FEBRUARY 6 – 8, 2019





The Summit is tailored to offer a community of passionate entrepreneurs, creatives and business owners an opportunity to connect and collaborate amongst top names in media, branding and blogging.



While a large number of our attendees are retailers, service providers and brands in the following industries, any business owner, creative or would-be entrepreneur can benefit from attending.



Past topics include social media strategy, branding and marketing, PR, working with influencers, best practices for websites and newsletters, entrepreneurial advice/tips/motivation, work-life balance, and partnerships and collaborations, among others.

The Summit has featured editors from Better Homes & Gardens, Domino, Elle Decor, Garden & Gun, Bake from Scratch, Real Simple, Southern Living, and Traditional Home among others.

Past Summit attendees have heard from successful entrepreneurs like:

as well as key voices from companies such as Pinterest, One Kings Lane, Le Creuset, the Laundress, Jet Blue, One Love Organics, and St. Joe Club & Resorts.



Limited to only 300 attendees, The Summit promises to again provide attendees valuable access to presenters on a wide range of compelling topics.

ADD-ON WORKSHOP OPTION (additional fee)

We are presenting add-on workshops prior to the kick-off of the Summit on Wednesday, February 6 from 8:30 – 10:30 am at The Cloister. Attendees may choose ONE workshop for an additional fee. Limited seating for each and attendees must sign up when purchasing Summit tickets. More information coming soon!


Events, presenters and sessions are subject to change without notice. Please see our Event FAQs for more.


Mary Beth Greene



After more than 10 years in the wholesale industry as a sales rep and 2 years of designing and networking, mb greene was launched in 2015 by designer and visionary, Mary Beth Greene.

Mary Beth spent many late nights at the kitchen table with paper, tape, and scissors making “paper bags”. Simple, functional travel wares were the ultimate goal. Each piece is designed with great attention to detail and crafted with quality. mb greene is meant to be mixed, matched, and enjoyed.

Her love of color made it easy to brand the original collection using a solid palette and accents of turquoise on the logo tags and zippers. Turquoise is a happy and classic color that reminds her of the beautiful water along the Alabama gulf coast where she and her family call home.

mb greene is sold by over 700 retailers throughout the US, including the Neiman Marcus catalog and online monogram gift shop. The brand has been featured by Good Morning America, InStyle, LA Times, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Visit mbgreene.com to learn more about the inspirational travel wares that are truly a “work of heART”. mb greene proudly supports the M. Bagwell Foundation in loving memory of Mary Beth’s sister, Mandy Bagwell. (4/10/75-7/16/14)


Brian Hart Hoffman



Brian Hart Hoffman is President/Chief Creative Officer at Hoffman Media, LLC, where he oversees the editorial planning and brand direction for all publications, as well as the public relations and special events divisions. Since joining Hoffman Media, Brian has been the driving force behind the launch of The Cottage Journal, Bake from Scratch, Southern Cast Iron, and Southern Home. His special-event leadership with the company includes planning and executing major consumer events. Prior to joining the company in 2007, Hoffman worked in the airline industry, which allowed him to live in six cities throughout the United States. He has visited all 50 states.

In addition to his professional obligations, Hoffman serves with numerous charitable organizations including the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, Junior Board and Executive Board; Alys Stephens Center, Junior Patrons Board; MS Society of Alabama, recipient of the MS Leadership Award; Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America; and the American Cancer Society.


Sean Low



Sean Low is the Founder and President of The Business of Being Creative, a consulting firm focused on providing practical advice to those in the business of being creative. Prior to founding The Business of Being Creative in August 2009, Sean spent six years as the President of Preston Bailey Design, Inc. representing Preston in his business endeavors around the world.

Sean has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and, apart from working with amazing creative professionals, his business acumen is honed from his previous experience as a lawyer, investment banker, financial executive and small business owner.

Sean’s client list includes the who’s who of creative business – from designers (interior, graphic, event and fashion), photographers, florists, even Cordovans (shoemakers). Among interior designers, Sean’s client list includes, among others, Vicente Wolf, Nate Berkus, Sawyer Berson and Barry Dixon.

Sean is passionate about challenging creative businesses to be the best versions of themselves, helping them set the foundation for growth and development and working along side creative business owners to take their businesses as far as they want them to go.

You can read about Sean’s approach to managing creative businesses on his blog: www.thebusinessofbeingcreative.com.

Contact Information:


Lydia Mansel



Lydia Mansel‘s expertise lies in audience development, story-telling, and creating a consistent message across platforms. Currently heading up Garden & Gun magazine‘s social media efforts, she resides in Charleston after spending the first four years of her career in New York City. Her Virginia roots, background in online publishing—taking on both full-time and freelance roles at Elite Daily, Vogue, and Travel & Leisure—and experience copy-writing and crafting social and digital stories at Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James created the perfect storm to bring her to Garden & Gun.


Elizabeth Mayhew



Elizabeth Mayhew is currently the Brand Editor for Reese Witherspoon’s Southern-inspired brand, Draper James, a contributing editor at NBC’s Today Show and a monthly columnist for The Washington Post. She also is the author of FLIP! for Decorating (Ballantine). She has worked for a number of publications including REAL SIMPLE, House Beautiful, Southern Living, and Woman’s Day. A native of Louisville, Kentucky and a graduate of Georgetown University, she now lives in New York City with her husband and two teenage kids.

(photo credit: Annie Schlechter)


Amy Mills



Amy Mills was raised up on smoke, sauce, and Magic Dust®. Heiress to the 17th Street Barbecue empire, she’s the industry’s go-to girl for all things barbecue. Recipient of the coveted Barbecue Heroine prize, she leads 17th Street alongside her dad, Mike Mills. She also runs OnCue Consulting, the only barbecue business consultancy in the world, offering seminars and training in the culinary techniques behind great barbecue. She’s a featured judge on various barbecue shows such as CHOPPED, Best in Smoke, Kingsford Invitational, and Smoked, as well as co-star of the Mills family’s digital series, Praise the Lard.

Peace, Love, and Barbecue, co-authored with her dad, is considered a classic in the genre, was nominated for a James Beard Foundation award, and won the National Barbecue Association Award of Excellence. Their second book, Praise the Lard, was published in May 2017.


Carrie Morey



Carrie Morey founded Callie’s Charleston Biscuits in 2005 with the goal of making the tender, buttery, made-by-hand biscuits of her mother accessible across the country.  Touted by Saveur, Food & Wine, Southern Living, The New York Times and Oprah among others, Carrie and her small team of bakers are keeping the tradition of Southern biscuit making alive. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit – grab-and-go biscuit eateries – are Carrie’s latest tasty endeavor with 3 locations in Charleston and Atlanta. 

In addition, Carrie authored Callie’s Biscuits and Southern Traditions, a cookbook and narrative on entrepreneurship and life in the lowcountry. Morey has appeared live on the NBC Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Fox & Friends, The Hallmark Channel, Top Chef and QVC and has been profiled numerous times by The Food Network and Cooking Channel. Her handmade biscuits, pimento cheeses and other artisan goods have garnered 18 sofi awards from the Specialty Foods Association. 

In addition to her role as owner at Callie’s Charleston Biscuits and Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits, Carrie operates an incubator, offering baking space along with mentoring to small artisan food businesses on location at Callie’s Charleston Biscuit’s bakery. She acts as a consultant to these entrepreneurs – helping them navigate everything from regulations to production and advising on marketing and growth strategies.  

She is a guest lecturer at the College of Charleston School of Business where she has been a vital part of the curriculum – presenting the Entrepreneurship Class with a yearly project and valuable lessons from a successful and sustainable small business.  She has also presented at the annual Southern Foodwriters Conference, Saveur Blog Awards, Les Dames D’Escoffier International Annual Conference and The Southern C Summit among others.  Corporations, associations and individuals frequently call on Morey to for speaking engagements and “biscuit bootcamp” retreats.


Melany Robinson



Melany Robinson’s career path took a few twists and turns before bringing her to the world of public relations. A Southwest Virginia native, she received a degree in Biomedical Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology. Working for surgeons in the University of Chicago Department of Plastic Surgery doing inter-operative photography led to a healthcare marketing opportunity at LaRabida Children’s Hospital.

A relocation to Park City, UT spurred a career shift to film and sports, as Melany managed celebrity guests at the Sundance Film Festival and later executed events for the 2002 Winter Olympics and the CineVegas Film Festival. In 2003, the Southeast beckoned her to Charleston, SC, where she worked for the local Anheuser-Busch distributor, Pearlstine Distributors.

Ultimately, the hospitality and cuisine of the Lowcountry inspired her to pursue a career in hospitality public relations, and she joined Wagstaff Worldwide in 2005.

In early 2012, Melany founded Polished Pig Media and has never looked back. These days she is proud to call Birmingham, AL home. Through Polished Pig Media, she enjoys connecting likeminded people with common goals to create strategic and fruitful partnerships.

Adventurous and adaptable, Melany is just as happy on 5th Avenue in New York City as she is playing in the mountains with her husband and daughter. She is an active member of her community and is involved in the Birmingham Community Foundation and Les Dames d’Escoffier International. In her free time, you can find her working up a sweat doing a multitude of sports, and cheering on The Alabama Crimson Tide (Roll Tide!).


Add-On Workshop Presenters

Natasha Murphy



Natasha Murphy is the founder and principal developer of Nicely Built. She divides her working hours between working with clients to build beautiful, highly functional websites and expanding the menu of services offered by Nicely Built based on client needs and new technologies. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, shopping, drinking tea, cooking, and spending time outdoors.



Brooke Bell



Brooke Bell is Vice President Culinary and Custom Content at Birmingham, Alabama-based Hoffman Media, LLC, where she directly oversees the editorial teams of Taste of the South, Louisiana Cookin’, Cooking with Paula Deen, Bake from Scratch and Southern Cast Iron, along with all custom content.

Brooke is also editor-in-chief of Cook: Real Food Every Day, which launched winter 2017. Her most recent cookbook, Cast-Iron Baking, was released in summer 2017. Additionally, Fall Baking, which was released in August of 2016, was named to Epicurious’ list of “30 Most Exciting Cookbooks of Summer” and was a “Number 1 New Release” on Amazon. Brooke is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and Les Dames d’Escoffier, where she serves as secretary for the Birmingham chapter.


Lauren Hopkins


As the principal of boutique public relations and communications firm LBH & Co., Lauren Hopkins is a passionate champion for her lifestyle clientele. Her clients are food lovers, fashion mavens, home accessories pioneers and travel destination experts. She’s not only proud of her clients and their work, she is also proud to call them friends. Her days are filled with identifying newsworthy opportunities and brainstorming creative ways to share them with media, top bloggers, and like minded brands. Securing worthy collaborations and earned media opportunities is what makes me tick. The chase and development of new relationships thrills her. With nearly a decade of experience and agency life behind her, running her own firm is both a blessing and a challenge. She’s grateful to do what she loves on the gorgeous St. Simons Island where she spends downtime enjoying her quaint town alongside her husband and children.


Haile McCollum


Haile McCollum is the owner of Fontaine Maury a brand strategy and design firm. Fontaine Maury develops, documents and extends brands through creative business strategies.

In addition to running her brand and design studio, Haile’s current passion project is being the Creative Director of Thom, a bi-annual arts and culture magazine. Weaving together the written word and stunning images, Thom expresses and promotes the abundance of creative thinking in Thomasville.

She has worked with artists and companies worldwide to license designs for consumer goods including: Disney, Susan Branch, Cathy Heck, Walmart, Target, Tiny Prints, Shutterfly and others. She was featured as a Country Living Woman Entrepreneur in 2007. Her work has been featured in Country Living, Southern Living, Real Simple, InStyle and O Magazine. She is a contributing artist in the book Crafting a Meaningful Home by Meg Mateo Ilasco and is honored to appear in the Country Living book The Mom’s Guide to Running a Business by Michelle Ribeiro.

Haile has a B.S. in Human Development from Vanderbilt University and an M.F.A. in Graphic design from The Savannah College of Art and Design. She lives in a historic house in Thomasville, Georgia with her husband, Ben, her 2 boys, Parker (12) and William (9) and their 2 Spaniels, Max.


Libba Osborne



At Leapfrog PR Co, they have earned a national reputation for thoughtfully guiding clients into the national spotlight, and giving recognized brands a local edge within the Charleston community. Over her tenure at Leapfrog, Libba Osborne has witnessed the genesis of America’s love affair with Southern food artisans and the city of Charleston – an explosion of talented food entrepreneurs, chef-driven restaurants and culinary-minded upstarts.

Libba has guided many of her clients, both large and small, to become prominent brands among the shelves of national retailers. A story-teller at heart, she looks for common threads – a pride in process and an authentic history – in all of the companies she works alongside.

An Atlanta native, Libba found her passion for all things edible as a post-grad student at New York’s French Culinary Institute (International Culinary Center). She segued into restaurant public relations at Baltz & Co. and the Dunn Robbins Group, promoting brands in the food, wine and spirits industries. Following a move to her husband’s hometown of Charleston, Libba joined Leapfrog to continue her craft, becoming an owner in 2009.

Libba is a graduate of the University of the South, Sewanee and serves on the Board of the Charleston Chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier. Libba and her husband, Chris, are raising their two young sons a stone’s throw from the Ashley River.


Dominique Paye



Dominique Paye is an independent marketing strategist and project manager who has managed The Southern C’s digital marketing projects since 2016.

Her work at The Southern C involves social media content management and creation, blog content brainstorming and editorial, Summit promotions, and custom content creations and collaborations.

Prior to The Southern C, she managed projects across a variety of industries—including graphic design, retail, military, wholesale and interior design—in Washington, DC, San Diego, Houston and Athens, Georgia.

Since 2014, she has worked with creative entrepreneurs to help strategize and manage the marketing of their businesses through social and digital media,  specialized content creation, collaborations, editorial planning and coordination, and photography.


Jackie Thomson



Jackie Thomson is a principal at Charleston based, Leapfrog PR Co. Following her undergraduate education at the College of Charleston, Jackie parlayed her innate sense of style into positions in New York with international fashion powerhouse, GUCCI, and celebrity bridal and evening wear designer, Reem Acra. The Annapolis, MD native returned to Charleston and joined Leapfrog, overseeing design-related projects. Her wide-ranging interest in lifestyle brands drives Leapfrog’s expertise in the fields of fashion, interiors, retail and wellness.

Jackie promotes both established brands and new talent, and through her wide network, adeptly organizes events that connect entrepreneurs, influencers and designers around the U.S. Beyond the realm of traditional PR, Jackie enjoys honing brand strategy, creating content for owned media and directing market positioning with long-term clients.

In 2009, Jackie earned her MBA and became an owner of Leapfrog. She and her husband, Neil, reside in Charleston with their young son and daughter.