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About us

My name is Vickie and I am Mom's Own Milk

Thank you for supporting my passion and small business.

I do everything associated with the business: I
  • Design each item you see in this store.
  • Create everything by hand using different types of media including silver, gold, glass and resin (the list is non exhaustive).
  • Maintain the website and perform all programming associated with each page.
  • Respond personally to every email, text and social media message you send us.
  • Answer every phone call made to us.
  • Maintain all the stock and supplies needed to run a professional successful keepsake business.
  • Prepare and post every inclusion kit and finished order.

About me

I love animals, especially the big cats as you can see in the image.  The loss of my dog and cats a few years ago as left me devastated and at that time, I was not aware of keepsake artists.  The only way I could keep them close was having their ashes and looking at pictures of them.

Fun facts about me:

  • I'm a single parent to one amazing little boy with special needs, now aged ten.
  • I've spent 20 years in the financial services industry and my professions ranged from forensic investigator, money laundering control officer, sanctions compliance manager and senior financial crime auditor.
  • I never knew I was artistically inclined until Mom's Own Milk was formed.
  • I continuously study and besides everything jewellery related, i am strive to learn something new every day.  I recently obtained my full motorcycle license and I am now learning advanced riding.  I'm hoping to combine my love of riding with my love of helping others by becoming a blood rider.
  • During COVID I started working shifts at my local COVID Testing Centre.  How amazing it is to help patients and interact with different people!
  • I don't particularly like hot humid weather, but have visited two desserts but never gone skiing.
  • I recently received an honorary Doctor's Degree in Divinity.
 

In 2010 I underwent IVF treatment after struggling for years to fall pregnant.  I was almost 40 and had severe back problems at the time.  My first IVF cycle was successful and my pregnancy was not difficult, however I had four herniated disks in my lower back at the time that required surgery.  I opted to continue with my pregnancy whilst in constant pain.

At the time, I was employed by a major financial institution in London City Centre as a Senior Financial Crime Auditor.  My plan was to breastfeed my son for 6 months, then return back to work and start the process for another IVF cycle.

As with all best laid plans, destiny has something completely different in store for me!

Enter...my son, Jessy.  What an amazing experience motherhood turned out to be!

 

 

Jess was a very high needs child and was very attached to me.  I found parenting very difficult, especially with a child that breastfeed every 45 minutes day and night for the first 3.5 years!  But the time spent with him, seeing every development milestone, experiencing the world through his eyes and witnessing how he developed each day was an experience unlike any other.  And from that unbelievable bond, Mom's Own Milk was conceived.

Jess was breastfed until well after his 6th birthday (no, that was not planned but completely organic) and co slept with me just as long.  I calculated that over his life, I exclusively breastfeed him in excess of 33,600 times despite being told by several doctors to stop.  Even my family and friends found it strange and warned me against co sleeping ad breastfeeding so long.  But I left the choice to him:  I would breastfeed him for as long as he wanted to.

 

I found this helped a lot in his formative years to calm and relax him.  He was diagnosed at 3.5 years old with severe ADHD and has been medicated since that age.  In 2021 he was diagnosed with autism.

How it all started

I've always wanted to have a keepsake of our very special bond and thought there would be lots of time to have something made.  As he got older I was worried my milk would start drying up or he would self wean. After having contacted both UK and US breast milk jewellery suppliers I was shocked that the waiting lists were so long, or that they didn't even bother to get back to me about my order.  Rather than wait around, I decided to give it a go myself. And what an enjoyable and rewarding process it's been!

 

Glasswork

I am the only creator worldwide that has perfected breastmilk preservation in glass.  This is either done using a technique called lamp working (typically for glass euro style beads) or fusing (where glass is placed in a kiln using temperatures over 800 degrees Celsius.  These processes provide for long term durable jewellery that is not affected by UV exposure like resin.

 

Metalwork

I've undergone extensive training with well known industry experts that has allowed me to use a wide range of jewellery making processes to create unique and personalised creations.  Silver and goldsmithing is used most often when we hand craft rings for you.  Similarly, we can offer metal pierced jewellery where designs are sawed out of sheet metal.
During 2016, I successfully completed and earned two metal clay diplomas offering a different dimension to hand craft jewellery.  Typical examples are our hand / foot print charms and fingerprint rings.
I am always on the lookout for new jewellery processes so I can create the most perfect keepsake for you that I can within my ability. I will take YOUR own breast milk, converted it into a solid form that will allow me to shape it in any way I choose.  The milk inclusion, as I refer to it, is then embedded and preserved in resin or glass and cast into a keepsake or jewellery piece of your choice. 

 

How its done 

Each creation is made using YOUR OWN breast milk. There are no other milk substitutions or additions. All items used in the creation process are new and / or sterilised so there is no chance of contamination from any other source. To start the process, I need your inclusions, those can be breastmilk, a lock of hair, encapsulated placenta (we don't work with fresh / raw placenta), a dried umbilical cord or stump, cremation ashes and anything else that you would like to preserve such as teeth, sand from your holiday, scraps from your wedding dress or anything precious.

Upon receipt, I start the process of preserving your breastmilk in the form of a "milk inclusion".  The first step is to transfer the milk into a sterile test tube that is tagged with your order number, name and date received.  I only use new equipment including cups, gloves, masks, stir sticks and pipettes.  Moulds are sterilised after each use, so you are assured of non contamination of your milk.

I do not add solvents, enzymes, or cultures to your breast milk.  The process turns your liquid milk into a solid substance that can be shaped by hand into a bubble or tube for a charm bead, or cast a into mould for the design of your choice. As each milk inclusion is hand crafted, no two items will ever be the same. Although every effort is made to make each order the same, bear in mind that it is handmade so slight differences in colour and appearance may be evident as each person produces different breastmilk.  
 
Each milk inclusion will vary in colour depending on the breast milk sample received. Some milk appears creamy yellow (the high in fat hindmilk) whilst some milk is thinner and clearer in appearance (the low fat foremilk). Any milk can be used: fresh or previously frozen.  If previously frozen, please ensure that it is thawed before mailing it. Generally, the milk inclusion may show slight colour variations ranging from white to creamy yellow, depending on the milk received.  This is totally normal. 
 
All jewellery is made in a 100% smoke free, pet free environment. 
 
Watch our short YouTube video showing how resin is prepared for your creation. You can access it here.
 
It takes at least a week and up to 20 days from receipt of your milk until your order is complete, depending on the complexity and quantity of items ordered.  You can monitor my lead time to see how soon you may expect your creation.
 
Unless otherwise stated, inclusion placement is at my discretion. Do let me know if you have a personal preference. 

 

Guaranteeing that your own breastmilk is being used

I get asked this question regularly:  "How do you know that I have used your own breastmilk?"  The short answer is: there is no guarantee and you are making your purchase based on trust.  

You visit your doctor or physician to draw your blood and analyse it.  You trust that the results are based on your blood sample, yet you have not physically accompanied the sample through the various stages of analysis.  Similarly, if you had to use the services of crematorium to cremate a loved one, you would place a vast amount of trust that the urn you receive contains the actual ashes of your beloved.  Yet, you would not want to necessary follow the process every step of the way.

For these industries to operate successfully and gain a reputation of being reputable, they have implemented a range of checks and processes to ensure that their samples do not go astray.  

Similarly, we have a whole host of checks and processes in place to ensure that its your milk.  First of all, you need to place an order with us through our website.  Upon completion, you will receive an order confirmation with a unique order number.  We request that you record your name and order number on every inclusion you provide us.  From our side, we will prepare your order requisition, a sterile vial to store your breastmilk and a unique mailing label with your details on it.

On the day we receive your inclusions, we will check the order number and name against our electronic records and our recently created sterile vial.  If all the information matches, we will place your order in progress and issue an order requisition which will accompany your inclusions until the day it is posted.  During the processing period, your milk will be transferred from your packaging or your breastmilk kit to the sterile vial: all three must match at that time - the sterile vial, your inclusions and the order requisition. 

We only work on one creation at a time so there is no chance of your order being mixed up with someone else's.  Furthermore, we are the only worldwide provider with such a huge range of customisation that there are very seldom times that we work on several designs that look exactly the same.  Rest assured, all orders are kept separate from each other.