Venture 7 has negotiated the sale of Wild Apple Graphics to Shawn Harned, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, from founders John & Laurie Chester. Financial terms were not disclosed.
For 33 years, Wild Apple has licensed original art, design and pattern collections to manufacturers, retailers and designers of decorative Wall Décor and Home Furnishing products.
Wild Apple’s founders, Laurie and John Chester, engaged Venture 7 Advisors to find a suitable buyer for the company. After an extensive outreach process that involved thousands of potential buyers and several offers, Wild Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, Shawn Harned, came forward with an offer to buy the Company. The management buyout was completed in May.
The transaction has allowed for a seamless transition of ownership with no interruption to the business or to Wild Apple’s management team, artists and customers.
Says Shawn Harned, the new owner:
“I love this business. I’m excited to build on the amazing foundation that John & Laurie created. Although this seems like a big change, continuity is driving us forward. What won’t change is our core focus on supporting our artists, staff and customers, finding and developing the right art for each customer and our never-ending quest for improvement. And eating chocolate of course.”
John Chester, co-founder of Wild Apple says
“Shawn has essentially been running the company since early 2021 when he became the Chief Operating Officer. At a certain point we all realized that a management buyout by an “insider” would be wonderful. And it worked out incredibly well — we couldn’t have scripted this turn of events if we tried. In this business the creative, human element is key and the arrangement with Shawn was clearly the best possible outcome.”
About Venture 7 Advisors
Venture 7 Advisors assists the owners of small and mid-sized companies to plan and complete the sale of their businesses. We help them select the best buyer to meet their financial and legacy goals. We represent clients in the consumer products, distribution, manufacturing, B2B services, construction, telecommunications, and eCommerce industries.
About Wild Apple Graphics
Since 1990 Wild Apple has been an art-first company focused on trend spotting, artist selection and commercial art development. Wild Apple designs are found on a wide variety of products: posters, tableware, floor coverings, towels, shower curtains, dinner plates, mugs, paper plates, wall coverings, aprons, furniture, pillows, boxes, journals, greeting cards, calendars and more. Wild Apple art drives more than $100 million a year in retail product sales by identifying the next looks in home fashion and developing on-trend art for their customers. The company’s designs can be found in stores and on the websites of major retailers including Home Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowes, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Wayfair, Amazon, iCanvas.com, CanvasOnDemand.com, Art.com and many more.