His is the last face I see before we climb into bed at night, and it’s the one that nudges me out of unconsciousness most mornings. My beautiful Lab–Golden mix, GhostBuster, is as handsome a mutt as you will ever find. His expressive eyes and toothy smile are saved in whatever part of my brain holds my cherished memories, and now, thanks to the folks at BabyFaces charms, his happy face is forever preserved in precious metal and worn close to my heart.
Dogster readers know I’m no stranger to pet-themed jewelry. Earlier this year, I used the Precious Metal Prints Pet Nose Pendant Kit on my other dog, Marshmallow, turning her noseprint into a pretty piece of jewelery. This time around it was GhostBuster’s turn to be made into wearable art.
Founded by Missouri jeweler Joel Ragan, BabyFaces specializes in transforming photos of beloved pets (or, as the name suggests, human babies) into yellow gold, white gold, or silver charms that can be worn as pendants or as a charm on a bracelet. Customers just upload a pet’s picture into BabyFaces.com, pick a finish, and in two to three weeks the 3-D charm is ready.
I think the hardest part of the process is choosing which photo you want to use. I have literally thousands of images of GhostBuster stored on my phone and in the cloud, so it was hard to pick just one. In the end, I chose a high-resolution pic I snapped with my good camera, as BabyFaces needs 300dpi or higher to really capture a dog’s likeness. I love that picture because GhostBuster is smiling in this goofy way, making his “I’m having fun” face.
When the charm arrived in the mail weeks later, I couldn’t believe how great it turned out. When I told people I was having GhostBuster’s face made into jewelry, most imagined the finished product would be big, gaudy, and not something one could wear with most outfits — but the finished product is super subtle and works with my wardrobe. I have the junior-sized charm, which is about 16mm tall, just slightly bigger than a dime. Larger charms, about the size of a quarter, are also available.
I love wearing GhostBuster’s face around my neck. Strangers know that I’m a crazy dog lady before I even open my mouth — it’s a great conversation starter. Sometimes when I’m away from my dogs, I’ll reach for the pendant around my neck and feel the ridges of GhostBuster’s face. It reminds me that even though we’re physically apart for the moment, this big, silly dog and I are always connected.
Quality: A +. I’m truly impressed with the way BabyFaces is able to capture a pet’s likeness in 3-D. Even though GhostBuster wasn’t looking straight ahead in the photograph (and had his tongue hanging out), his charm is perfectly proportioned.
Style: The perfect complement to any outfit already accessorized with dog hair.
Function: Jewelry isn’t the most functional thing one can spend money on, but this pendant does double duty as a reminder to pick up dog food.
Creativity: These aren’t your typical piece of jewelry. The founder of BabyFaces has gotten super creative with precious metals.
Value: The BabyFaces pet charms range in price from $169.99 for a sterling silver junior charm to $599.99 for a larger, 14k gold charm. They’re more expensive than other dog-themed jewelry, but you’re paying for a custom, personalized piece made in the USA.
Everyone who knows me knows that GhostBuster is always in my heart, and now he’s always near it too — literally. I’ve worn this charm all over the place — to dog school, to the dog park, to the pet store — and everyone who notices it has something positive to say. I think these charms would make a great memorial gift for someone whose dog has passed, because all you need is a high-resolution photo to make it happen. One would also be an impressive and heartfelt holiday gift.