Charitable cotton-knit beanie business Love Your Melon blends retail and studio space with aplomb
Love Your Melon used Cambria to form a bench beneath the statement beanie wall in its flagship store. Cambria design shown: Skara Brae™ (bench, kitchenette countertops)Sometimes you really can do well by doing good. All it takes is a couple of fresh ideas. The first came to Zachary Quinn while he was studying business at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. A way to help children undergoing treatment for cancer, he thought, might be as simple as providing the comfort and protection of a cute beanie. What began as a way to use design to manifest empathy has, six years later, become a movement: To date, Love Your Melon has given away over 160,000 hats to children fighting cancer—and over $6.1 million to the cause. Meanwhile, the company has expanded its made-in-America products to apparel and housewares, with 50 percent of net profits going to a fund supporting nonprofits that provide therapy and programming for kids with cancer and their families. Last spring, Quinn had a second great idea: to open a physical space to represent Love Your Melon’s online brand. He wanted to build a destination for social-media influencers, a hub for socially conscious neighbors, and a brick-and-mortar flagship for his growing line of wares. Make that Cambria-and-brick-and-mortar. Quinn had first fallen for the quartz stone when he used it in his own home. So when he found a dark, rustic shop in a historic building in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood, he enlisted it again as a fresh, contemporary element. “We set out to create a place where the historic building and new fixtures and finishes could interact. The line between new and old turned out beautifully,” he says.