October 30, 2017
| On 1 year ago

Keepsake By Ryo: This Company Lets You Turn Breast Milk & Umbilical Cords Into Jewellery

By Adrian Han

When a husband pisses off his wife (and it will happen), getting her jewellery can often offer salvation, albeit temporarily. A happy missus equates to a blissful family, am I right?

But if you’re already a mum, have you thought about getting a piece of jewellery that’s special to just you? More specifically, something that embodies the hardship and sacrifices that a mother experiences while raising a child.

Enter breast milk jewellery. It is exactly what it sounds like: jewellery made with breast milk. Shocking, huh?

Keepsake By Ryo is a family-run business that helps mothers turn their breast milk into an ornament; sort of like memorabilia for mums. Customers send over 20ml of their breast milk, wait a few months, and it comes back to them as jewellery.

The founder, Ryo, is 27 years old and a mother of two. She came up with the idea after giving birth to her first child in 2015. There was already jewellery made from breast milk then but those businesses were overseas, which made it difficult for her and any other mums to purchase them.

Hence, Ryo decided to start up her own business. She wanted mums to be able to own something that they could be proud of, perhaps, even as a gift for their children when they grow up.

Ryo studied art in Junior College, so she was confident in designing the jewellery herself. All the products are hand-made through a stringent process; what you get isn’t going to be a machine-cut precision piece, but an ornament where every piece is unique.

But when Ryo first started making the jewellery, it became clear that breast milk was not an easy product to work with. Her first batch of ornaments saw the milk turning brown.

It was only after countless experimentations done with her chemist cousin that she finally found the perfect formula to preserve the milk. Now, with a formula that’s more than just sugar, spice, and everything nice, that necklace or bangle will look beautiful for years to come.

Most of the jewellery is made from silver, but if you’re feeling a little richer than usual, you can opt for Ryo’s heirloom collection, which is crafted using real gold. Real gold definitely has the value of longevity if you ask me, but of course, it comes with a heftier price tag.

Some of you might find it creepy even, but Ryo and her husband, Ryan, put things in perspective for us. Unless you’re a mum yourself, you’d probably have a tough time understanding why people would want breast milk jewellery.

Ryo shared with us a tragic story of how one customer had terminal cancer, so she wanted something that her children could remember her by. It’s stories like these that will make you understand the significance of such an ornament.

Besides breast milk, Ryo also makes jewellery using baby hair, pet hair, and umbilical cords. Yes, you didn’t read that wrong. Umbilical cords. But of course, it’s ground to dust first.

Ryan wasn’t able to empathise with mothers about the meaning of such jewellery at first, until his pet dog passed away recently. The dog was family to him, and so he made a charm with the dog’s hair in it. Now, he finally gets the significance of it, and you, too, can preserve a part of your departed pooch with this service.

But let’s move on from all that gloomy stuff. Let’s talk about something really weird. Believe it or not, there are limits to what they can provide.

The most peculiar request was when a customer mailed a placenta to Ryo; a whole placenta, dripping with blood and smelling like a zombie. Obviously, this was something they couldn’t work on; they are jewellery makers, not wizards. So now, Ryo is trying to send the placenta back to the customer. Talk about strange, huh?

Keepsake By Ryo is certainly an interesting concept that can provide mums with a physical memory of their motherhood. It might seem bizarre to you, but things like this can mean so much more to others.

If you’re keen to purchase, visit their website for detailed instructions on what you must prepare.

Prices: $100 – $2,000 per piece

Keepsake By Ryo: Website | Facebook

Adrian Han

I love the sneaker culture. I listen to Hip-Hop. And who doesn't love to travel?