After being in Texas for the last 10 years, I have realized just how important this TRADITION is to the Texas teenage experience. If you've read my About Me page, you know that I have sons that have graduated from high school in Texas, and that I own a small business making Mums as a professional Mum Maker. Through that process, I talk to so many families about this tradition and the importance of creating these memories. What I have learned as a Momma of kiddos in Texas, choosing a Mum maker, for some, is a daunting task and can be overwhelming. Luckily, you have me! I've got a few pointers to help you narrow down and choose the right one for you.
My first tip is to Start Early! Many Mum makers start taking orders 4-6 months before your Homecoming. The most popular designers tend to sell out quickly and often require 4 weeks or more notice just to place an order. I, personally, open my reservations in May for September homecoming dates but, I have clients that pre-book with me a year in advance.
Second, make a Mum Vision Board. My favorite way to do this is on Pinterest. Start with a simple search of "homecoming mum". Make a Board and call it "Mum Vision Board" and save anything that you like. Pin images with color combinations, number of flowers, bears with outfits, ribbons, lights, themes and bows that you like. Feel free to search other terms like "purple and black homecoming mum" or "senior homecoming mum". This is where your Mum "style" will emerge.
Third, in Pinterest, search for "Mums Inc." This will bring up thousands of pins by professional Mum makers from all over the state of Texas. (You'll see many of my pins in there, too). You may even recognize some familiar Mums by businesses that you've pinned to your Vision Board. Feel free to pin more beautiful mums to your board from there, too. The best part about finding Mums, Inc. is that they have a website that has some super helpful information. Go to Mums, Inc/find-a--mum and you will find a list of businesses in your area that make Mums and Garters. Just click on your town and start scrolling. There will be easy links to their websites and Facebook pages with information on how to get in touch with each maker. Some makers will ship or deliver a Mum, others will not. Keep that in mind when you are choosing your Mum maker.
Fourth, make a short list of Mum makers that you really like. Take a minute to go onto their social platforms and Follow/ Like/ Comment on their content. We use these channels to give the most current information about orders and our products. By staying engaged with your potential Mum maker, you will be the first to know when to place your order. Head on over to their websites and take a look at their prices. Jot price ranges down for the type and size of Mum that you'd like to have.
Fifth, choose a budget. I know, this isn't the fun part but, it's important to know these numbers when you enter into the Mum conversation with your designer. Mums can cost upwards of $1000 for very large custom shapes and premium ribbons. If your budget is $75, be honest. Prices will vary based on the size of the Mum, skill of the designer, area where they are located, and quality of materials used. But, please remember, the price is the price. Do not haggle over price with your Mum maker. If you can't pay the price you are quoted, order something less or find someone in your price range.
Order process and Delivery type are the next things to consider when choosing your Mum maker. Each designer has a process that is unique to their business. Most of us have some form of website, Facebook business page, ECWID or Etsy site that will walk you through the ordering and delivery process. There are businesses in which orders are placed exclusively online and the final product is shipped or picked up at a later date. There are also shops that have Ready-made Mums that can be purchased off the rack. On the flip side, there are businesses (like mine) who offer personalized consultations in order to design your Mum. As for delivery of the Mum, some makers will ship or deliver a Mum, others will not. You may need to plan on picking up your Mum at their Studio. Keep that in mind when you are choosing your Mum maker. Again, there is no wrong choice. It's all personal preference and what works for your schedule.
Now take a look at your list. The best Mum maker for you will have a style that you've pinned often, a price that you can afford, the location that you desire, the order and delivery type you need and the availability to make your Mum and get it to you in time. If you still are having a hard time whittling down your list, I suggest just giving your potential Mum makers a call. Sometimes, personality factors in to making the final decision. You will "click" with the right designer.
Your Dream Mum Maker will be the one who checks all of those boxes. They will make you feel comfortable and confident in their skills to make you a fantastic Mum that you'll love.