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This successful mom turned a blog into a brand

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Meet the mom behind Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

DIY fans adore Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. What they might not know is that this mom of two started her blog on a whim and never knew it would jump-start a successful line of paint and the foundation of a booming furniture and design business.
Marian Parsons | Sheknows.com

DIY fans adore Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. What they might not know is that this mom of two started her blog on a whim and never knew it would jump-start a successful line of paint and the foundation of a booming furniture and design business.

Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint has become a cult favorite in the DIY scene. Meet the enterprising mom behind it. We talked to Marian Parsons, known as Miss Mustard Seed, to learn more about her love of antiques, her popular blog and her advice to would-be designers.

A love of patina and pieces with soul

Miss Mustard seed family room | Sheknows.com

Interior designer Marian Parsons grew up in Germany. "I think that influenced my look and love of old things," she says. "We stayed in a lot of quaint gausthauses and toured castles and I fell in love with patina and pieces with soul." Parsons' love of decorating bloomed as she found inspiration on her travels. "When I was a newlywed, I strayed into an antique mall one day and realized I could buy cool antique pieces for a lot less than new pressboard pieces from a discount store and I’ve never looked back!"

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She started without a plan

Parsons has no formal education in interior design. "I watched a lot of decorating shows on TV and have been a shelter book and magazine junkie for years," she says. "I took it all in and then went for what I liked in my own home." A friend told her that she should start a blog and sent her links to DIY and home decor blogs. Parsons realized she could do the same thing and started her blog on a whim. "I didn’t have a plan or expectations or a fancy blog design. I just started," she says.

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Milk paint isn't a new idea

Miss mustard seed half bath | Sheknows.com

In 2012, Parsons leveraged her popular blog and brand to create her own line of milk paint in 18 colors. Homestead House Paint Company manufactures Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, which has become a popular paint for antique finishes. "Milk paint has been around for thousands of years and it’s 100 percent natural," says Parsons. "It comes in powder form, so it has to be mixed with water to use it as paint. You can achieve beautiful, authentically-aged finishes with milk paint and it’s the very best paint for raw wood."

She took that first step

Parsons' two sons have grown up with her work. They like to try to help her paint, move furniture or work with fabric. "In recent years, they’ve started to ask why people read my blog and know who I am and want me to sign their book," says Parsons, who published Inspired You in 2012. When asked what advice she has for women who want to get started in design, Parsons says, "It’s just paint, fabric, scooting furniture around and hanging stuff on a wall and there really isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. So, take that first step and go for it!"

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Photo credit: Miss Mustard Seed
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