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Benjamin Ayres Sells Romance-Themed Merch to Raise Money for Charity

Benjamin Ayres Sells Romance-Themed Merch to Raise Money for Charity

Hallmark star Benjamin Ayres recently shared an interesting story about the creation of Romance University, revealing that it initially started as a simple idea without any major plans. “It was originally just a fun concept for some buttons, and I made a few sweatshirts for myself and some of my leading ladies,” Ayres said while speaking on the “Suspenders Unbuttoned Media” podcast. The unexpected popularity of these items at Christmas Con 2022 gave him the idea to expand the project.

Ayres noticed a significant demand for romance-themed merchandise, prompting him to shift his focus from the original “Hallmark University” brand to the more inclusive “Romance University.” This name change was intended to appeal to a broader audience of romance movie enthusiasts. Once the new branding concept was in place, Ayres faced numerous challenges, particularly in turning the idea into a fully operational business. International shipping and sourcing supplies turned out to be some of the initial hurdles.

Luckily, Ayres had some help on the business front. His wife, Erin, who sells pancake mix through her business Easy Peasy Pancakes, was instrumental in teaching him about e-commerce. This knowledge transfer proved invaluable as Ayres navigated the complexities of setting up an online store. He had to figure out logistics, suppliers, and shipping methods to ensure the smooth running of his burgeoning enterprise.

Finding reliable suppliers was another significant challenge that Ayres had to overcome. In a conversation with TV Goodness, Ayres explained how his celebrity status provided an unexpected advantage. “It was difficult to find suppliers,” he admitted. “So I started reaching out to companies online that are already doing it and befriending them. It helped that I have some status where they can trust me.” This networking led him to connect with a few trustworthy suppliers, and today he works with about six different suppliers for his products.

Source: Suspenders Unbuttoned Media, TV Goodness