Monday, March 21, 2011

Young Alumnae See No Limits, Open Cupcake Store and Start Local Adventure Race

What's the connection between delicious cupcakes and the addictive sport of adventure racing? Well, there's actually two- Kristen Beckmeyer '01 and Meredith Sullivan '01. The Cameron School of Business graduates opened their first cupcake store, Coastal Cupcakes in downtown Wilmington in July, 2008. Fueled by its success, a second store opened in Wrightsville Beach in May, 2009. Now, ready to take on more of the local action, the pair teamed up with fellow alumnus, Jason Wheeler '99, '03M, to form the Sandman Adventure Race.

Much like when they realized that Wilmington had a shortage of designer, quality-made cupcakes, the women saw a gap in the market and started the local "sprint" race. "Many of our friends were interested in doing an adventure race but were intimidated by the 8-12 hour races that we compete in," explained Kristen.

The pair has their share of experience on and off the field. Kristen worked for the Wilmington Hammerheads, while Meredith was on the UNCW Cross Country and Track & Field teams and held an internship with both Seahawk Athletics and the Boston Celtics.

While the two stay focused on their business, Kristen agrees with Meredith about the importance of networking. "My time at UNCW was a great foundation but the university has become an even more valuable resource for us since graduating," she stated.

They continue to be members of the Seahawk Club and enjoy watching games on campus. Staying connected with the business school, they are mentors and share their journey to becoming business owners with current students.

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