Article Image Alt TextArticle Image Alt TextArticle Image Alt Text

Copperas Cove woman makes and sells keepsake memorial items

Cove Leader-Press

Maintaining a memory of a loved one is important, and there are more and more businesses in the U.S. aimed at helping provide keepsake items. 
Here in Copperas Cove, one woman is trying to offer an affordable option for keepsake jewelry made with cremated remains, breastmilk or hair.  
Kayla Farmer, owner of Soap Zen Things, first started her business back in 2019, making soap using natural ingredients like donkey’s milk and goat’s milk but struggled to get customers. 
After a brief hiatus, Farmer dipped her toes back into the crafting world after her husband purchased a Cricut machine for her in 2020. With this cutting machine, she began making tee-shirts, bags, cups and faux leather earrings, but she soon discovered a very well-saturated market of others selling similar items. 
“I really enjoyed the crafting, and the reason I kept into it is because I have really bad anxiety and depression,” Farmer said. “I have OCD. I have really bad ADHD, so all of the crafting and getting my fingers in stuff and things really helped.”
After her uncle passed away six months ago, Farmer began looking into keepsake jewelry and memorial items. She made an epoxy tumbler to remember her uncle by, with vinyl decals representing the memories she shared with him and a piece of a can of his favorite beer, all sealed with epoxy resin. Farmer also made rings for her family featuring the flowers from his memorial service as keepsakes to honor him. 
She was approached recently by a woman interested in purchasing a memorial resin pyramid, with her dog’s collar and favorite toy, so Farmer purchased a pyramid mold. She said she plans on offering this option through her Facebook page soon. 
“That’s what I really started to focus on, was the keepsakes, because a lot of people in this area don’t, and the people that do [offer them] online, they overcharge, and people can’t afford it,” Farmer said. 
Farmer mentioned that some of her family members ended up spending upwards of $1,000 on a keepsake thumbprint necklace through the funeral home after the death of her uncle. 
“I feel like it is something that is super important because I have lost loved ones,” Farmer said about creating keepsake pieces. “I have lost my other uncle previously, and I did not get a keepsake of his at all. I wasn’t into it back then. I didn’t think about it, and like I said the necklaces and stuff that they sell in funeral homes were just overpriced and expensive that I couldn’t afford them.”
After her younger uncle passed away six months ago, Farmer said she knew she wanted to have something to remember him by. 
“It wasn’t even him. It was just a beer can,” Farmer said. “Then I ended up keeping his flowers, and it was just important for me to think about how other people kind of miss out on the opportunity to have keepsakes because they can’t afford them because they’re so overpriced, which is crazy because they’re like mass manufactured. They’re not handcrafted.”
Farmer added that the items she makes incorporate a piece of the person or pet, with ashes or hair or flowers. 
“For somebody to be able to have something, it’s just, to me that really is priceless,” Farmer said. “I guess I just really want people to be able to one, afford it, and two, to have the option to actually have it and not miss out on having a piece of somebody with them, and not just a person but like a pet.”
Farmer also eventually started working on creating breastmilk jewelry in late 2021, which features breastmilk that is preserved into a powdered substance using chemicals and is then mixed with resin and set in a blank ring base. 
Finding the specific process used to preserve the breastmilk proved to be difficult, as most other business owners who do this same thing do not share their ingredients or secrets, she said. 
She eventually found a supplier of the ingredients and then set out to offer breastmilk jewelry and keepsakes at an affordable price and in a variety of options. 
“A breast milk ring on like Etsy for a decent sized one are way over $200,” Farmer said. “They’re probably $300, $400, and they only have maybe four or five styles that you can choose from.”
Farmer said she set out to order a ring blank to make a breastmilk ring for herself, and if someone else wanted one, she would have them select a ring blank from another business and allow them that option to customize their ring even more. 
A small breastmilk ring from Farmer is $100, and a larger ring is $120. 
Farmer said she tries to keep the cost relatively low, but there are extra costs associated with these types of items. As she is dealing with chemicals as well as a bodily fluid that contains bloodborne pathogens, she has to wear protective gear including gloves, a respirator mask, and eye goggles. 
Farmer has made rings with pet ashes, human ashes, pet hair, human hair, breastmilk and flowers. She said she is open to just about any request, though. 
For more information or to place an order for a keepsake item or jewelry, visit Soap Zen Things by Kayla on Facebook at 

Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Phone:(254) 547-4207