Movers & Shakers: Jennifer Melin Miller, Play from Scratch

  • Updated: August 31, 2014 - 2:00 PM

A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:

Jennifer melin miller

Play from scratch

Title: Chief marketing officer

Age: 42

Jennifer Melin Miller, new chief marketing officer for St. Paul-based Play from Scratch, is focusing on building national and international growth of the company’s Yoxo brand of sustainable, locally made building-set toys.

Miller brings global marketing and branding expertise to the Yoxo (pronounced “yock-so”) brand, which the company says is the first line of sustainable building sets made domestically.

Her 20 years of experience includes work in corporate, media and nonprofit organizations. That includes building branded stores in China and Japan, and expanding global sales as senior vice president of international development for Minnetonka Moccasin Co.

“The mission of what we’re doing resonates well internationally,” Miller said. “The harder part of the challenge for us is staying competitive while we’re manufacturing sustainably and domestically. So we’re working hard to ensure that we continue to offer an exciting and quality product at a good price that makes sense for the retailers and consumers while making and assembling Yoxo here.”

Miller began her career in New York City, developing sales and marketing strategies for publications such as the New York Times. She also was associate publisher for American Media. Upon her return, the Twin Cities native worked as associate director for major gifts at Minnesota Public Radio.

Miller has two master’s degrees in public affairs and business administration from the University of Minnesota.

Play from Scratch launched a series of raw material kits in 2012 and introduced its Yoxo line of toys in a test market last year after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Q: What’s your message to consumers about Yoxo sets?

A: Not only is Yoxo made from recycled materials right here in the Twin Cities, but the bigger thing is they give kids permission to be creative and build anything they can imagine. So it’s twofold: Giving your kids the opportunity to be creative and encouraging them to be, but also feeling good about the fact that this is green.

Q: What are you planning for the holiday season?

A: We’ll do a big push toward consumers for the fourth quarter. We sell direct to consumers on our website, which we’re revamping. We have new products that are launching, so there will be a product offering and new inspiration that people will find on the website and social-media outlets.

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