I’m Hillary Dunham (that’s me there with my sweet family in November 2016 and in 2021on Beale Street – I bet you can guess which year is which.), and I live and work from my home office in Huntsville, Alabama. I was born and raised in Dothan, Alabama (that’s on the other end of the state, if you’re not from ‘round here) and moved to Huntsville when I was in college to work at the Space Camp. I met my husband Jason there in 1998 (no, he wasn’t a camper; we were both Space Camp Counselors🙂 and graduated from college in 2000 (with a degree in English to be a writer). I also am a certified interior decorator, but I usually don’t tell people that because their expectations for my home are entirely too high.
Jason and I were married in 2001 and happily welcomed our first son in 2005. Then the kids just kept on coming! Our second son joined the family in 2007 and our sweet doll-baby girl arrived in 2010. Three children in under 5 years is a little wild and woolly, but we are so thankful for our blessings. If I can manage not to lose someone’s socks, library book, lunch box or my temper in the morning, then it’s going to be a good day.
Mint Julep Monograms was a dream that God put on my heart in 2009. Starting a business from the ground up is definitely a challenge, but it’s even more of a funny story if you know that I’ve never sewed… anything. I’m not trained as a retailer nor have I ever started a small business.
But (before you run away!), I do know how I like to shop: great customer service, personalized products and quality merchandise. And that’s what we specialize in, hoping that you like the same things! Thankfully, God has provided the right training, guidance and experience to fill in the knowledge gaps, and I’ve been blessed beyond belief with the outcome!
Over the years, God has given me amazing (and I do mean REALLY awesome) people to help the business. For a long time, Martina was in charge of admin/paperwork/ordering. Paige was our organizing queen/shipping expert and Vicki and Valerie monogrammed and were the head sanity savers.
And He’s also provided ways to grow Mint Julep Monograms. In October 2013, we were given the opportunity to purchase an existing store. At the time, this boutique included 9 other small business owners/shops. We then expanded to 12 shops (all women-all fantastic) and moved to 7540 B South Memorial Parkway (right next to Big Rosie’s). We called the store Mint Julep Market. And, boy was it a lot of fun! We hosted educational events, book signings, make and take classes, bridal fairs, FUN parties (if I do say so: Derby Days, Guys Nights, Christmas Soiree, Girls Nights)…all while selling the PERFECT gifts for any occasion!
But 2020 brought big changes to the business. First, my dear friends/co-workers moved houses, had to be home with their families and some even moved cities (without even asking!) so my business runs differently now. I wear a lot of the hats, Martina is still in charge of admin from Birmingham and my friend Rachel does a lot of writing and behind the scenes work for the business. It works, and I am glad we’ve found a rhythm.
Second, God called me to take a step back from the brick and mortar store, and I wanted to be obedient. He orchestrated amazing things during this time. My dear friend Beth McCormick, who had already been at the store for 5 years, bought Mint Julep Market that July. Beth renamed it The Cottage Collective, and it kept humming! Same location (next to Big Rosie’s). Same wonderful, personalized gifts for all occasions. And, I still sell Mint Julep Monograms products there. (Be sure to stop by The Cottage Collective if you’re local!)
Over the years, we have been blessed beyond belief to give back to our community locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. We partner with you to give back, and that’s what makes us energized to do what we do! Here’s more about our Kenya Story, and I love speaking about it! Get all the info on speaking here.
But what about the name?
I get this question a lot – and there is no real significance to the name other than I thought it would be cute! I think Mint Juleps are Southern and classy (tasty, too!), and Mint Julep cups are always monogrammed, dah-ling, so I thought it just might work. 🙂
Thanks so much for taking the time to learn about me, our work, home and family. Want to fill me in on you? I’d be happy to answer questions or talk ideas with you anytime! My inbox is always open: Hillary@mintjulepmonograms.com.
Thank you for being here!