Beanie maker Love Your Melon, formed by students at the University of St. Thomas a decade ago and known for giving profits to cancer research, is being purchased by a New York aggregator of fashion brands.
The deal was announced Tuesday after the buyer, Win Brands Group, raised $40 million in new investment capital for the purchase. Win did not say precisely how much it would pay for Love Your Melon, however.
Founders Zachary Quinn and Brian Keller started Love Your Melon while still in college. They aimed to make money and support children battling cancer.
Love Your Melon has since donated portions of its profits totaling more than $9 million to groups fighting pediatric cancer. It has also given more than 235,000 of its beanies to children with cancer and their loved ones.
Research shows that many consumers are attracted to mission-based brands. Global consumers are four times more likely to purchase from a company they think has a strong purpose, according to a 2020 study done by the Zeno Group communications agency.
In an interview, Quinn said the business would benefit from the resources of a larger company.
“Doing it all on our own without experience … it was challenging and we started to think about who would be a good partner in this,” Quinn said.
Quinn and Keller have been thinking of a potential sale for years. They hope to now sell Love Your Melon products in big-box retail stores and create a better presence on Amazon.com. They also want to make production more efficient and improve profit margins so the brand can continue to give back to the community.
“I think it will catapult us to growth,” Quinn said. “I think that we’re going to grow significantly with them … and be able to donate millions more dollars.”
Many of Love Your Melon’s beanies are made in Mendota Heights, but at times the company can’t make enough beanies to support demand. Quinn said the company would like to supplement production by hiring contractor firms.
The company would also expand with items that can be worn in warmer months, such as bucket hats, Quinn said.
On its website, Win Brands said it provides its business units services that include digital marketing, product sourcing, accounting and finance. It also owns the weighted-blanket brand Gravity, home fragrance and candle company Homesick and silicone wedding rings maker QALO.
Love Your Melon’s merchandise has grown from beanies to apparel, home goods and …….