Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannon Gonzalez.
So, before we jump into speceific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Back in 2005, I helped to make our first homecoming mums for the pee-wee cheerleaders of the Azle Youth Association in Azle, Texas. Fast forward 10 years later and I was still making mums occasionally for my own children. Taking a trip to the big box craft shop and I couldn’t believe the sticker shock I got when it was time to pay for the ribbon to make a single mum…. $90.00! Are you kidding? I hadn’t bought anything but ribbon! No trinkets, nothing but a garter, a silk flower, and some ribbons. I couldn’t believe it. I know I have expensive taste but MAN! And the quality of the expensive premade mums they sold, yuck! I knew there had to be something better.
Six months later, my father passed away from Alzheimer’s at the young age of 65. It absolutely devastated our family. I wanted so much to do something with my grief, with my time, with my feelings of loss. I needed an outlet. At that time, I was giving life a lot of thought and the motto in my head that kept repeating itself was “Shut up and Do It” So… I did.
Right before school let out that year I ran across the “sticker shocking receipt” of this past homecoming mum. It didn’t take very long to make up my mind that if this was a problem for me that it was happening to most ALL parents. I set out to make my own website with the goal of not only servicing my area but all of the U.S.
I started this business with .86 cents.
That’s all we had to our name until the next paycheck. I went to work figuring out how to ship a mum without it costing an arm and a leg.
Wow… that that was fun… Then I tried my hand at designing mums more and more with scrap ribbon around the house. After which I found a supplier, and cut back on my grocery budget to slowly buy supplies.
We sold our first homecoming mum 3 days after the website went live and it didn’t stop.
I was so shocked that people not only liked my designs but wanted them in droves. Life went from normal to warp speed and little to no sleep. With 4 am bedtimes and waking up again at 6 am to take kids to school and back to fill mum orders. We started out on the kitchen counter of our home until we got tired of finding glitter in our food. That was one of the hardest, but most rewarding times of our lives.
In our first season online, we made it on to NBC News Online and made a mum for celebrity, Audrey P. Scott from the movie Universal Solider and Secretariat!
Today we’ve proudly shipped all over the U.S. and as far away as Japan! My personal goal is to extend this Texas tradition to all states. I think every student in school should experience having a Homecoming tradition.
I can’t believe how fast Mums and Kisses has taken off and I can’t wait to see where we go from here. I’m truly blessed to not only have the support of my family, but of the parents that have become our best customers. I love hearing how proud they are of their own kids. They cheer me on so much and I’m truly grateful. Mums and Kisses has changed our lives, and shown my kids that they can do anything if they are just willing to work hard enough for it.
“Turn a broken heart into art” – Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia)
Mums and Kisses is dedicated to my Daddy. He would be proud. I couldn’t have done this without the help of my children who have learned to cut ribbons like pros, and my mom who takes a month out of her life to travel 1200 miles to keep the domestic home front going so that we can make mums, and my husband that has supported this crazy idea from the start. I love you all.”
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think the biggest struggles have been figuring out how to ship a 3 foot long+ mum, keeping inventory, and advertising. Probably the same things that plague most small businesses.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Mums and Kisses – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We’re a Homecoming Mum and Garter Designer / Manufacturer. We’re the home of the Bling-Bling Mum and the Build Your Own Homecoming Mum. We offer Baby Shower Mums as well as Funeral, Class Reunion Mums and Graduation Mums as well. Were most commercial mums are made out of plastic or acetate, we use all Satin Ribbon. We make thousands of mums per year, all year long for any school and we specialize in Bling!
Our company was one of the first to offer all satin mums that you can order and customize all online, changing the way that most homecoming mum orders were placed. In the past they were done via phone or appointment, so we’ve sort of pioneered the way for custom online ordering that doesn’t require forms or deposits.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We’re looking forward to growing and expanding out to other areas of Texas.
- Single Satin Homecoming Mum – $64.99
- Double Bling Bling Homecoming Mum – $129.00
- Mega Homecoming Mum Quad – $299.95
- Address: Mums and Kisses
3708 County Rd., 920
Crowley, TX 76036
- Website: https://mumsandkisses.com
- Phone: 817-518-9000
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: mumsandkisses
- Facebook: mumsandkisses
- Twitter: MumsAndKisses
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