For dozens of Texas schools, Plano's Mum Shop makes homecoming colorful

Amy Fogarty owns and operates The Mum Shop in Plano with her family. The business dates back to 1984 when her mother and aunt had a T-shirt business that later evolved into the storeu2019s current concept.

Amy Fogarty owns and operates The Mum Shop in Plano with her family. The business dates back to 1984 when her mother and aunt had a T-shirt business that later evolved into the storeu2019s current concept.

Image description
The mum shop
Image description
The mum shop
In Texas, the homecoming mum is a big industry, but few mum makers have capitalized on as much of the North Texas market as Amy Fogarty’s Plano store.

Fogarty and her family own and operate The Mum Shop, which provides schools and individual customers across the Dallas-Fort Worth area—and as far as College Station, Texas—with custom homecoming accessories from the classic ribbon-and-flower mum to bells and other items.

The business dates back to 1984 when Fogarty’s mother and aunt started a T-shirt business out of their home. Fogarty said they realized they could take advantage of their existing wholesale accounts to assemble mums for less than other area providers.

Fogarty recalled they got the idea when shopping for mums for her friends.

“We went to the local florist,” Fogarty said of herself and her mother, “and as soon as she saw the price, she said, ‘I am not spending that on your friends!’”

The family business started to create mums by hand, contracting with schools in Richardson and Plano to provide them for students in advance of homecoming. In 1995, Fogarty opened the business’s first retail store.

“That’s when the mum portion of the business started to really take off,” she said.

The business now serves roughly 70 schools and has contracts with at least 30 of them, Fogarty said.

The contract offers two main benefits, Fogarty said: First, it acts as highly effective form of advertising to students as they prepare for homecoming; and second, it provides a base of potential customers in a highly seasonal business.

“We’re open three months of the year,” Fogarty said. “The other nine months of the year, we are working just as hard, just behind the scenes, to get paid in those three months. You have to manage your money well.”