A mother has launched a jewellery business with a difference – making trinkets for owners out of their pets’ ashes, hair and even TAIL.
Michelle Childerley, 47, made her first piece of jewellery with animal hair after her husband found some of their late dog Alfie’s hair down the back of the sofa.
The mother set up a website and soon started receiving lots of requests from pet owners wanting a memento of their dead pets.
Michelle infuses animal fur, horse tail and ashes into glass and then shapes it into beads which then form part of bracelets, necklaces or earrings.
The beads look different every time and bracelets start from £14.99.
Michelle, from Cambridge, said: “Sometimes you get lots of bubbles in the glass, sometimes soot or black and white flecks – the glass behaves in different ways depending on what substance you’re working with.
“I worked with the fur of two labradoodles the other week and one went into little black lines of soot and the other one was really bubbly.
“I don’t find it weird to handle ashes, it doesn’t bother me at all.”
Michelle, who used to be an pet psychic, has worked with lots of species including guinea pigs, birds and even battery rescue chickens.
She has also made beads infused with the sand from people’s honeymoons and has even infused beads with human ashes.
Michelle only needs a “teaspoon-size amount” of the fur or ash to create the bead.
She added: “People put it in the post to me, so I get all sorts of strange things arriving with the postman.”
It takes Michelle about 20 minutes to make one bead and she works on her own.
She added: “Making these beads is my full-time job now. It’s brilliant. It’s just so lovely to be able to create a cherished memory for someone.
“It’s nice for people to have something like a bracelet rather than ashes sitting in a box in a cupboard.”