Malaysians have known to be one of the most quirkiest people ever and we are talking about their creations of nasi lemak ice cream, sambal mooncake and so on. But who knew though, that one could make keepsakes out of something so precious? There’s mothers keeping nails, milk teeth, hair and umbilical cord of their babies and — breastmilk is certainly not one of it.
This is a story of a Malaysian startup company on how they managed to wow mothers with their breastmilk jewellery creation.
How it all started for the sisters
To start things off, Woodie Pie was established in November 2015 by sisters, Heidi and Cassandra. Selling handmade soaps with wood flakes was the initial thought when they first started the business. However, they kept receiving customised requests for breastmilk soaps from their clients and so they eventually created one.
Until a customer approached them with a request: to have something special made for his wife using her breast milk. Wanting it to be a memorable gift, it had to be more permanent than just a soap bar.
They sisters thoroughly researched and came across someone turning their own breast milk into jewellery online. As Heidi’s husband works in construction, the sisters tried formulating it with construction materials. Sooner rather than later, they finally managed to create their first breast milk stone. With the objective of supporting motherhood, Woodie Pie is focused on catering to the public with their out-of-the-ordinary products to acknowledge the sacrifice of breastfeeding mothers.
Facing challenges as they grow
Like every startup, Heidi and Cassandra stumbled upon obstacles along the way by learning everything from scratch. Having no prior experience in the industry, the sisters had to set up the website on their own and figure out their customers’ behaviours in the beginning. Of course, on top of the fact that breast milk jewellery is also an uncommon industry in the eye of the public.
In spite of that, none of those impediments stopped the sisters. Moving to 2020, Woodie Pie will be turning five. Now with the company running smoothly, their customer base is not only Malaysians but also from Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia and Canada.
They have received at least 10,000 orders since they began with a few returning customers up to this date. Due to their significant increase in customers, the sisters hope that the demand will continue to rise in the future.
How do they make it?
To make a breast milk bar soap, it would take 100ml to 200ml of breast milk whereas the breast milk stone only requires 5ml per process. What their customers would need to to get the stone made is to send 30ml of breast milk. As for the balance of the milk, it would be kept for any future purchases which is a brilliant thought, if you would come to think of it.
Anyway, once the milk has been received, the first thing they do is to preserve the breastmilk. This will extract the gas molecules that are trapped in the liquid before starting the solidification process. Only if needed, touch-ups would be made first before sending the stone to the final stage with a metal part attachment.
It takes just 3 days of preservation and 7 days for solidification for the stone to be made. However, certain designs may take a shorter period to process and some may take longer. If they have to redo a stone, they would need to start from the beginning again.
Woodie Pie’s products usually cost RM109 to RM888 depending on the complexity of the design.
The sole purpose
Each of their breast milk jewellery symbolises a more profound meaning. Parents, especially mothers can now hold on to the precious moments of their child’s life in the form of jewellery. Mothers can also pass down their breastmilk jewellery with their own DNA to their next generation. Hopefully, in the near future, these keepsakes will become a part of fashion and mothers can flaunt their own DNA jewellery instead.
By creating Woodie Pie, the sisters want their work to acknowledge every mother’s hard work and the choices they have made. With something so precious, mothers can finally have a way to express their confidence and share their breastfeeding journey.
It’s all about the treasured memories and Woodie Pie is here to help.
Images via Woodie Pie and @cassandratyc