By now you’re no doubt familiar with the cozy, leather-labeled, sometimes-pom-topped hats helping children battling cancer. “I knew early on that Love Your Melon had the potential to grow and change lives,” Cofounder and President Zachary Quinn says of the company that began as a college project. “As soon as we finished the class assignment, I knew I had to see it through. I dropped out of college to get out of the classroom and make things happen in the real world. This risk was, of course, worthwhile.”
And the numbers bear out: In 2012, the company’s first year in business, it reached its goal of giving away 45,000 hats — one for every child battling cancer in the country.
Since then, Love Your Melon has given more than 147,000 hats to children battling cancer and more than $4.7 million to nonprofit partners, helping fund cancer research and therapeutic programs.
The Love Your Melon team continues to innovate, developing Beanie Giving Machines: hospital-based interactive vending machines that dispense a hat for every child battling cancer. “Our goal is to place a Beanie Giving Machine in every hospital treating pediatric-cancer patients as part of our efforts to comfort and encourage children when they need it most,” Quinn notes.
And coming soon are several new and notable retail partnerships: Caribou Coffee, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dry Goods, Scheels, Von Maur and more. Custom projects are forthcoming with such heavy hitters as Facebook, Lululemon, Be The Match and all the major sports leagues. But that’s not all: This autumn, the brand will release custom projects with major Greek organizations and many others. And not just hats — think blankets, mittens, scarves, sweaters and other apparel.
“There is a lot more work to do in this fight, and we need all the help we can get,” says Quinn. “Love Your Melon is my perfect fit. I love the team that I get to work with; they inspire me to work harder every day.”