Homecoming mum makers find community to help their small businesses grow

Mums Inc. bonds mum makers nationwide and beyond

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The homecoming mum phenomenon has taken over the internet in recent years.

The trendy fake flower makes an appearance once a year, during football season in high schools — mainly those in Texas and Oklahoma.

The Lone Star State houses the main bulk of the mum business, and some small business owners support their families through their mum-making success.

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But one mum maker felt the niche business was missing a community feel.

Homecoming mum

Mums are a southern tradition used as a symbol of a homecoming date.  (Kisha Clark / Fox News)

Texas native Kisha Clark, owner of DK Florals, started Mums Inc. 10 years ago with the idea of bringing together mum makers from across the country.

Clark said the concept came up in conversation with a fellow mum maker after they met in person to trade supplies for a specific order.

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“We thought to ourselves, ‘We can’t possibly be the only people who in the business have questions or need things,’” she said.

Homecoming mum

Clark uses her home to run her business — roughly 1,700 sq. ft., to be exact. (Kisha Clark / Fox News)

After realizing supplies were hard to come by and cheaper to purchase in bulk, Clark started a Facebook page to try to bring together mum makers around the world.

At first, she didn’t receive a great response, as business owners were skeptical of the group, she said.

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“[It] was very informal at the time and [I] started talking to mum makers who thought I was absolutely insane,” she said.

Many owners were closed-minded, as the business can be extremely competitive.

After Clark got a few others to join, she said people started to understand it wasn’t about competition but rather about helping each other out.

Homecoming mums

Clark said that mum-making is her creative outlet — and she loves making the trendy pieces year after year.  (Hunter Rutledge / Fox News)

“It became an environment where we started talking about how to make things better, and then we wanted to get together,” she said.

“What went from a Facebook group of just a bunch of ladies who make mums became a professional organization out of necessity, really.”

The group has over 90 business members today, with a waitlist of over 100 additional mum-making businesses.

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One member even lives in the United Kingdom. Although mums aren't used there for the same purpose as in the U.S., the person loved the concept and makes them for her community.

The organization also functions as a liaison between mum makers and mum seekers through their find-a-mum function online.

Homecoming mums

DK Florals, Clark’s mum business, started 20 years ago.  (Kisha Clark / Fox News)

“We are full-blooded machines. A lot of these ladies left their full-time jobs. I have project managers, have investment bankers, who are full-time mum makers,” she said.

Clark herself is a cybersecurity worker by day and a mum maker by night. “I’m a network security manager myself. I still maintain my job,” she said.

The group has over 90 business members today, with a waitlist of over 100 additional mum-making businesses.

Clark said that although it's difficult, it is possible to be a busy mum maker and have a separate career.

“I have people in the medical industry who maintain their role and still run full-fledged … 200-or-300-mums-a-season-type of businesses,” she said.

The business has come quite a long way in the last 10 years — all thanks to a Facebook group.

For more information on Mums Inc., visit mums-inc.com.

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