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Taking the Plunge

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Everything happens all at once. Sometimes you just have to just jump in and paddle as fast as you can. How does one heart hold all of these emotions?

A new home, being featured in a local luxury magazine, a successful trunk show and new retail representation, creating a new fall collection and becoming a grandma all in one month!

Today is the day I become Grandma JoJo. It is the cream cheese frosting on the carrot cake cupcake of my life. I cannot wait to see its little face and hold its warm weight in my arms. It is a new chapter for Bill and me as we move from parenting into the magical world of being grandparents. We are moving into that role with much joy and anticipation. This new role and responsibility has lifted us up into the whirlwind of moving in a new direction — figuratively and quite literally.

Right now I am sitting in our new house. We just moved to a beautiful newer home that’s the perfect layout and size for Bill and me, and it’s only three minutes from our son and daughter-in-law’s house. We’re still unpacking boxes and getting settled in, but are starting to feel at home. It will be months before we will be able to get into our garage, but the good news is that we actually have a garage, a luxury we did not have at our previous home near the Plaza. Now we are north of the city in a lovely wooded, hilly neighborhood called Briarcliff. Our house looks out at the woods, and we love the serene setting.

My studio is full of light with windows on two sides. Right now the floor is covered with piles of fabrics I’ve been collecting for my new fall line of kimonos and scarves. It is another new beginning. Now that it’s time to get the new line into production, I am ready. The vision is clear in my mind for how this line is going to look, and I’m so excited about this new direction.

Based on new raw silk in muted solid colors, the lovely textures and prints from the fabrics I’ve been collecting will be crafted into one-of-a-kind accents and trim on each garment. Sleek linings will flash a surprise glimpse of color or print as the garment moves with its wearer.

Each piece will be handmade by sewing professionals here in Kansas City. And, for the first time since I started making kimono-inspired garments about four years ago, the line is now being carried at a local retail boutique, Trapp and Company. Plans are being made for a Fall Fashion event in early October.

As the new day begins, a ray of sunshine spreads across the cover of the new TODAY Kansas City magazine, a luxury lifestyle quarterly publication by Soave Automotive Group. The cover features a model wearing a stunning colorful dress against a sparkling blue water background. I am proud to be included in this issue with a feature article that begins on page 66: Mullin at Heart. Writer Matt Lancaster wrote the article based on an interview with me a few weeks ago. He asked me about the journey that led to me making kimonos: why I started making them and what it all means to me.

(Just click on the image to see the entire article and more photos.)

I encourage you to take a look at it because it explains my motivation and mission for creating garments that women love to wear, and how my business has evolved into a ministry. It is an honor to be featured in this luxury lifestyle publication. I hope my story inspires you to find your own way to celebrate what you love and lift others up in the process.

As the story explains, our family has had its share of struggles and difficult times. Like every family, ours is a story of ups and downs and surviving losses and disappointments as well as feeling overwhelmingly blessed. As our younger son is trying to find his way in life, our older son is becoming a father, and Bill and I have an electrician working at our new house this morning and we are wondering where we left the box cutter. It might seem like just another day, but for us, it's a time to stop and count our blessings.

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