Neuroscientist Transforms Breast Milk, Ashes, and Hair into Unique Jewelry: A New Business Venture

…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media. Rachel Heinze, a 29-year-old neuroscientist from Lakeland, Florida, made a significant career change to pursue her passion for creating unique jewelry pieces using breast milk, ashes, and hair.

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Rachel’s journey began after she faced breastfeeding difficulties with her first child, Lucas, who was born prematurely in October 2020.

Inspired by Facebook advertisements for breast milk jewelry, Rachel decided to commemorate her challenging breastfeeding journey by crafting a ring from her leftover milk.

She quickly fell in love with the process and turned her newfound hobby into a business, launching it in November 2021.

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To create her designs, Rachel transforms clients’ breast milk into powder before incorporating it into the jewelry.

Additionally, she can incorporate locks of hair and ashes into her pieces.

Each item is sold for up to $200, and in her first full year of business in 2022, Rachel made $30,000.

Reflecting on her initial reaction to breast milk jewelry before becoming a mother, Rachel admitted finding it strange.

However, after experiencing her own breastfeeding journey, she understood why people would want to carry a memento from that precious time.

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When she reached the one-year breastfeeding milestone, Rachel decided to celebrate by creating her own jewelry pieces and soon discovered her passion for the craft.

As friends began showing interest, Rachel’s hobby transformed into a business venture.

Rachel encountered difficulties with breastfeeding when Lucas struggled to latch.

As a result, she had to pump milk for him, unable to use formula milk due to his dislike for its taste.

Rachel persevered, pumping milk for six months until Lucas could finally latch.

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She shared that her breastfeeding journey was both exhausting and challenging.

Motivated by her own “long and painful” breastfeeding experience, Rachel started making breast milk jewelry as a personal celebration.

Eventually, she turned it into a business, quitting her job as a neuroscientist to focus on her new venture.

As her social media videos gained traction, Rachel received breast milk from all over the world, inspiring her to further develop her business.

In addition to breast milk jewelry, she expanded her offerings to include designs incorporating ashes, locks of hair, and birthstones.

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Rachel’s background in neuroscience played a role in the preservation process, enabling her to turn breast milk into powder to prevent spoilage over time.

The preservation process takes approximately 30 minutes, and the powder must dry for two to three days before she can grind it for use.

Rachel spends eight weeks creating her designs while balancing her family life.

Being a stay-at-home mom was always her aspiration, and her jewelry-making skills aligned perfectly with her desired lifestyle.

Despite the challenges of managing work and childcare, Rachel finds it worthwhile.

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She often works on her jewelry late into the night, ensuring orders are completed, and enjoys reading positive customer reviews.

While the majority of responses to her work are positive, Rachel has encountered trolls who find her jewelry “gross.”

However, she remains unfazed by their remarks, understanding that they may lack an understanding of breastfeeding.

Rachel appreciates the success and support she has received and feels grateful for the opportunity to support other women on their breastfeeding journeys.

Rachel’s jewelry pieces offer a meaningful way for individuals to carry a part of their personal stories with them, and she continues to find joy in her creative business while prioritizing her role as a mother.

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