Mums and Kisses Through The Years

Homecoming Mums and Garters

Mums and Kisses Over the Years

Written by Camile Detrie

Continued from the About Us Page:

Over the past few seasons, the biggest question we’d get from our customers was “do you have a store?” We knew that that was going to be our next step. Our customers demanded our custom supplies and at first we were hesitant to release them. But we knew we had to “give the people what they wanted”. At 1st those aquatinted with us thought it was “cute” that we “had a hobby”. Record scratch, excuse me, what? A hobby? You don’t work 22 hour days for a hobby. This was going to be a full-on business! we weren’t making mums on the side, This was not a hustle. This was a business!

Let’s Do This!

With another fire lit under us, we took another chance and opened our 1st physical location selling our custom supplies. Together with sweat equity we built not 1 but 2 buildings. a store and a workshop. Late nights hammering by flashlight, laying down floors and putting up walls with no air conditioning in July to get the store open before the homecoming season officially started.

Every day the buildings took more and more shape and we doubted ourselves more and more. What if this didn’t work? What if no one finds the shop? What if it’s not big enough? The questions that plague a business owner keeps you up at night with self doubt. Still, we had to follow this path that God has put us on. We had to try. 

Mum orders started rolling in in early July as we were building the shop during by night and making mums by day. Then one day, we looked up, and the store and workshop were finished!

2018

In 2018, our retail location opened. We service customers that travel from all over the state. Our online eCommerce store continues to thrive and we’ve proudly shipped orders all over the U.S. and as far away as Japan and Germany. Our goal was to extend this Texas tradition to all states. Every student in school should experience having a Homecoming tradition.

2019

It was time to hire an army. The orders coming in were too much for Shannon, an assistant and children to handle. We were still doing 3am bedtimes and getting up at 6 am to take kids to school. The store was getting busier, and we had to  make mums and mum supplies, then stop and to man the store when customers came in, answer up to 40 phone calls per day, and race to meet the UPS truck who pulled in promptly at 4 every day.

Reeve, our son (and inventory specialist ) was leaving for college and we were going to be a man down. We started combing through our large extended family to see, “who wants to make a mum”. Thankfully my sister-in-law Silvia stepped up and we were able to hire her girls as well. Shannon’s mom, Terry, would drop everything from August to October to drive from Florida to Texas to help keep the domestic side going as now we couldn’t even break to pick up the kids from school. 

2020

The year of COVID, Mums and Kisses continued to sell mums to students, parents and teams. Even though the season was delayed a month, the orders kept coming in. We introduced 2 new designs and they were a hit. We branched out and began selling our supplies to retailers and e-commerce stores. Our Mums and Kisses Brand is now carried by Mum Factory Outlet, Walmart, Etsy s, Sears, and Amazon and floral shops across DFW. We are also featured in a 2nd location, The Blue Butterfly Boutique and are super excited for the opportunity.

2021

In January of 2021, Shannon, the owner of Mums and Kisses was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer at the age of 42. Even though it has rocked their personal world, Mums and Kisses remained a driving force. We have supported Breast Cancer Awareness since 2016 in honor of her grandmother, but now the breast cancer ribbon takes on a whole new meaning.

This year, Shannon would endure 16 rounds of Chemo, 3 surgeries and 20 rounds of daily radiation, all while maintaining the business, and a family.

Shannon said “It has been a challenge, but it keeps me going and gives me great hope for recovery. The ladies that work with us at Mums and Kisses are the reason we’re still growing strong. They take over my duties when I can’t and step in like the professionals they are. Mums and Kisses is a Legacy for my family. It continues to be my best motivation. With God’s help, I will be a Cancer Survivor.”

All Done!

Shannon said “After 16 rounds of chemo, 30 radiations and 3 surgeries in 5 months, I’m proud to say I’m now Cancer free! during the last season at Mums and Kisses I worked between chemo and radiation. Something I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to do as I couldn’t even walk in the summer due to chemo neuropathy.”

With God, All Things Are Possible

But God heals! We hired 3 more girls and now between all of us our Mum Making Army is up to 14 humans and one K-9 strong! Even through cancer, God gave us a record-breaking season. We’re up to 412 + schools now. Amazing!

After the season we hired a verifying company to get us the logistics we needed to be quality compliant. It’s like an ISO9000 audit so that we may do business with other countries.  After all, Shannon is the daughter of an ISO9000 auditor! And they have mums in Poland, who would have thought!

2022 – Growing

We doubled the size of the store! It’s still in the same location but twice the size! Now we have a warehouse, shipping dept, a workshop and over 2000sqft feet of nothing but mum supplies. With plans in the works for more! 

She says “I thank the Lord for this year and getting me through the last. I thought Cancer would surely take me. 42 years old and that’s all I would get but he has other plans for me and I’m truly grateful.”

2023

This year, after buying out 3 another mum shops we added their inventory to ours and have a good stash. Opening in July, earlier than ever, the homecomings were rolling in fast. The customers were in the parking lot before opening and staying long after close.

The mum days were still long, even after hiring a 2nd shift and 2 shop girls it was more than we could handle at times. We had some of the best and worst customers this year. Between the 150 emails per day and the phone calls that literally came in 4 at a time for hours.

” Mums and Kisses, please hold…. Mums and Kisses… please hold.” It’s time to go to a phone system and a ticket system next year.

The Issues

We had our share of technical issues like never before. We’ve outgrown our systems and as we make mum after mum, plans are in the works to upgrade the system. The email server crashed twice, the phone system crashed once and we were without power for over 24 hours putting us behind. So now our minds are whirling on how to prevent all of these growing pains in the future. 

One of the main misconceptions we’re seeing in the store this season is what we do and how we do it. Even though the store looks calm or you happen to be here at 1 or 2pm before the rush, you miss the chaos going on in the back where the shipping department is flinging packing paper, the mum designers are rushing to make the UPS truck, the braiders are braiding as fast as they can, the 2nd shift is waiting for the 1st to finish, the phone is ringing off the hook and Shanno is flying around with a clipboard in her hand.

All the questions like, “do you have any more blue and silver ribbon?” or “Can you make my mum 4 foot wide?” or “Would you be able to make mums and garters for my peewee team of 40 kids?” Shannon says she still smiles and thanks the Lord that she didn’t miss this, and that cancer didn’t take her.

In The News

On a brighter note, we did an interview for the CW tx station. That was very nice of them to invite us and ask so much about the business. But in the end, we are excited that the news is still interested in us as a company and what we do. 

The Special Needs classes tripled this year and it was so sweet to get to see their faces when we arrived with their mums at school.  The special needs students started calling us “The Mum G.O.A.T.” and until we asked, we didn’t know the meaning, and now, we’re humbly and truly honored. What a special name, we’ll probably keep it. 

2024

This year has brought on a lot of new adventures and life changes. Mums and Kisses Brand is now in Michaels, our ribbon brand, mum bases and braids are now showcased. This started last year but this year they’re keeping our off season super busy. 

In the spring we took a group to Mexico and opened a new location and expanded the brand. We now offer braids and baby mums and ribbon on Amazon MX and in floral shops. 

Shannon Hart Gonzalez teaching the Business Class of Pricing & Processes for the Mum Industry at the mumsupplies.com Mum Show 2024

The summer brought Mum Shows and Shannon was asked to teach two classes. One for business and one for making sash mums. After the Gabriella Garden Sash went viral on Tik Tok, The demand for her to make videos and teach classes blew up. 

They are now calling her a “Leader in the industry”. Shannon says “I don’t know about all that man, I just make the mums.”

Attendees of the show, Erin, said, “From what I saw, she is definitely the Empress of the sash mum. She whipped one out in the middle of a 2 hour class, while teaching, talking, and answering questions. Sashes take 10 to 12 hours. SO to see her make one that fast was insane.” Sabrina said “Now we know who to recommend when we’re asked to make a sash. Shannon is amazing at it” Lastly, Laura said “I’m new in mums and she makes it look so easy. The business class was surprisingly fun with games and lots of great info to implement into my own business. If she gives private tutoring, I’m there!”

Quitting?

When asked if Shannon would retire in 2024, she said, “Our team is talking about me retiring from making mums and let the mum designers handle the majority of it, I’ll still make a mum here and there, and of course I’ll still make the giants and the jumbos, but I think my time of making the lion’s share of the mums are gone. But we’ll see, In the meantime it’s time to dream up new designs, rearrange the store to fit more supplies, or maybe take a weekend off?

Nahh…

We are excited for the upcoming 2024 Mum Season, and hopefully she won’t retire.

Written by Camile Detrie, for Mums and Kisses. for references to the CW, NBC, or other Brand references that are associated with Mums and Kisses, see the In the News tab for links to their respective pages that include articles about Mums and Kisses. We’d like to thank the Mums and Kisses team, the owner, and the news outlets that lent their time and resources.