Making Marvelous Mums

Kennedy Williams

Kennedy Williams, WTV Staff Reporter

Mums and garters will be hard to miss tomorrow in the halls, but students may not realize that the mum making process is much more elaborate than meets the eye. An unmatched Texas tradition for decades, mums and garters are a thing throughout schools in Frisco ISD. And for many, The Mum Shop has become the sole provider.

“We do all of the Frisco schools, all of the McKinney schools, all of the Plano schools, [and] Richardson,” Amy Fogarty, founder and owner of The Mum Shop said. “We go as far north as Sherman, Prosper, Celina, and Gunter, and as far south as Austin. On a typical day, we fill about one hundred orders a day, but during the hectic weeks where we have several homecomings in a week, if we’re fully staffed we can fill about 250 orders a week.”

Anyone who’s participated in a mum and garter exchange knows that they are not cheap, but the price goes into a unique experience that cannot be complete unless employees pay attention to every little detail.

“The typical mum averages anywhere from $85 to $120 and the average garter is probably around $50 to $85,” Fogarty said. “Most of our employees have been with us for many, many years, and it’s a lot of hands-on training. You have to be proficient with a glue gun and a stapler and be able to tedious work–doing the same thing over and over and over and over.”

Consumers have the option of getting their mums and garters customized at corporate craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby, but Fogarty argues that their mum-making process is unique.

“What makes our mums different than most of the places out there is every single thing we make on the mum, we make ourselves,” Fogarty said. “We buy the ribbon in huge quantities, we make all of the braids, we make all of the backs, we make all of the streamers, we cut all of the ribbon, we dot the little spirit letters, we put bows or tutus on the teddy bears, and make them so that they’re a more tailored mum versus the stuff that you can get from the craft stores that are a lot of plastic trinkets and curling ribbon and things like that that make a more messy [and manufactured] look versus handmade.”