If you grew up in Texas or have kids who are in high school, you know about the homecoming mum.
This time of year parents are dropping big bucks on that Texas tradition, and mums are only getting bigger.
Every fall Melissa Ansley works nonstop making mums. Each one tells a story – decorated with ornaments, ribbons and braids – that reveal more about the girl who gets it.
"It's very rewarding work," she said. "They're a work of art. I mean it really is."
Business, like some of the mums themselves, is huge. So big, in fact, Ansley quit her corporate job so she could focus solely on this quintessential Texas tradition.
"It's just never gonna go away," she said.
Lewisville High School student Kayla Conner, the student body president, has a Texas-sized, Texas-shaped mum made using all of her old homecoming mums.
"My freshman year I started with a flower about this big, like this one. This whole center piece right here is actually my junior mum that I took off and put it on a new board and then added to it," Conner said.
Allison Stamey has been teaching at Lewisville High School for 21 years.
"They have definitely progressed," she said. "Now we've got mums that you have to tie around, like a harness almost, to carry the mums nowadays."
The biggest mum Ansley has ever made sold for $600.
"I mean it was huge," she said.
But Lewisville senior Megan Fritz would like to see her classmates tame their mums.
"To downsize their mums and take the $25 they would use to make their mums and give it to the Children's Advocacy Center," Fritz said.
It's an idea that Ansley actually supports.
Still, the popularity of mums is spreading. Ansley now ships mums and supplies all over the country.
"Washington state, Alaska," she said.
Many of the out-of-state orders are going to former Texans looking for a piece of nostalgia, Ansley said.
On her website, Ansley offers free printable instructions if you want to try to make your own mum.