top of page
Featured Posts

"Turning Competition into Connection: A Story of a Valued Friendship" Part 1

Hey y’all! Its springtime here in Texas, and way down south near the border of Mexico its hot, sticky, and you can hear the Chachalacas chirping at twilight. I am sitting outside during a rare fresh breeze; my mind is wandering back to a time when I would have never imagined owning a business and, moreover, having a colleague in the same industry.

If you follow me on social media, then you know how I advocate heavily for finding a fellow designer in your area. This person or persons is usually someone who speaks your mum language. A majority have pulled all-nighters and been bitten by the pesky bug, the effect of which is a creative standstill. During those days, we need a helper or a group of helpers that can come in, look at the order, and run with an idea because EVERY MINUTE COUNTS! For me, that is Victoria of My Mum Designs by Victoria.

When I first met Victoria, I was very much at the beginning of my career. I’d write notes everywhere and compare designs, and I sought every opportunity to hone my skills because I wanted to stand out in my area. I wanted to bring a new look to the Rio Grande Valley. Soon after, I would be given the opportunity to be a designer at a local mum show. I enthusiastically agreed, as this was right after COVID-19, and I wanted an opportunity to be out mingling with my own kind of crafters. I had already joined Mums Inc. and been a member for about a year and a half, but I had not met anyone face to face because of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020.

At this point, I had not had any contact with Victoria beyond the welcome from Mums Inc. So when I saw a lady with a manilla folder and pen walking towards me at the mum show; I didn't know exactly what to expect! It turns out it was Victoria who had been wanting to meet me! Like me, she was taking as many notes as possible on everything that had transpired at the show and wanted to exchange contact information in case we needed help from one another in the near future. During that moment, I honestly thought, “Well, I guess I have competition,” something I can say was silly of me. I had been programmed that other businesses were only competitors. I was not sure if she had an underlying agenda. About a month later, Victoria would message me to ask me something about a mum I posted. This is the message she left me.

Homecoming Mum by Simply Mum Creations

“Hi Lizzy, this is Vicky Stephen from My Mum in McAllen. I was just sent your leopard and pink mum and asked to replicate it by a lady named Janie for a Senior at Edinburg High. Has she contacted you? If not, I recommend she contact you first since it's your design she wants. Let me know what you think. Thanks!”

To others, it might not mean much, but to me, that message meant everything! I admired that she respected me as a fellow designer and the work that goes on behind the scenes. She could have easily taken the order, but she instead showed me, my business, and my designs the ultimate compliment. From this point, I knew I had an ally I could trust. She’d reach out if I were busy, or vice versa, so we could refer customers to one another. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Not too long after this, Victoria would come in for a major save. I was in a complete bind. I had taken on an order that called for a very wide mum. A good bit bigger than my normal sizes. The engineering behind this mum was giving me all sorts of problems. I had scoured Mums Inc. posts on wide mums, reinforcement; you name it. This is the part of the story where I should mention I called her the day before the mum was due to be picked up. This mum was at least 2 feet wide. She is about 25 minutes away. I swear she got to my house in 15 minutes with all the tools needed, including a positive mindset that we would figure this out. At that moment, I realized God had sent me an ally, colleague, and friend.

We now travel everywhere together when it comes to this adventure we call mum-making. For many seasons now, we have stepped in for each other. Somehow, it always turns out that we need each other at just the right time, and everything aligns, and we can be the help each other needs. We have an age gap, but it has never seemed to matter. She has taught me to be forgiving, patient, and understanding in many ways. In this industry, like many others, it can be tough to grow and network, but having someone who understands and uplifts you is a blessing,

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as, in fact, you are doing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11

If I had never taken a chance, if I had believed that we could only compete with each other, I would have never found my mum bestie. Our friendship has inspired me to branch out to bring other ladies in the industry into our circle of friends.

Our journey in the valley is still going strong. Stay tuned because, believe it or not, there is more to this story of strangers turned colleagues who became the best of friends.


IIissa "Lizzy" Cordero


Simply Mum Designs


Commenting has been turned off.
Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
bottom of page