Today we’d like to introduce you to Justin Mein.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Man… my story, as is our company is not one you hear too often in our industry. We started C&I Studios as a production house serving primarily video, photo and graphics to whatever industry would have us, which at the time was mostly personal events, weddings, headshots and event coverage in the DC area. I shot my first wedding with my business partner Josh on 23 rolls of Portra 400 film. Anyhow, fast forward to our move to South Florida. We moved pretty quickly into the commercial ad space with our relocation. Working with local companies from a wide gamut of commercial industries allowed us to quickly make C&I a staple of quality and excellence in media as well as a household name in the community through our participation in the Fat Village Artwalk and our launch of Next Door in 2011 (Drinknextdoor.com). As we worked with local agencies like Starmark and Zimmerman, we began to imagine a different version of C&I Studios as an idea agency – one without the limitations of the old school agency pulling the strings and dictating the narrative. So with that, our scope widened as we opened the doors to the lifestyle marketing industry. We were already creating the stories, now it was time to give the people what they really wanted. A new agency emerged. And this one wasn’t tired nor afraid to think differently. We use storytelling to really push the boundaries and communicate with audiences in new ways.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Some of the struggles that come with growth are finding the right people and the right connections along the way. Not everyone is able to “catch the dream” and be forward thinking. We are but three entrepreneurs with big dreams. It takes a team of highly creative, highly intelligent and motivated individuals to make C&I Studios work. We were only as good as our team could be. Finding those individuals has and always will be a struggle, but a worthwhile struggle every time.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about C&I Studios inc. – what should we know?
We are an idea agency. This term is not something most people are familiar with and for good reason, because we made it up. Basically, we solve marketing challenges for our clients through highly targeted, highly effective lifestyle marketing tactics. Digital is our bread and butter, but we also have clients who rely on some traditional strategies as well. Our job is to communicate a message to the right people as effectively and as many times as possible through whatever medium our client’s audiences digest the most. And we don’t accomplish this feat in any traditional manner either. Most agencies will take a client’s message and farm out the execution to many other smaller agencies for distribution. Personally, we think that’s silly. If you control the narrative from concept to distribution, your message is never diluted, never misinterpreted and never lost. This is C&I’s secret sauce, We treat every client like their business is our business as we share in their successes and their failures. Our product never leaves our door – all our strategy is executed in-house, from web development, branding and design, SEO, social marketing, photography, cinematography, media buying etc…
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The ability to adapt. Our industry is changing daily. The days of traditional marketing as we have known it for the past 20 years are coming to an end. It would be scary to anyone who has been in this industry for some years. We find it fascinating and welcome the challenge.
- Address: 541 NW 1st Ave. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
- Website: c-istudios.com
- Phone: 954 357 3934
- Email: Contact@c-istudios.com
- Instagram: cistudios
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cistudios/
- Twitter: @c_istudios
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/c-and-i-studios-fort-lauderdale
- Other: drinknextdoor.com