Homecoming mums is big business in Texas, but local floral designer Sherry Taylor has shelved the profits this season to cash in on compassion.
Six years ago as the owner of local home decor boutique, Distinctions, Taylor began operating a separate entity called Mum Madame, designing over-the-top mums for lucky high school students.
After getting her youngest off to college in August and sensing that the homecoming season would be even bigger than past years, Taylor went about opening a new retail outlet, The Bee Hive, to design and offer homecoming mums.
Wanting to make sure that all students were included in the homecoming mum tradition, this year Taylor contacted Jennifer Beasley of Flower Mound High School’s Circle of Friends group – a club composed of students who develop friendships with their disabled peers – and offered to provide assistance with making mums for the students. Beasley jumped at the chance to provide her students with an opportunity to participate in the homecoming festivities.
“A homecoming mum, that some kids take for granted, will be a cherished possession for a Circle of Friends student. We had students that were helping us assemble mums for our students but there was no way that we were going to be able to have a mum for everyone,” Beasley said.
With Mum Madame making 16 garters for the group, everyone was able to have one.
Taylor, who credits her mother for her artistic genes, got bombarded with mum orders this season and needed help completing all the orders on time.
Her mother, Ann Brewer, had recently relocated from Memphis, TN to Southlake to live at Isle of Watermere Assisted Living and was struggling to adjust to her new environment after leading an independent life with her now deceased husband.
Taylor enlisted the help of her mother and other residents of Watermere to help cut ribbons and fluff flowers during the homecoming season.
Brewer and Shirley Ferguson of Watermere enjoyed being part of the action in the “outside world” so when they heard about the garters for The Circle of Friends, they wanted to do more. Taylor bought more supplies and taught the crafty seniors to assemble the boys’ garters.
Taylor, along with her business partner, Anna Treadway, and Brewer presented the garters to the excited FMHS Circle of Friends students on October 11 during an assembly of the group.
Homecoming season finally came to a close on October 28 but Taylor had already been neck deep in Christmas designs for her retail clients at The Beehive, located at 3351 Long Prairie Road in Flower Mound.