A huge announcement about Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

Marian ParsonsMiss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, Running a Business84 Comments

I wrote a post almost 10 years ago entitled “Everything is for sale“.  At that time, I was becoming known for selling pretty much anything including furniture we were actively using in our house.  It was a common occurrence for Jeff to come home to a large hole that a piece of furniture occupied that very morning.  Maybe it’s the military brat in me that learned not to hold onto things too tightly.  Maybe it’s the optimist in me that believes that something else will come along.

With all of the things I’ve sold over the years, I never even considered the idea of selling a portion of my business.

But, a couple of weeks ago, that’s exactly what happened.

Let me back up for a minute…

Over eight years ago, almost nine, I sent an e-mail to a milk paint company in Canada, presenting the idea of creating a line of paint in custom colors under my own branding.  This e-mail was a total shot in the dark, a wild hope.  And, looking back on it now, I had no idea what I was really asking!  I knew nothing about owning a paint line!  I just had this idea that someone should give milk paint a fresh face.  Why couldn’t that someone be me?   

Of course, you know that paint line became Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.  When I sent that e-mail, I only had a vague and somewhat ridiculous plan and that was quickly turned on its head when I received dozens of e-mails from retailers asking if they could carry my paint in their stores.  Something I was planning to do as a little side thing turned into a huge thing, an overwhelming and wonderful thing.  I’ve been brought to tears many times…over labels, over decisions that affected the livelihood of others, and over the amazing news that the wax supplier had to buy a warehouse and hire more people to meet the demand.

I’ve learned and grown so much through the entire journey.  It’s pushed and stretched me as a business owner more than any other aspect of my business.  I had that coveted job of creating and naming paint colors!  I got to travel and meet so many amazing people who already loved milk paint or wanted to learn more about it.  I got to style and take pictures of paint, which is one of my favorites things to do.

Somewhere in the middle of painting a few hundred pieces of furniture and traveling to teach workshops and demos and thinking about what’s next, a question started to slowly creep in.  How long are you going to do this?  I asked myself that question dozens of times on private creative retreats and in planning sessions.  The answer until a year ago was always, I don’t know, but I still want to do it.  We’ll see how long…     

Last spring, I  acknowledged that I wasn’t repeatedly asking this question of any other aspect of my business.  I knew I was ready to move on.  That was a tough realization and a difficult decision to vocalize.  I had to mourn it privately before I told anyone outside of Jeff.  I had to be 100% sure, because I loved the line and worked hard to build it and promote it.  And it is successful not only because of my work, but the work of all of the people who believed in it and put it on the shelves in their stores.  It is a very special, profitable brand with loyal retailers and customers.  How do I just walk away from that?  

I came face-to-face with the fact that I never intended for milk paint to be my only thing or even my main thing and my affinity for diversity was limiting the brand.  In addition, I was falling in love with other creative endeavors and I couldn’t reasonably, wholeheartedly manage the milk paint line and pursue those other curiosities.

Initially, my plan was to retire the line, so I started to think through the process of dismantling what I had built.  Somewhere in the middle of puzzling through that process, though, I was out on a walk listening to a podcast about endings.  It was specifically about walking away from one thing to pursue something else.  (I wish I remembered the name of the podcast!)  There was a point in the podcast where the guest talked about lighting your own creations on fire.  There was something in that phrase that made me wonder if that’s what I was doing.

When I shared my plan to retire with my team, we all cried.  We were sad about our team breaking up (it really is the best team), but we were also sad about the products and colors no longer being available.  I got off the call, weepy and sad.  Was this the right decision?  

Was I setting something up in flames that still had value, not just to me, but to someone else?  I wonder if anyone would want to buy the brand…  Is that a thing?  Is that even possible?  

I kicked the idea to my accountant and lawyer and they both confirmed that not only was it possible, but it’s done all the time.  There was a lot to figure out, but I was excited at the idea and decided to pursue it.

I’ll press the fast-forward button on the story here, because it’s months-long and mostly boring.  Imagine all of the stress and nerves of selling a house amplified.  The entire process has been worth it, though, and I’m so happy to share that the perfect buyers, a couple with a passion for milk paint (they were already MMSMP retailers) and good heads for business, came forward to purchase Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint and the sale became official a couple of weeks ago!  I can’t tell you the combined relief and excitement I feel that the brand will live on (and hopefully even grow) and that I am freed up to paint more, write more, design more, create more.  It really is the best-case scenario.

Something that was going to be a sad goodbye is instead a shift towards something new and exciting.  The brand will have new energy and a fresh perspective.  (And I won’t have to hoard Aviary and Farmhouse White before shuttering the doors.)

So, what does this mean for lovers of milk paint and MMSMP customers?  It just means that MMSMP is under new management and ownership.  I’m sure you’ll see some changes, but I’ll let the new owners share what those will be.  I can say that I spoke with them at length through the sale process and I’m excited to have a front-row seat as they implement their ideas.  I will still be involved in using the products (they are my favorite) and promoting the brand as the founder, but I will not be the owner.

If you have been interested in carrying the paint as a retailer and wondered why we weren’t bringing on new ones, this is why!  If you’re still interested in carrying the line, this is an exciting time to join the MMSMP family!   (Send an e-mail HERE for more information.)

Yes, I’ll still be blogging as Miss Mustard Seed and it will still be called Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.  I know it’ll confuse some people, but there are still people who call MMSMP “chalk paint”, so some people will be confused no matter what you do!

Before I wrap up this announcement, I do want to take a minute to thank all of you – my blog readers and MMSMP customers.  You have been a huge part of making this line successful over the years and I’m glad the products and colors will still be available to those who love the products (or those who haven’t tried them, yet!)

So, thank you!

You can still find MMSMP in all of the same places on the website, Instagram, Facebook, and in retail locations.

All of my blog posts and tutorials on milk paint (I’ve written over 300 of them) will remain HERE on my blog and my YouTube channel and I’ll even be adding more as I work on pieces.

I have a few in the garage, much to Jeff’s dismay…

 

A huge announcement about Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

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84 Comments on “A huge announcement about Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint”

  1. Well that is sad but also happy news in some regards for you.Can you share any info about the new owners? As a Canadian I am hoping there will still be a Canadian connection.Hopefully the very reliable and quality line will continue. Best wishes in the future!

    1. Like Laura, I am a Canadian and hoping that this means it will be even easier to obtain the MMSMP! This must be a time of mixed emotions for you Marian!

  2. What a bittersweet decision! It’s a beautiful paint line and I’m very happy it will continue being made and sold!

  3. Congratulations! What an exciting time for MMSMP… it like your baby has gone to college and now you can watch it flourish…. Enjoy

    1. I’m so thankful for you and for the sweet moments I’ve spent reading your blog . And I’m thankful that you decided to preserve your line of milk paint – it’s kind of like growing a child and setting it free to be whatever it will be . Thank you for it burning it down .

  4. Marian,
    Endings are always sad for someone, but congratulations to you for finding the very best solution for yourself, your faithful followers and your future fans. I commend you, and I eagerly await your next adventure (s)!!
    xo

    1. I am so happy for you to be able to spend time on what you want to do and to have found a buyer who is excited to grow the line it was almost a year ago I inquired to sell the line in my retail location and was told you were not taking more retail clients I had wondered often why I could not sell the line it is good to know why and now I understand. It truly is my favorite color wise and texture to paint with and I have followed the journey since 2010 and remember the chalk paint post turned to milk paint post those were fun times as will the future be to see where you go and grow!

  5. Congratulations, Marian! I’m so glad you have been able to pass this paint line on and let it live. I love MMSMP! Can’t wait to see what’s next for you. 😀

    1. Marian, I’m very happy that this sale of your paint line has worked out to your advantage! Now you will have time to pursue many other creative endeavors. What a perfect solution for you.

  6. I loved hearing you tell about this journey and how you evolved mentally and emotionally to let go of your creation. It’s a powerful story. Congratulations on being brave and letting go so you can open to new creative endeavors!

    Cindy

  7. I was only thinking about this last week as it occurred to me that there hadn’t been any new colours for so long. Change is so hard that if you’ve found the right time to move on then things will work out.

  8. As a vote of confidence, I’ve been seeing you lately as much more than milk paint!! I have come to appreciate the artist you are and artistic Inspiration. You have developed a movement with MMSMP and I for one are very appreciative. I joined the cow painting class and you’ve gotten me off the starting blocks of painting again, thanks🤩

  9. Wishing you the best in all of your future endeavors ! It’s thanks to your tutorials that after I picked up my first bag of milk paint at a retailer near me, I never stopped! I’m forever grateful for your guidance .
    All the best
    Catey @springbrookcharm

  10. Marian, I’m sure this was a very difficult decision and I know you didn’t take it lightly. You’ve definitely got a great sense of business and I’m excited to see what you’ll come up with next. Best wishes for your new endeavors!

  11. Good for you, congratulations! You are an amazing artist, creative in so many ways, and also demonstrate creativity as a business owner, open to new things. Very cool!

  12. Congratulations on the next step into your creative life. I know a lot of the hardest decisions I’ve made have turned out “by the grace of God” to be the best decisions.
    It will be sad to not have my paint be directly attached to you, but i’m thrilled I can still get and use it. It’s not only my favorite paint because of the quality and the colors, but mostly because of you. Everyday when I read your blog I have a sense of sitting across from you with a cup of coffee.
    I’m looking forward to seeing where you go from here.
    God Bless,
    Frances

  13. Congratulations! Happy for you so that you can be freed up to pursue other endeavors and excited to watch them evolve!! Know you well enough now (from afar) to know this didn’t happen without a lot of thought & emotions. Can’t wait to see what else is around the next bend in the road!

  14. Congratulations! I hope this gives you time for many new creations and challenges. Your zest for life is inspiring.

  15. Congratulations! I’m sure it was a bittersweet decision. I really admire your courage in knowing when it’s time for a change, in taking chances and moving forward without fear. Been following you for nearly 10 years and I look forward to your next endeavors!

  16. Congratulations! I’ve used you product with love for quite awhile now, refinishing furniture for my new house. I’m so glad I found you and your paint, not to mention tutorials to save me when I became concerned or a bit lost. I’m sorry to see you let it go but I’m just as happy to learn that the line will live on. And yes, we don’t have to hoard our favorite colors. Best of luck in your new endeavors!

  17. I rather marvel at all of your creative pursuits and I am very happy you have found a way to make your line continue but in a way that allows you to enjoy your freedom from the management of the business. What I admire most of all is how you give yourself permission and the joy to create. I w been really looking at what this looks like. I’m older than you and I began to notice a few years ago that I was not allowing g myself to pursue creative interests. It felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything. But my joy was gone. I love being creative. So I started looking into it more and slowly but surely I am seeing my creative pursuits return. It is life giving. I found myself smiling as I read your post. I know a part of it may have been sad but I pray it is life giving and freeing to you. You bless so many with all the lovely things you create. I pray the blessings has returned to you.

  18. Congratulations on your decision, Marion. Best wished discovering new and wonderful artistic endeavors!

  19. Oh boy am I ever glad you made this decision, and not to retire the line! Whew. Thank you. I’m sooo excited to follow along with your creative mind as you focus on the things that still ignite your passion. What a good and brave move that was.

    Wishing you and the new owners all success.

  20. Happy that you are happy. Just waiting to see your next new thing that will help and excite us. Thank you for taking us all along with you.

  21. Congratulations!! I can imagine how much thought must have gone into that decision.. but with change comes opportunity for new challenges. And a period to rest and reflect.

  22. So glad you were able to find a solution to keep your paint line going but still be able to move in the direction you were feeling called. Excited to see where you and the paint line go from here! Best wishes!

  23. I am sooooooo glad you are not discontinuing this paint line. I only discovered you a couple of months ago and I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on my list. Thank you for your thoughtful decision. The more I listen to you the more I admire you as a person and business woman.

  24. So happy for you in your next chapter. It’s a wonderful product and I still have several bags in my stash. So glad it will continue on.

  25. So pleased that you have peace about this season of change. Dr. Henry Cloud wrote a book called Necessary Endings about such a time as this. Praying for continued freshness in your wonderful creative process.

  26. So very happy the MMSMP line will continue! I have followed you from the beginning and this is just another wonderful chapter!

  27. I have been following you for 7 years now and you have always been such an inspiration to me. I will miss you so much. Take care xx

  28. Congratulations! Best wishes to you as you move through this next season. I’m sure beautiful things are on the horizon for you. Hugs!

  29. Congratulations Marian! You have always been a remarkable business woman. I’m excited about the future of MMMP and will continue to be a loyal customer.

  30. Congratulations, how exciting for you!
    Good Luck with the new chapter in your life. Glad to know the paint line will continue

    Sandi

  31. I am impressed by your ability to let go. I’ve seen you do it again and again in letting go of furniture you worked on, moving to a now house and state, and now letting go of a baby you have brought to maturity. I’m sure milk paint is something sentimental, and profitable money wise, but you are able to follow your aspirations and your inspirations, just as the title of your book “inspired you” suggests. Congratulations on your integrity and ability to let go of “things”.

  32. I sold a business I created some time back because I wanted to pursue other things, so I understand your journey. 🙂

    I’m so glad you didn’t close it down, it would have been a waste of all that creative energy you put into it, & it is now like a child fully grown & able to be independent of it’s parents, following it’s own path – but always still a part of them.

  33. Congratulations! This is the best of both worlds. The one where MMSMP is still available and nutured, and Miss Mustard Seed is also available to nuture new endeavors. Win-Win!

  34. A win win for all involved! The Lord working in mysterious ways! It had to be a hard decision for you, but now you can step back a little and watch it grow and change and your name will still be on the product. You’ve worked very hard to develop and grow the line. I’m happy for you and your customers probably won’t miss a step. Well done.

  35. Marian I just wanted to tell you that you and your MMSMP have changed my…oh gosh I’m crying…my life. They way you decorate your personality all the things you love I love. You brought back my love for sewing. You have enriched my life and I want to thank you for that. Best wishes in your future endeavors. Never stop dreaming.

  36. WOW!!! Now that is some big news right there.

    I wish you all the best in your new endeavors – you did an amazing job with that brand, Marian – and I wish the new owners tremendous success as well.

    Sometimes change is a good thing. Life is short – do it all!!!! : – )

  37. Congrats on your new season in life. Glad the line of paints will continue, happy for how the path was guided giving you the desire of your heart of keeping you “baby alive”.
    I have been inspired by you like I have shared before, but I never used the paint, I love the colors, but when I started painting it was not available in Kansas City.
    looking forward to see what you will create that will make me smile and motivate me to do something pretty in my house.

  38. Wow! Congratulations! How exciting that the best of both worlds can continue. I often wish someone would follow me around and blog all my creative stuff for me, so that I could just create! So I think I have an idea of how relieved and happy you must be. Wonderful!

  39. I wish I was as sage as you and all of your supportive readers, but truth be told I’m a little sad! I’m happy for you of course and I admire your courage but I always loved the milk paint branch of your brand and content the very best. Good luck to you and all of your future ideas!

  40. Well, that IS big news! Congratulations! Your ability to change and let things go when they no longer serve you is a lesson to me and maybe others too— it allows space to pursue new possibilities.
    And I along with so many others will be happy to follow along with whatever creative pursuits you care to share!

  41. As I read your really heartfelt blogpost, it struck me that your journey is like that of a gardener. It’s painful to do the pruning, but from that comes a flourish of regrowth. I wishing you all the best in what’s to bloom in your garden!

  42. Congratulations Marian! I’ve been following along on your journey for many years. Including being a vendor for MMSMP. I know many vendors from years in the private FB group. I’m sure they are saddened by the news, but as a person that advocates change in creative endeavors I’m happy for you. You have been encouraged by you over the years including oil painting. I’m glad you have a buyer for the line and did not have to retire it. Best wishes in your future plans.
    Ruth McGrath

  43. Congratulations, Marian! Good things do come to good people and you deserve to follow new dreams with confidence that your first child will continue to grow safely and with care.

  44. What a roller coaster ride you have been on. So many emotions. Thank you for sharing this news. I’m excited to hear what you have in the plans next. I enjoy your books, your blog, and your paint. I’ve also enjoyed the creative class lately. Thank you for sharing your talents.

  45. Congratulations Marian! I am really happy for you. You are such a creative and talented person, you deserve to enjoy your life as you see fit. Enjoy your new avenues of creativity! 😃❤️

  46. Congratulations on finding a wonderful way to pass the torch and pursue other avenues of your dreams. You are a true inspiration and your light shines bright ♡

    God Bless!

    Heidi Malott

  47. I commend your willingness to sell instead of letting your business die. My parents started a business in the early 60s and worked very hard until it was successful. As they aged, it became too much for them, but they couldn’t let go to pass it on. They could have easily sold it. The business withered after my father’s death and my mother is stuck with a shop full of unused equipment and materials she still can’t bring herself to let go of. The company still exists on paper and she still pays taxes on it. It is going to be a nightmare for me and my siblings when she passes.

  48. I am so, so glad that line has found a new life. It would have been a huge loss if the products were no longer available. Congratulations on a successful transition and new beginnings!

  49. Change is often a good thing. If you have joy in your heart and no regrets, it must be the right thing to do! I’m so glad the paint line will live on – it simply is too amazing and well-loved to retire!

  50. Congratulations, Marian ! I am sure it was a hard decision, and I am happy your line will continue.❤️

  51. I know this was a difficult decision to let go of something you created, loved and grew into a successful line. Of course, selling a business always makes more financial sense than just closing a business but because it still carries your name but you no longer own it can be risky. When someone wants to retain your name on a business its because you were successful. I remember when Kate Spade was sold. She built her handbag company from scratch. Although she has since passed away and her line was sold a while back people always still associate her with the product. I am sure you didn’t let go of your baby easy and without talking in depth to the potential buyers to get a good feel of where they were hoping to go with MMS for the future.

  52. Wow!! I know you thought it through very well, and you will press on toward the goal. Thankfully, the paint will still be available for those who love it.

  53. Change is always hard, isn’t it? And yet, you already know this is a great decision for you, and for the new owners. I trust you find your new and continued vision, pursue those things which make you happy, and find new life where the wondering and stress were residing. I love your blog!!

  54. You don’t seem to make decisions on a whim Marian, so this would had been a long, hard and prayerful one. It was your bright smiling face and enormous creative talent which drew me to your milk paint line and it will be those very dame things which will draw others to your new adventurous creative endeavours. You ignite, encourage and nurture the creative in people and I believe these are your true gifts outworked in what you do. God bless you as you walk into new creative paths, new adventures influencing a mountain of others who too will begin to create xxx

  55. You don’t seem to make decisions on a whim Marian, so this would had been a long, hard and prayerful one. It was your bright smiling face and enormous creative talent which drew me to your milk paint line and it will be those very same things which will draw others to your new creative endeavours. You ignite, encourage and nurture the creative in people and I believe these are your true gifts outworked in what you do. God bless you as you walk into new creative paths, influencing a mountain of others who too will begin to create xxx

  56. So excited for you as a door closes from one world and a window opens bringing you a fresh, clean slate to soar. Love reading your blog, and have for years. Congrats on this new direction!

  57. I don’t know if I’m happy or sad. It’s like letting your baby go off to college. Ultimately, I know you’re so creative there will always be room for new endeavors in your life. I’ve loved watching MMSMP over the years. I still don’t have any and have a list of colors I want. I’ll have to figure out how to acquire them.
    Congratulations!

  58. It sometimes is the right decision to change things in ones life and in business. I am proud of you choosing you and what you need! I will have to be honest I hope they do not get rid of FARMHOUSE WHITE because I haven’t been able to find this color and it is my favorite. Thanks for always letting us in on your life!!!

  59. Congratulations Marian……I have been your follower from almost the beginning. It is so weird as I was just painting these last few days with your paint and I was reflecting of your career and where it was and is now and thinking, I wonder how the paint part of your business is going as you are showing so many new avenues and interests. And, then I just was reading this news now! So now I know! LOL! I’m happy that you decided to sell instead of retiring, I think everyone wins in this scenario.
    Many blessing to you and for your future……..I will be here following you

  60. Marion, may God Bless you on your new adventures. I’m so glad the MMSMP will live on because it really is the best milk paint. I will be honest and tell you that I was not much interested watching you paint pears but you are a true artist and a lovely blogger and about the best interior decorator I have ever seen. God Speed.

  61. All the best to you, Marian. I have been following your blog from way back in the day – back when furniture feature Friday was a weekly thing, back when Kirste was your sidekick. So much inspiration from all your posts. Throw us a furniture makeover now and again and reach for the stars!

  62. Dear Marian,
    The direction your life has taken is nothing but amazing. I just learned about the sale of MMSMP. Of course you don’t have a brick & mortar business and the options of opportunity are endless and exciting. So…we won’t be loosing you and MMSMP is still available. 💚
    I wish you the best. God has his hand on all you do. You are blessed. Sincerely, Joan

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