Mum’s the Word

Klein senior launches small business selling homecoming mums and garters

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Photo courtesy of Marianna Marrufo.

Senior Marrufo proudly smiles next to her original mum designs.

Emily Hickman, Staff Writer

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As the season of football games, homecoming dances, and spirit days came to an end, this allowed senior and entrepreneur Marianna Marrufo to sigh with relief. As she was booked for over a month prior to homecoming season with custom orders of mums and garters for her fellow students. 

From a young age, Marrufo has always surrounded herself with art. She’s been involved in orchestra and art classes ever since she could remember, and has pursued these further into her senior year. Therefore, when she started making mums back in April of 2020, it proved easier than she thought. 

“I just started making them at the start of the pandemic around April 2020,” Marrufo said. “The main reason why I got into making them was because I just always wanted to learn how. I’m a very crafty person, so I figured that I would be able to figure out how to make them.” 

Being online last year, Marrufo couldn’t advertise to her fellow students. Instead, she posted on her Instagram and relied on others talking about it to their friends to get the word out. This year, she stepped up her game while on campus. 

“Since I’m back in person, I’m able to put fliers in my classrooms and tell my friends who tell their friends,” Marrufo said. “A lot of it is by word of mouth, and people giving out my information has helped me a lot.” 

Because mums can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days to make, Marrufo strains to fit everything in her busy schedule that a normal teenager would.

“I would say the major [challenge] is the timing,” Maruffo said. ”Since I’m a student, I still have to handle my schoolwork. [Making mums] is always in October or September, and that’s usually when it’s the toughest. You’re adapting to your classes, and you’re meeting new people, so that’s the kind of thing you have to balance out.”

Though challenging at times, Marrufo enjoys each and every one of her orders no matter the size and detail. Marrufo works to personalize each order for the person wearing the mum or garter, making each design unique. 

“The biggest [mum] I’ve made was in the fall of 2020,” Marrufo said. “[A Bearkadette] wanted to make a statement for her senior year and wanted the biggest mum that I could make. She asked for a custom mint colored mum with personal initials and decals to compliment her role as a Bearkadette historian. It took me four days and about five hours to complete it, but I was able to complete her order on time.” 

Although Marrufo is now a senior herself, she wishes to continue making mums as she goes into college. In the future, she hopes to expand beyond one specific school and focus more on the local area.

“I still plan on continuing this business as I go to college,” Marrufo said. “I’m going to continue to be in the local area or if I go anywhere else further out, I’m still going to be making them and publicizing them at the school I’m at by word of mouth.”