Maven Profiles are a section of the Maven Edit Blog highlighting amazing women, their careers, and the impact they’re making. From learning what motivates them to how they got where they are today and even where they’re headed next. In true Maven Way form, we’ll touch on sustainability and a bit of fashion too.
Meredith Matsakis of reBloom.news
This Maven Profile features Meredith Matsakis who started a sustainability newsletter called reBLOOM.news. reBLOOM is a great resource for anyone looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Let's dive in and learn more about Meredith.
Tell us about your background - who is Meredith?
Hello! My name is Meredith Matsakis and I live and work in New York City. I am very eclectic and I have a lot of hobbies and interests. I am a trained visual merchandiser who works in store design & store planning in the high-end fashion industry. I also have a passion for interior design and home furnishings, having practically grown up in my family's furniture store. I love to paint, rearrange my room, diffuse essential oils, create ceramics at my Upper West Side Studio, and try out a new recipe every week!
Tell us about reBLOOM.news and what led you to start it?
I started reBLOOM.news as an outlet to share the research I was already doing. A true passion project, I have an intense interest in sustainable design, and that prompted me to branch out and start exploring other aspects of the sustainability and environmental movement.
I advocate that it is not about being perfect, but that it is about making small changes towards living more sustainably. After sharing my imperfect “sustainable story” on Instagram, I saw that there was a need for easily digestible content that would inspire people to live more sustainably. As a result, I founded reBLOOM.news, a free newsletter for advice, inspiration, and actionable items to live for consciously with the planet. reBLOOM.news now has hundreds of subscribers that are influenced positively from a sustainability viewpoint. My main goal is to have someone think twice before purchasing a garment or supporting a brand with negative labor practices. I believe we vote with our dollar, so I love supporting brands that are doing it right!
What experiences within your career and background have helped make reBLOOM.news successful?
I was the Social Content Manager for a lifestyle design studio in midtown when I first moved to NYC. It was a great experience, as I managed all social channels, worked with PR teams, and also was a brand ambassador for one of our in-house brands. All this experience really has come in handy when branding reBLOOM.news and staying consistent with the newsletter and Instagram.
I also lived in Italy for 6 months in 2016 to study Fashion Communication. This experience shaped my appreciation for fashion heritage brands as well as the importance of transparency from manufacturing to marketing. I plan on going back to Italy next year to complete a Master’s program in Luxury Business with a focus on sustainability.
What has been your favorite part of creating reBLOOM.news?
Branching out and meeting new people (over ZOOM)! Every newsletter has a “Blooming Change” section where I interview someone who I believe is making a positive impact in the world of sustainability. I have done almost 20 interviews so far from people all over the world. It is truly fascinating and drives me to research new topics every week.
I also love the PSA (Positive Sustainability Announcement) section! It is easy to get bogged down by all the negative things happening in the world, so this section keeps the positive vibes flowing!
How has COVID impacted reBLOOM.news?
Well, I started reBLOOM.news in the midst of COVID, so I would say it hasn't really affected it! Everything is online and people have time now more than ever to make lifestyle changes, especially sustainable ones that could save them money! I do all my work on my computer, so it’s been a positive process.
What got you interested in sustainability in general?
I actually began becoming very interested in sustainability, and specifically sustainable business, through my work with DōTERRA Essential Oils. I am a wellness advocate for the company, meaning that I teach people how to use essential oils and they get a discount if they shop with me! It was a fun side hustle when I first moved to NYC and it turned into a very profitable business, where I was even making enough to pay for my NYC rent by spending a few hours a week working on it.
They source their essential oils from small farmers around the world and have a rigorous testing process to make sure they are the most pure available. Their mentality is to create the best product and help the most people. I had never seen a business that had so much transparency, testing, and support in my life. Doctors, midwives, surgeons, mothers, and millennials alike were all using essential oils to benefit their health AND the company was paying fair wages, on time, to the farmers growing the plants, usually located in developing countries. They were literally changing people’s lives every day by positively impacting the people and the planet, while making a profit. I believe this is how all business should be done!
I learned so much about how to run a sustainable business and it really influenced my thought process in approaching the fashion industry. It made me dig deeper and ask the questions about where the products I buy come from and if they are supporting a greater cause or positively impacting others instead of exploiting them. DōTERRA was really my catalyst into the world of sustainable business and I still love to connect with people about essential oils through my business, pEOny, purely Essential Oils new york.
What got you interested in sustainable fashion?
Seeing the waste that is created in the fashion industry really spurred my interest in sustainable fashion. While working in store design, the two-week drop cycle felt like it would never end and I knew the lack of transparency in the industry was hiding many dirty secrets. I found a non-profit called reMake and became one of their ambassadors. We have monthly calls about different issues and exploitation within the fashion industry and I have learned so much about how fashion is largely a human rights issue, especially for women and children. I was influenced by eco-influencers I follow on Instagram as well. Their quick videos and posts about how to shop more sustainably made me believe I could do it too!
I truly love the idea of making luxury, heritage brand sustainable. I am actually in the middle of a professional certificate program that is teaching me how to merge sustainability and profit called Leading The Sustainability Transformation. I would love to transition my career in fashion and store design to focus more on sustainability in fashion.
What are you wearing nowadays?
I wear a lot of secondhand clothing or clothing that I have owned for a long time. I am pretty sure I still have a few tops from high school… which was a while ago. I sell a bunch of my old clothing on Poshmark and often take the earnings to go to the thrift store or shop online. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have the occasional buy from a “regular store.” I just try to give that clothing a long and meaningful life and only buy it if I really love it. I am trying to buy less at the moment, which is honestly very hard for me! I love clothing and fashion, so I avoid going into stores (COVID made that easy) and only shopping when I need something or have an idea about something I need to make an outfit really pop.