Mustard Pie is one our top selling brands at LaBellaFlora.com. For good reason, year after year Mustard Pie brings us well-made unique pieces with amazing details. We love Mustard Pie.
This summer I had the opportunity to chat with Shannon Rihm, the founder and owner of Mustard Pie. I thoroughly enjoyed our talk and canâ€™t wait to chat again. Shannon has created a brand that continues to grow and adapt. In today’s climate that is not an easy task.
When I first started working at LaBellaFlora.com, I remember researching the brands we carried at the time. One of the things I loved about Mustard Pie was the inspiration behind the name. When Shannon was a child she loved her mom’s lemon meringue pie. For Mother’s Day, she decided to make her mom a pie. After getting help from her mom for the crust, Shannon came up with the filling…mustard. Hence, the name Mustard Pie. Adorable right?
How did Mustard Pie come about?
Shannon was working in the pharmaceutical industry and found herself laid off and on maternity leave. She wanted to be able to stay home with her daughter so she started by buying name brand clothing at discount stores and selling it on EBay. At that time EBay had just started selling custom made clothes. Shannon had always wanted to learn how to sew so she took her sewing machine to JoAnn Fabrics and signed-up for a sewing class. In addition to taking classes, she read blogs on sewing. This story makes me love JoAnn Fabrics even more and has renewed my desire to take a sewing class.
With just the basics, Shannon dove in and started selling custom mix and match pieces THAT SHE MADE on EBay and Etsy, within 9 months she couldnâ€™t keep up with the orders. A friend encouraged Shannon to look at what was available at children’s boutiques at that time, encouraging her to go into business on her own. Shannon visited boutiques and felt like they were missing mix and match pieces.
After finding a sewing house in California, she had a collection made in 2009 for Spring 2010. Mustard Pie was born.
Shannon admits starting and growing her own business has been a huge learning experience. Many lessons have been learned on the road to success. The business grew enough in the first three years that her husband was able to quit his job and work with her full time.
How Shannon balances business and family?
When Shannon first started Mustard Pie, she was sewing in her basement. She was home with her kids all day and would work while the kids were happy or sleeping. She was able to add staff over time and move her business out her home and into an office space. She now has staff to help her handle day-to-day operations. Her two youngest often come to the office with her. Shannon and her husband love having the kids be a part of the business. The kids love it too. They get excited about what is happening at Mustard Pie and are included on fun trips related to the business. They also enjoy being in the office and helping with the business.
Like any family business there are drawbacks, like never really turning the business off. There are always emails to be answered and itâ€™s a challenge to tune it all out.
Shannon and her husband have three children. McKenzie, age 10, is their oldest. She is very active as a competitive cheerleader and enjoys softball. Her younger brother, Taylor, is 9 and also an athlete, playing hockey, football, golf, and lacrosse. Their youngest Charleigh, 2, is just starting to get involved in activities. So like many of us, their family is active and spends their evenings running from activity to activity.
What is the inspiration behind the collections from Mustard Pie?
I have always been curious about what sparks Shannon’s collections each season. According to Shannon, she is inspired by a gamut of things which she collects between seasons, this can be anything from a picture of a store window she passes by or a unique place setting she comes across. During the design phase she reviews everything she compiled and comes up with her color palettes. Next the longest process…selecting fabrics and patterns. Shannon said she can feel like she is getting nowhere for weeks then she will have that “aha” moment and it all comes together; poof, all her mix and match patterns fall into place. Finally, she decides what styles and pieces she will produce for each collection, often inspired by past seasons.
What is Mustard Pie’s vision for the future?
Mix and match pieces will always be at the heart of Mustard Pie. Adorable prints, patterns, colors, and ruffles are details that you can count on from season to season. Traditional design with a vintage flare is also a staple each season. Shannon shared that Mustard Pie will be adding some exciting new items in the future. We won’t let the cat out of the bag, we will save that for Shannon.
Mustard Pie has started a new company!
On August 17th, Mustard Pie’s newest brand, Little Prim, hit LaBellaFlora.com. Take a peek.
Little Prim has a definite vintage flare, mix and match pieces, and is made to layer. It is a perfect collection to transition from cooler temps to warm temps and right back to cooler temps. It can be worn year round. We were excited to add Little Prim to our brands at LaBella Flora Children’s Boutique and look forward to its long term success. Thank you, Mustard Pie!
What makes Shannon say “This was a great day”?
Shannon is an optimistic person. And she loves a good checklist for her business and her family. Like most of us moms, she feels accomplished when she completes that list, especially when she has spent time enjoying her family that day. This is why she loves the freedom of running her own business.
Mustard Pie Fall
Mustard Pie’s English Blue and Vintage Violet are popular with our clients this fall. Both are a favorite for fall photos and fun fall festivities! From baby to tween there are some great options to update your special girl’s closet as temperatures start to cool.
Each piece is created with charming details and quality construction.
Mustard Pie Holiday
Mustard Pie Holiday is currently available for pre-order. Customers are gobbling it up for Thanksgiving, Christmas card pictures, and the holiday season. The neutral pallet with pops of jewel tones make it a perfect choice for Christmas and can be worn well after the holiday season has passed.
Many thanks to Shannon for taking time out of her busy schedule for me. We love Mustard Pie at LaBella Flora and so do our customers. Getting to know more about the owner and her family has only made us love it more.
Cheers to Mustard Pie!