Matthew Noonan

Supporting Love Your Melon Sale Latest Startup Effort for Carlson School Alum

Thursday, February 24, 2022

When popular St. Paul-based hat company Love Your Melon (LYM) was sold to a national brand group earlier this month, Carlson School alum Matthew Noonan, ’15 BSB, ’16 MAcc, played an integral role in the transaction. 

Matthew Noonan
Matthew Noonan

Noonan, who returned in a consulting role to facilitate the deal for a company where he served as chief financial officer from 2016-2020, credits his education in helping him attain career success.

“I put a lot of weight on everything the University has done for me,” he says. “I definitely would not be here without my education from the Carlson School.”

After graduating with a degree in Finance, Noonan began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), while also working toward his Master of Accountancy degree. In 2016, his friends, Zachary Quinn, and Brian Keller, asked him to join their fledging headwear company, LYM.

“I loved the whole startup culture,” he says. “Being able to help on the ground level and on so many different projects was rewarding. I felt like I learned so much from that experience.” 

Noonan helped scale the company’s revenue by 500 percent, from $5 million to $30 million in four years.

“The Carlson School’s curriculum got me ready for that challenge,” he says. “It makes you apply yourself. Before enrolling, a lot of my coursework up to that point had come pretty easy to me. But this challenge helped me hone my abilities and get much more organized than I ever was before.”

At LYM, whose mission is to fight pediatric cancer, Noonan was a force for good. He contributed to many philanthropic activities, including the delivery of hats to children battling cancer and providing family support. Noonan’s tactical cash management, process improvement, and lean management principles supported LYM’s goal of continuing to donate 50% of its net profit (nearly $9.5M given to date) to nonprofit organizations, therapeutic experiences, and charitable programming initiatives.

Seeking a lifestyle change, Noonan left the company in 2020 to live in California where he joined BOXFOX, a gift boxing company. During his two-year tenure, the company landed on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America twice and doubled revenues.

When the LYM founders wanted to sell the company last year, they reached back out to their old CFO to advise on the deal.

“It was great that I was able to maintain a relationship with LYM,” he says. “I was so involved in the company, and I probably had the best understanding of the financials. I was able to tell the story of the company and bring a deeper understanding of the financial data.”

Noonan is on to his next company: ASRV, a direct-to-consumer technical sports apparel company that has obtained a cult following in the men’s apparel market, and is set to open its first retail store this spring in Beverly Hills, CA.

Through all of his stops, he says the Carlson School and its education have helped set him up for success.

“So many of my classes were taught by professors who had that real-world experience and who had lived through what I wanted my career to be,” he says. “I looked up to so many of them and now I’m trying to apply their lessons in everything that I do.”