, pictured
‘I had the breastmilk, I had the resin and I knew it could be done, so I just researched and researched, and practiced.’
Alison made jewellery for herself and her family, and as word of her new hobby spread she began to receive orders from other women.
‘People send their breastmilk to me in the post. It’s actually quite resilient; although it wouldn’t be suitable to be eaten after this time out of the fridge, it’s absolutely fine to go into the resin,’ she explained.
Alison added that many women who contacted her had a stash of breastmilk in their freezer.
The mother-of-four also created resin bears to store and display children’s baby teeth as keepsakes, pictured
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
‘Because it’s so precious, women have a lot of it stashed in the freezer and don’t know what to do with it,’ she said.
Alison then broke down the process she uses to create the jewellery.
‘I need a very small amount, 10ml is absolutely fine. I worked really hard and came up with a preservation powder that I created myself,’ she said.
‘The milk goes through a double boiling method. It’s heated, I add some preservation powder to it and then it’s left out to dry.
‘Once it’s fully dried, it turns out like flakes, and then I grind it down until it turns into a powder.’
Alison admitted 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 as keepsakes. Pictured: a rainbow charm for women who miscarried and fell pregnant again
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
Alison says the business is ‘doing really really well, because people like things that are a bit different’
Alison said she knew there was a market for a jewellery because she was surrounded by women with young children, and was a member of breastfeeding support groups.
She brought a selection of her work onto the show and talked Eamonn and Ruth through some of her pieces, including a necklace, and a £30 pair of stainless steel cufflinks.
‘I do a lot of memorial jewellery, it’s become more and more popular,’ she added. ‘It brings people so much comfort.’
When Ruth asked her what she thought about people who dislike the idea of breastmilk jewellery, Alison said she understood it’s not for everyone.
After showcasing her work on Facebook, Alison says she gets ‘loads of lovely comments’ as well as messages from people saying they love what she’s made, and that makes her day
Alison 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
Alison’s jewellery divided opinions, but many said they were not into the idea of rings and other jewels made out of breastmilk
‘I understand. It’s breastmilk, but at the end of the day, it’s just milk, there’s nothing disgusting about it,’ she said.
Alison added that she has expanded to make jewellery out of hair, pet hair, and ashes – and one customer has asked her to make a piece out of her umbilical chord.
She told Eamonn and Ruth she made resin jewellery for baby teeth that parents could take as keepsakes.
While some viewers expressed a dislike for her jewellery, others were impressed; one tweeted: ‘I think you can say what you like about Alison but she’s made a thriving business as a full time mum with baby twins in tow during lockdown. Credit where credit’s due.’
Another commented: ‘Surprised to see so many people disgusted by the breastmilk jewellery on #ThisMorning Anything that normalises breastfeeding is amazing. The pride and sense of achievement you get from [breastfeeding] your baby contained, why not.’
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