This Wigan businesswoman creates beautiful gifts using dove feathers

Dawn Halton with children Sam, nine, and Layla, 11
Dawn Halton with children Sam, nine, and Layla, 11

A businesswoman who releases doves at weddings, funerals and other emotional events has found a new way to mark the occasions.

Dawn Halton, from Shevington, claims to have been the first person in the UK to set up a business providing the white doves.

Some of Dawn's feather creations

Some of Dawn's feather creations

Wings of Love has thrived over the past 18 years and her doves were even used at the last Hillsborough memorial event in 2016.

Dawn now has 90 birds, which are kept in her loft and at her father James Halton’s home in Appley Bridge, and they inspired her latest business idea.

She said: “Every year the birds go through a complete moult. They lose flight feathers. They lose a lot of feathers and with so many birds, I had a lot of feathers.

“I thought it would be a shame to throw them away.”

Dawn’s nine-year-old son Sam helped to collect the feathers while her daughter Layla, 11, searched the internet for ideas on how they could be used.

After finding companies selling mementoes made with artificial feathers, Dawn decided to use the real thing.

She said: “I thought I could print the name of the deceased on the feather and put it in an organza bag and give it to the family.”

Dawn, 48, reads a verse at funerals before releasing the doves and she now includes this with the feather.

The memento quickly took off and Dawn has found more ways to use the feathers.

At Christmas she put them in heart-shaped baubles, which proved to be extremely popular.

She is now also putting them in tealights, to be taken to graves or put on memorial tables at weddings, and in key rings.

She is currently creating two products for people who have lost babies to miscarriage.

Families are keen to have feathers from the birds that played such a key role at an important time in their lives.

Dawn said: “Christmas was busy - I didn’t expect it to be so busy with the Christmas baubles.

“Now I always get the family a feather in a bag and they come back and ask for more for other family members.”