By Charles Wade-Palmer
An unsuspecting mum’s body-based jewellery business has sky-rocketed with breast milk and umbilical cords flying off the shelf.
Mum-of-two, Nicola Kamminga, 31, had no idea when she decided to allow mums to have their body parts as accessories that it would be so popular.
Nicola has become swamped in orders for best seller breast milk in gold casing since starting Tree of Opals online two years ago.
Nicola said: “My issue isn’t getting orders but it’s keeping up with demand. The processes take a long time to make I like to make a few of them at anyone time.
“No item of jewellery is ever going to look the same as there’s no uniformity involved in the manufacturing process which makes each order unique.
“Actually getting the breast milk to stay white is one of the most difficult things I’ve done which is difficult when the process can take up to six months.”
For anybody else receiving breast milk, placentas, umbilical cords, hair and ashes through the post would be concerning to say the least but that is just a regular morning at Nicola’s Bristol home.
Customers send their precious cargo in specialist containers to Nicola who what they want as a necklace or keepsake and to send her their body part cargo in the post which she then sends off to the factory.
Tree of Opals was inspired by Nicola’s own desire to treasure the memory of childbirth which she has done by having her own breast milk encased.
Nicola said: “I ask for milk to be sent in sent in two little vials and sometimes it can be frozen from around ten years ago and it then gets preserved into a solid state before going into resin.
“Even now my husband is a bit freaked out by it all as he thinks it’s pretty gory.”
“There’s always so much emotion around each piece which is why I’m dedicated to delivering only the most beautiful charms for customers because I understand their importance.
“Because it’s so unique there wasn’t exactly a manual I could follow so I just practised and practised which left my daughter with a fair few bits and pieces I’d made.
“The jewellery can act for some as a treasured memory of a lost newborn or even a pet, it’s all very personal.
“I’m really proud that I can put as much time and effort into a piece and if they don’t like it I’ll make another one.”