Ann Marie Sharoupim is a pharmacist who also creates and sells one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces made with breast milk. It was Ann Marie’s own breastfeeding journey that inspired her to start her jewelry endeavor Mamma’s Liquid Love.
With her first child Rebecca, Ann Marie struggled to produce her own breast milk. “It took me 3 weeks of pumping 8 times daily for at least 20 minutes and feeding on demand to finally make enough milk for her,” she told WYSK in an email. “It was incredibly stressful and draining especially for a mother that was experiencing postpartum depression.”
When her second daughter Gabriella arrived a couple of years later, she was unable to produce enough milk. Preferring to give the baby breast milk over formula, Ann Marie turned to a breast milk donor to provide for her daughter.
As a symbol of her appreciation to the generous donor for the “liquid love”, Ann Marie crafted a pendant that included a bit of the donated milk for her. The donor’s gratitude and joy after receiving the pendant inspired Ann Marie to spread that same joy to others, and she started Mamma’s Liquid Love.
Having never made jewelry prior to this, Ann Marie tapped into her pharmacy expertise and spent months researching and experimenting to come up with a recipe that would keep the breast milk from spoiling. The process is fairly simple, a customer sends Ann Marie milk, once it’s received, she sterilizes and chemically treats it to convert the liquid into a solid. The solid material is shaped and then topped off with coat of resin to protect the delicate “gem”.
Each handcrafted piece varies in style and of course in color, because as Ann Marie explains, “Every mamma is unique and the jewelry will reflect that. No two mother’s breast milk is the same. There will be many variations especially in color.”
The finished pieces look a bit like moonstones, they have an ethereal quality that speaks to Ann Marie’s sentiment of “preserving the sweetest, closest moments mothers have with their little ones.”
Prices range from $50-$130+ depending on the request, and pieces take about 6-8 weeks to create once the breast milk is received.