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Mum fad wilts away

Nov. 6, 1998



Roses and mums used to adorn the women of Baylor all during homecoming weekend, but due to changing times, the flower-wearing tradition is dying off, and floral shops are feeling this change the most.

Mums were the flower of choice until about five years ago, said Jon Oldigs, owner of Baylor Balloons & Flowers.

'Funny how it has changed,' Oldigs said. 'Ten years ago I sold 400 to 500 mums at homecoming. I had to hire a girl just to put the flower on the ribbon.'

Almost all female students and alumni wore mums on their dresses when they went to the game. Floral shop owners say the extinct tradition of dressing up for games has caused the decline in mum sales.

'No one dresses up anymore, so floral sales are down,' said Darlene Abbe, owner of Campus Flowers and Party Shop.

Abbe said she used to sell hundreds of mums, but last year she sold less than 20.

'The mum trend is out for college students,' Abbe said.

Oldigs said homecoming sales used to equal Valentine's Day sales and agreed that sales are down because people do not dress up for the game.

'At one time football mums were a major thing,' said Harry Reed, owner of Reed's Flowers.

Even though the mum trend has declined, floral shops still gain a lot of business from other aspects of homecoming. Many of the shops profit by creating arrangements and bouquets for alumni parties and supplying roses or other flowers for the queen nominees in the parade.

Abbe is busy with floral arrangements for the parade and Pigskin Revue. She said she also makes spirit rings for kids to wear throughout the weekend to show their Baylor spirit.

Oldigs still does some bouquets for the queen nominees, but he said even that has declined.

'It used to be that every nominee carried roses, but now less than one-third do,' Oldigs said.

Although mums are out, many call and order the basic corsage, which is two yellow roses with a green bow, Oldigs said.

Reed's Flowers is staying busy as well despite the lost of interest in mums. They still do flowers for floats and centerpiece arrangements for parties in connection with homecoming.

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