Frequently Asked Questions
Detailed information on the following can be found below:
- Information to know before placing an order
- Refund cancellation policies
- Faults and repairs
- Once an order is placed
- Once your order is completed & sent home
- Taking care of your jewellery & other information
Current Timings for 2018
Customers can place orders and laybys however please note that after Oct 1 all packages must be sent when the studio reopens in January
August 31st 2018 -
This is the cut off date for us to receive your package in order to ensure your order will be sent home in time for Christmas. Any package which arrives after this date has no guarantee of a 2018 delivery and will be safely stored until we return from Christmas holidays in 2019.
September 28th -This is the last date in 2018 for you to send your package to us. If you don't send by this date please hold on to your package (i.e freeze your milk) until the studio reopens January 23 2019.
October 1st -We have removed our postal address to prevent packages being sent as we prepare to close down the studio for 5 weeks from December 19th 2018.Our postal address will be available on our website again from the 23rd of January 2019.
December 17th - If your package was sent prior to the Christmas cut off we will prioritise international packages to be sent by this date, however the very last of our mail will be sent on this date.
We are not associated with the postal system, so any delays caused by local or international postal systems are not our responsibility. Thank you for your understanding.
December 19th - Our team is on holidays, HOORAY!
Melanie will be away for 5 weeks with her family & Roshnee will take less time off, however exact dates will be announced soon.
January 23rd 2019 - We are back from holidays, our address and customs permit will be back on the website & we will resume working on all orders received in 2018. Please keep a note of this date and check back in to the website as the 'how to send' information will be up on this day.
Please note that you must have your layby paid in full before sending, so please keep this in mind when placing a Christmas order.
You can order gift vouchers right until Christmas day as they get emailed to you straight away.
Information to know before you place an order
Where are we located?
Queensland, Australia but we ship WORLDWIDE and have an official Australian Customs permit that allows you to send your materials to us from overseas. All information is supplied to you after your order is placed.
How do I send my materials?
It is really quite easy! You will also find more of this information further down this page.
Once you place an order an automatic email will be sent to you with the password for our 'customer after purchase info pack' which appears on our website HERE. This contains our address and all in depth information needed to send your package safely to us, including the Customs permit for international customers. Please check your junk folder if this email doesn’t appear within 1hr of purchase.
How long does it take to make my order?
We work with an extremely high volume of orders, and currently this can take 8 - 12 weeks from the time it arrives to us until it is ready to be sent. We work as fast and efficiently as possible to have your beautiful jewellery home to you, however please be mindful that we are mother’s ourselves & are a very high in demand service creating everything by hand. The postal service can also vary in times that it takes to deliver so please keep this in mind prior to ordering.
Please click on the 'Important Christmas Information 2018' page of the website for current timings.
What does it mean when an item is out of stock?
This means that we have placed a monthly limit on how many of these pieces we create each month for that particular style. Please check back at the start of the next month for it's availability or email us for more information.
Are you able to create a custom piece?
Sorry, we do not create custom designs as we work with an extremely high volume of orders and time does not permit this.
Do you send back left over items?
We will only guarantee sending back remaining ashes & umbilical stumps. Please DO NOT send any more than 1-2 teaspoons of ashes unless you have a very large order. You can email us if you are unsure.
If you are sending something irreplaceable, please do not send us all of what you have! We have no control over the postal service and can only take responsibility for your package when it is with us.
We will not send back any remaining milk back home, preserved or non preserved and reserve the right to dispose of any unused milk.
We understand this means sometimes only a very small amount will be sent to us, we would rather this than have you upset if we use all you provide.
Can i change my order if I change my mind?
Once you place your order, please know we cannot make changes as this can lead to confusion on our end and an unhappy experience for customers. Please make sure you are certain on your design choice before confirming your order. This includes flecks and shimmers.
If we live locally can we pick up and drop off?
Sorry we are unable to provide this service.
Do you create pieces with animal ashes/fur?
Yes we absolutely do - just order the appropriate piece and state that it is your pet's ashes or fur that you would like set.
Can I mix items such as milk and placenta/umbilical together?
The only inclusion we will combine with milk is hair. Please note not all designs can hold milk & hair, so please check the design descriptions for this information.
Why can't i add flecks to my milk jewellery piece?
We recommended only using pearl/gold shimmer or Opal flecks when choosing milk jewellery pieces. The reason for not recommending other flecks has to do with their size and texture. The end result may not be smooth and 'jewel like' and as such we feel using fine shimmers (or Opal flecks) work better.
My friends and I would all like jewellery created, can we ship together?
Sorry, to avoid confusion we cannot combine orders.
What happens when I order a gift certificate?
You will receive an automatic email after purchase which contains your gift certificate code. You may print and/or email as you please. We suggest writing the code into a lovely card to be presented to the recipient.
Can European beads fit on Pandora bracelets?
Yes, absolutely! They also look beautiful on a chain.
Estimated Postage costs (via Australia Post):
Lay-buy (payment plan) information
BTWT now offers payment plans through an automatic PayPal based service to help split the cost of your order over 3 months.
Please note that BTWT is unable to change the date that payments are deducted nor can we expedite the process to make it faster. You can decide how often payments come out and when to set minimum and maximum (of 3 month) payments but please note we can not change this once you have checked out.Please ensure you have funds available in your bank account on your expected transaction date.
Upon check out you will be informed when payments will come out and it is a requirement that you have sufficient funds to meet this. Please note that layby payments are non refundable. You will only be able to send your inclusions once payment is completed in full. Please do ask us any questions prior to selecting the layby option. Please note that we do not contact you to let you know when your layby has been finalised. When you check out you will be given the options on dates where payments will be taken out of your account so please note that or screenshot it for your reference.
If you have a current PayPal based LayBuy system, please do not send your inclusions to us until after the final payment is made. If we receive your package before final payment is made then we reserve the right to return the package back to sender until payment is complete. Please read the above more detailed info on payment plans.
Please do not purchase a gift certificate on Laybuy. You may purchase smaller gift cards over your chosen time period & use them together within 12 months of purchase.
Thanks for understanding!
Very important Refunds, order cancellations & store credit information
- Inclusions MUST be sent within 6 weeks of ordering. (Please note that the Christmas break is exempt to this timeline. If you have ordered after we have closed off accepting packages at the end of the year please send once the studio reopens).
- We have a strict no refunds policy, so please ensure you are able to send your inclusions to us within 6 weeks (maximum 8 weeks for beads) to avoid any disappointment.
- There are very few circumstances in which we will actually refund, this is something we take case by case and only for orders which have not been created. In the instance that we do, there will be a 20% fee for Australian customers and 30% for overseas customers. This is something we will discuss with you if you are requesting a refund for special circumstances, and only be considered if it has been under 6 months since the order was placed.
- If it has been 6 weeks since placing your order and you have not yet sent, you must contact us right away and we will proceed with issuing you a store credit to be used within a further 6 weeks if necessary.
- We will only issue store credit once per order.
- We reserve the right to automatically cancel any unfulfilled order older than 12 months with no refund or store credit given.
- We take no responsibility for change of mind, nor reading our website prior to ordering.
- We absolutely understand that life events like illness can happen, however the best way to avoid any disappointment is ensuring you are ready to proceed with packaging and sending at the time you confirm your order.
Faults & repairs
- Please contact us at email@example.com within 5 days of receiving your jewellery, with all relevant photo's & a description on what is at fault.
- If it is found to be something which is at fault by us, we will require for you to post your item back to for a full inspection & repair within 4 weeks.
- Any item which is to be at fault of the customer (accidental damage) we agree to take a look at this for you and help you find a solution to repair this at the customers expense. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- We aim to ensure all jewellery is inspected prior to packaging to rule out any possible faults.
Information on providing & sending materials (especially breast milk)
If I am sending milk do I need to send my milk frozen?
Fresh, old, frozen or defrosted milk is perfectly fine to send.
Can you work with high lipase milk?
Will my milk go off ?
Breast milk has amazing properties and does not spoil the way cow's milk would. It will keep beautifully for the process of creating your precious jewellery. We have been creating jewellery using breast milk since 2013 being sent from all over the world & have never had issues with breast milk travelling. Please follow the instructions on how to send and do not pack in ice etc. Your milk will not go bad.
Will my milk jewellery look exactly like the pictures on the website ?
Breast milk is as individual in colour as we are as people. For this reason please note that your piece will not look like the photos on the website .... even they differ! We see milk that is as white as paper through to beautiful creamy yellow and even blue/pink/green tinges. Please note that your milk has nothing added to it to change its colour. We believe this is what makes each piece so special.
What do I need to be able to send my milk?
You will only require breast milk storage bags or zip-lock bags, a note confirming your order, your name (matching the order online), Your order number & your preferred flecks and shimmers. More detailed information is emailed to you after an order is placed.
What do I need to be able to send other inclusions?
You typically only require zip-lock bags, and a pen to leave a note within your package containing, your name (matching the order online), Your order number & your preferred flecks and shimmers. More detailed information is emailed after an order is placed.
How much is typically required to create jewellery?
Typically 30ml for 1 - 3 pieces. Minimum 10ml for small pieces such as a ring but please check item listing before ordering. Maximum milk to be sent is 50ml.
1/2-1 teaspoon is enough for 1 - 3 pieces depending on size. We can work with however much you have so please contact us via email if you are worried that your amount is too small.
Depending on size of the stump, Usually 1/4 to 1/2 half of a dried umbilical stump for small to medium pieces & a whole stump for larger pieces.
1 - 2 capsules, or 1 teaspoon worth for 1 - 4 pieces
Minimum 1cm and we can combine hair from more than one person
Half a teaspoon for 1 - 2 pieces
Enough to cover aprox 1 teaspoon and please ensure they are fully dried.
More information on the above is provided after an order is placed
Once an order is placed
Can I add more items to an existing order?
Once your order is placed and materials are sent to us we cannot add to an existing order. You will be required to create a new order and send materials for this separately. You must write the order number associated with each separate order clearly on the outside and inside of the package to avoid confusion.
I haven’t sent my materials yet (please send within 6 weeks of ordering) Can I add to this order?
Yes, if you have made an order and haven’t yet sent within the 6 week guideline, you can purchase another design. Please ensure you send enough materials for all pieces and you MUST state all order numbers on the back of your envelope and inside your package to avoid confusion.
I am moving house and I have an existing order, HELP!
Please always ensure you alert us straight away by emailing us at email@example.com & we will update your details on your online order. We highly recommend using an alternative address if you think there's a possibility you may be on holidays/moving house in the 12 weeks post sending your package. If you fail to alert us right away before we send your package, we take no responsibility.
Once your order is completed & sent home
How long does postage take from Beyond The Willow Tree to your home?
Australia - 3 - 5 working days express post
Overseas - 12 - 21 working days regular or tracked post
We ship packages home to you once a fortnight.
Please note that we cannot control postal times once it leaves us & best place to check on waiting time if you are concerned is with your local post office.
What do you do with remaining milk?
BTWT clearly labelled 'processed' milk and store for minimum 3 - 6 months AFTER a package has been sent home. This ensures a safety net as we understand there are a lot of women who are working from low supplies who wish to order again.
My jewellery doesn't look exactly like the one on the website..
This is absolutely normal given each piece BTWT works with is as individual as you are. Colours of all materials vary from person to person, so there will never be a piece which looks exactly like the next. Please remember each piece is handmade from start to finish, so won't be flawless like you receive from machine made items. If this is something that may be of concern please discuss with us first as handmade jewellery does not look like store bought, factory finished pieces.
What if I receive my package and I do not like it?
Please check our refunds policy in terms and conditions. Each piece is crafted with heart and soul by Melanie. Each piece takes time, and being handmade there is never a guarantee of a machine finish like something you will find in a store. We understand that each piece holds an emotional bond and connection, however as an artist, Melanie can only work with the materials she receives in a way that works for that particular piece. What you see on the website is a picture of someone else's finished piece, this may not be what you will exactly get - However possibly very close!
Colours and textures play a huge part in how each piece will work, and by purchasing a design in our store, you are happy to purchase handmade (with love!) and accept there may be slight imperfections.
In saying this, if there is something wrong with your order which clearly shows was a flaw that could have been managed (judged case by case), we will happily take a look at this and work with fixing your precious item for you. If you feel overly anxious about allowing another person to handle your items (with love and respect) to create your precious keepsakes with, then perhaps having us create for you right now isn't the best time.
We care dearly about our customers and their heart felt possessions.
How durable is the jewellery?
- All of these pieces are designed to be worn every day, however please treat them with care.
- Please do not shower or swim with them on, or leave them sitting in direct sunlight.
- They are sealed with a hard resin to protect them.
- Resin is a type of plastic that is durable however, as with any precious jewellery, it is advised to take care of your piece.
- Avoid excess water submersion & direct sunlight.
- Please also avoid harsh chemicals, prolonged direct sunlight, hard pressure and temperature which may cause changes, as this may alter your piece - You will not be entitled to an exchange if there is changes to your jewellery which could have been avoided by the wearer.
- Breast milk jewellery will not discolour as all milk is professionally preserved and has had the tick of approval by health officials.
- Please remove your jewellery before having a spray tan or working in the dirt. Be mindful of your jewellery, as these are durable, yet precious keepsakes.
- Clean with a soft cloth regularly
- If you require to send your piece to me for mending due to changes caused by the above, a clean, or a polish, this will incur a service fee which is looked at case by case.
Why does it take so long?
Please be aware that each piece of handmade jewellery takes time.
All breast milk jewellery involves specially preserving to ensure your breast milk will remain the same as the day you receive it. We place all milk through an individual process of preservation which can take up to 10 days alone.
Packaging, sorting and labelling your arrived orders is very important and takes time to complete. Once we begin working with your items, there are many steps in setting up, pouring, mixing, drying, sanding and more. We understand your excitement, however please understand we work with the largest of volumes seen worldwide.
Once your order moves down the list in the order of received by me, and makes it to 'working with', this is where the setting up of each piece takes place. All setting, drying, sanding, polishing and photographing takes place.
This is not a 'quick turn around' process ... We are an in demand professional service used by families worldwide, which means it can take time for me to be working with your precious jewellery.
Please take into consideration that if you have a very large order, or one where you have not indicated your preferences clearly & we need to contact you, it may take an extra week to have your package out to you.
Each piece you buy from us is handmade with love and crafted so individually different. This means that no two products will ever be the same.
Although we put a lot of time and dedication into our work, there may be something which sets apart one piece from the next. It could be a small bubble, or a seam which is a little evident.
Buying handmade, means buying an extension of an artists expression.
Each item you send us will also be different from the next person's, so please remember we cannot replicate an exact version of something you may see on our store as colours & materials will always vary. Thank you for choosing handmade.
Thank you and we hope you enjoy the Beyond The Willow Tree experience..
Melanie & Beyond The Willow Tree team x