One of Jennifer Lopez’s custom-designed mums that she made for homecoming.

During this time of year, mums are used to celebrate homecoming and a multitude of occasions by more than just high school students. Many residents know that this is a rich Texas tradition. If you are not familiar with the trend, every fall, students and dating couples gift each other “chrysanthemum” flowers made of ribbons and trinkets to wear to school and their respective high schools’ homecoming games. This occurs in addition to the typical corsage exchange that takes place between couples before the homecoming dance.

This tradition started out as a single flower given as a symbol of affection in honor of a high school homecoming football game and celebrations and has “blossomed” into a bouquet with long, decorative ribbons of a personally chosen theme.

Local business owner Jennifer Martinez, owner of Homecoming Mums with a Twist, started her business nine years ago to help provide a fun service for kids to express their own ideas to their peers. The focal point of her business is always to serve others by allowing clients to design their custom mum creation.

“Oftentimes, kids will pay for their own mum to give away to someone important in their life. Each order I receive is typically from a student and the creation is made based on the interests of the recipient. For example, I have created mum creations for themes such as ballet, ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and more,” said Martinez.

The artistic creations of Mums with a Twist are currently on display at the Arlington Museum of Art as a part of the “Mumentous: The Upsizing of a Texas Tradition” exhibit. This display of work came as a result of a community post online.

Martinez has made a name for herself and her work throughout the state of Texas based on her participation in several online forums and interest groups, as well as her word-of-mouth reputation. Past customers have given her the chance to create and fulfill as many as 150 orders annually in less than just one decade.

Martinez began the business by creating mums for her son, then a seventh grader, who had a crush on a cheerleader. Since that time, she has since grown the business such that her order fulfillment and processing has literally almost taken over several rooms of her home. Every year since that first year, she has significantly added to her annual production counts.

“Nearly every age level can order mums. The orders that have been generated have come from middle schools as well as high schoolers and adults. When purchased and given away, the sender showcases their personal knowledge of the recipient. I have a unique opportunity to be part of the joy-giving process,” she said.

To support this local artist, Martinez can be reached directly via private message on Facebook at facebook.com/Homecoming-Mums-with-a-Twist-269273903094435.

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