Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Friday Feature: Cameron Meredith, Saving the Earth, and Growing a Media Empire

By Nikki Kroushl on October 21, 2016

Cameron Meredith, Saving the Earth, and Growing a Media EmpireAll photos from Meredith Media Group

Cameron Meredith is a veteran and graduate student at UNCW studying International Affairs. A New York native, his CIE and entrepreneurial journey began, as so many others have, when he saw a problem.

“I was sitting in trigonometry,” Meredith said, “and the professors threw out five markers in one of our classes. That’s a waste—it’s a lot of plastic you’re just throwing away.”

He took the initiative to contact Expo that same day. When the company got back to him, they told Meredith that they were interested in innovative ideas like his, but they wanted him to have a patent before proceeding any further.

“So after I got the patent,” Meredith said, “I was like, why should I go back to Expo? Why don’t I just start my own company? So here I am with Re-Markable.”

Re-Markable was founded in August of 2015, after an acquaintance of Meredith’s (and now COO of the company), Kat Pohlman, told him about the CIE. With a patented process, Re-Markable takes empty and dried-out markers, from Expos to Sharpies to highlighters, and refills them. About 500 million markers per year in North America alone end up in landfills, which is, as Meredith pointed out, a lot of plastic.

“It’s a win-win,” Meredith said. “It’s not like people lose money from it. You recycle your markers and you’re still getting those markers and you’re saving the environment at the same time.”

Re-Markable also has a charity component called Re-Markable Kids. It’s the Re-Markable business plan, but removed of all cost. When classrooms recycle their markers, they get them back, refilled, for free. Re-Markable is in the stage of shipping products and is negotiating contracts with Guilford and New Hanover County schools, from elementary to university.

“I want Re-Markable to be in every school, every business,” he said.

After being a CIE tenant for several months, Meredith applied for a graduate assistantship position and began working there as an event assistant at the beginning of Summer 2016. Soon after that, a second business followed—Meredith Media Group.

“I saw a need for an easier way for boutiques and local businesses to grow,” Meredith said. “I thought about a marketing and media company that has models, hair and makeup artists, photographers, and everything in one company, versus the old way, where everything is outsourced.”

Cameron Meredith shooting

Meredith Media Group just finished lookbooks for Sidearm Surf & Skate and Aqua Fedora. It’s also planning a fashion weekend for next March, and in the future, Meredith hopes to be a media giant spanning the east coast.

Unsurprisingly, being an owner of two startups, a student, and an employee, Meredith has his hands full. He spends his days working on Re-Markable, his evenings working on Meredith & Ford, and his late nights working on schoolwork.

“It’s not easy,” he said, laughing.

But he is grateful for the support of the CIE and the UNCW offices of Environmental Health & Safety. “It’s a tremendous amount of support,” he said. “I don’t think I would be where I’m at right now without them.”

Meredith believes that innovation is, simply, “making things easier.” Ease and simplicity are the driving values behind both Re-Markable and Meredith & Ford, even though they are wildly different businesses.

Both companies have grown significantly in their short lifespans, and Meredith shows no signs of stopping.

“I am so laid-back,” he said, his smile confirming just that. “Nothing gets to me.” So his advice to new entrepreneurs—much in the style of his companies’ philosophies—is, simply enough, “keep going.”

“Don’t stop because you get no’s or people don’t like your idea,” he said. “Just keep going. Think of ways around the problem. The military taught me that.”

You can follow Meredith & Ford on Instagram at @meredith.mediagroup. Make sure to keep update on CIE news and events by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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