Like many crafty young women, Ann Marie Sharoupim, 28, makes and sells her own jewelry. But the Rutherford, NJ, mom of two uses an unusual material to craft her necklaces and bracelets: the breast milk of her customers.
“They want to preserve the sweetest, closest moments they had with their little ones,” says Sharoupim, who peddles her creations on her Web site, MammasLiquidLove.com.
She’s one of an estimated dozen women around the world selling such baubles, and the demand is growing.
For the mommy set that favors home births and doulas and eats their placentas in their rustic-chic kitchens, it’s the next logical step.
Sharoupim has customers send in an ounce or two of carefully packaged breast milk. (She recommends medical-grade storage containers.) She then uses a proprietary process — she’s also a pharmacist — to turn the milk into a solid, resin-based material that looks almost pearl-like in dainty pieces, ranging from a vintage-style pendant ($45) to simple sterling silver earrings ($100).
“I worked for months to come up with a way to create jewelry that would last,” says Sharoupim, who has been making the accessories since January and has seen a “huge jump” in sales each month, despite only promoting it on Facebook and via word of mouth.
The baubles are a tangible way to showcase breast-feeding success, even if the milky way was a rocky road.