Work Life

Came, Loved, Stayed: 7 simple questions for Cameron Lee, founder of CLTure and CLTure Creative Group

A piping hot “Came, Loved, Stayed” article is fresh off the presses.

Cameron Lee, founder of CLTure and CLTure Creative Group, has been here since he was 19 years old. He started CLTure about two and half years ago after finding his decade-long career as a Charlotte loan officer to be “very unfulfilling.”

He saw that Charlotte had a void as far as an online presence for music, food and arts. He decided to change that, and created CLTure: the online music, food and art blog.

CLTure just had its first CLTure Music Festival, a festival that was like a mini-Bonnaroo for the local Charlotte crowd.

Without further ado:

(1) What brought you here?

My parents owned a hardwood flooring company back in 1999, and they brought me to the area (at 19). I was actually from the Maryland/Virginia area for most of my life.

(2) What made you stay?

To be quite honest, I hated Charlotte when I first moved down here. In the early 2000s there wasn’t really much going on culturally … being from the D.C. area there was always something to do, there was so much culture — concerts, festivals, different restaurants. …

Over time, I just got used to the lifestyle. (There were) a lot of transplants from other cities that came down here so it made things interesting in the sense that people from other cities (brought) their cultural backgrounds and different styles and flavors.

(3) What was your first impression of Charlotte?

My first impression of Charlotte was that it was just boring. … I mean, I remember walking through downtown at 19 and 20 and there was like nothing on the streets, it was super clean, no graffiti, no one playing bucket drums, there weren’t any bums — you felt very safe.

To me, that was just boring. In Baltimore and D.C. you have no idea what you’re going to see on a daily basis.

(4) What’s your favorite aspect of Charlotte culture?

I think that it’s new. I think there’s something that’s exciting about introducing people to new foods, new arts, new music. …

//><!--The thing about Charlotte is that we have so many great resources that people just don’t utilize. … If you’re looking in the right places, Charlotte has literally everything for everyone.//--><!

(5) Why would you (or wouldn’t you) recommend Charlotte to friends?

I would definitely recommend it. If you look at cities that are larger than Charlotte, Charlotte, from an economic standpoint, is probably one of the best cities to live in. There is a lot of opportunity … it’s growing so fast. 

(6) What’s next for you?

(CLTure) wants to build more relationships with other cities in the Carolinas. We’ve developed a lot of great relationships in Raleigh, Asheville and Charleston. Our next goal is to become more of a North Carolina and Southeast music blog.

We’re not going to continue to grow much without support regionally, because as much as Charlotte is growing, it’s very much a very small media city. Our goal is to always expand and build.

(7) Describe Charlotte in one word.


Photo by Brandon Weiner

Madysan Foltz
Madysan Foltz  MadysanFoltz