Mother-of-two quits her job and starts her own business selling 'placenta smoothies'
In today's modern, fast-paced and interconnected world, quitting your job to start your own business is a pipe dream that more and more people are adopting every day. The ability to set your own hours and make a living on your own terms is a massively appealing prospect, but in order to make the cash, you've got to find your own niche in the market.
It's Business 101.
While 29-year-old Leah Phillips didn't have to worry about giving up her job, she too wondered when that big business idea came to her. Giving up her gig as an Early Years teacher once her eldest son Chris was born, the mother of two had a bolt of inspiration in the months directly after becoming a mother.
With the help of a friend, Leah made her placenta into a powder after having Chris, and in her own words, it was a life-changing experience. "I saw so many benefits," she revealed, and the effect was all the more pronounced when she had her second child, Toby.
"With my second child, Toby, now two, I had a retained placenta – where the placenta does not fall away after childbirth and requires medical intervention. For some people it’s still possible but because we were rushed to theatre, we weren’t able to get it cooled down quick enough.
I didn’t bounce back as quickly after my second birth, partly because I had two children to look after, rather than one, but I also think it was because I didn’t get to use my placenta."
From then on, Leah was convinced, and with the help of Placenta UK and Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network, she trained to become a placenta specialist.
With the likes of Colleen Rooney, Kim Kardashian and more celebrities memorialising their placenta every day, Leah founded Placenta Tree, where she makes smoothies, face creams and more. "Placenta encapsulation is a really interesting business to be in," she explained.
Leah gets in touch with new clients through social media and word of mouth, booking them in before they give birth, and giving them a cooling kit to help preserve the placenta once it arrives. "Every mum wants different things, so I like to offer a range of products," she said, and as the due date approaches, she heads over to pick up the placenta, and gets to work.
First, Leah makes a keepsake out of the dried umbilical cord - usually making a heart shape or spelling the word 'love' - before starting to process the placenta.
“I either rinse and steam the placenta, before slicing into strips and placing it in a dehydrator, or for raw placenta tablets, I skip the steaming step. Once it is dehydrated, I can finely ground it and put it in capsules.If a new mum wants a smoothie, I take some strips of the placenta and blend it with fruit of their choice.
Some want an essence or tincture, which is a bit like rescue remedy made from placenta. For that, I need to soak it in water or vodka and pour that into a little bottle. It can be added to water to get the benefits."
The process usually takes about a day to fully complete, but by the time it's over, Leah has a placenta product she can then sell back to the client. Charging £140 for an encapsulation, Leah charges £25 for a smoothie, £35 for an essence or tincture, while the cream or balms cost £30.
"I know that some people are sceptical about the benefits of using your placenta, but it’s a rich source of Iron, cortisone, oxytocin vitamins E and B6 and stem cells. I have lots of customers who tell me that placenta products have really helped them to deal with the baby blues, with getting their milk in and just generally with getting back to normal quickly. I’ve never had anyone who has tried it say anything negative to me."
At first glance, repurposing your placenta sounds... kind of gross. But if Leah Phillips and her business is anything to go by, then there's a massive market for it in today's world. If you're an expecting mother, then maybe it's worth a go!