Artist Debbie Mumm
has created a delightful fantasy country world of gardens, nature, and the warmth of holidays. Daisies, sunflowers, and watering cans are sprinkled throughout her images; while angels and santas spread goodwill over her paintings.
Drawing since she was a child, Debbie studied graphic arts and took up watercolors to achieve her vision for a fabric line. Quilters have fallen in love with Debbie's designs and everything coming out of her company — Mumm's the Word
— which seems to be an instant success.
Watercolors allow Debbie to paint the world not as it is, but as she wishes it were. She began to paint gardens before they were a huge market trend, and her Americana themes grew to include the seasons, holiday imagery, animals, tea, toys, and quilting.
The CEO and Creative Director of the company that bears her name, Debbie's goals in life remain simple — have fun, laugh a lot every day, and be kind and respectful to everyone. Debbie strongly believes that corporate values begin at the top and her example and dedication to her team inspires affection, loyalty, and high output by the talented staff. It is this mutual dedication that gives Debbie and her company the abilities that have secured her position atop the world's stationery, home decorating, and quilting markets.
However, Debbie Mumm isn't your typical CEO. Wearing cropped jeans and one of her signature scarves, Debbie is a whirlwind of activity, moving from the art studio to the sewing department with a quick stop in graphics to share a funny story. Consulting with one of the artists on the color palette for her latest drawing or pulling a fabric from the shelves for a quilt design, Debbie is definitely "hands on."
Her story could be lifted from a textbook for success. Start small, find a niche, and promote yourself. Study the market and connect with everyone from the manufacturer to the consumer. Then, throw in all the things Debbie does best — creating wonderful designs, following each design from concept to final production, and making sure each product fits her vision and high standards of quality.
The author of more than fifty books on quilting and home decorating, Debbie began her business twenty years ago as a quilt designer. She soon branched out to fabric design in partnership with a fabric manufacturer. That partnership was the first of many agreements with companies that loved her designs and recognized the huge marketing potential of combining Debbie's art with their products. Today, more than thirty companies have licensing agreements with Debbie Mumm, Inc. Her designs can be seen on everything from dinnerware to stationery and fabric to greeting cards.
Debbie loves the thrill of creating new artwork and is committed to seeing her art translated into beautiful, high quality finished products. Besides characters and scenes, Debbie designs patterns, textures, and borders so that her artwork can be used in a broad range of products. Debbie keeps up with contemporary trends by introducing new color palettes and fresh new ideas with each art collection.
"People often ask me how I maintain energy and enthusiasm for my business,"
Debbie says. "I'm energized by fresh ideas, new product concepts, and business opportunities. Pooling the creativity and talents of a whole team and knowing that I am backed by them makes each jam-packed day very fun. And, of course, success and feedback from the marketplace keep me excited and moving forward."
"I get a great deal of satisfaction out of being very productive, while at the same time it's important to me to laugh and have fun with my staff and my business partners,"
she said. "I have a very strong sense that what we are doing together is a very wonderful thing."
Debbie's studio is located atop Five Mile Prairie in Washington State. Here she lives with her husband Steve and their young son.