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 Bake from Scratch, Better Homes & Gardens, Domino, Elle Decor, Garden & Gun, 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.
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.
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.CLOSE BIO
Betsy Cribb is the style editor at Southern Living. Previously, she worked at Coastal Living, and she continues to contribute regularly to the magazine. A Charleston, South Carolina, native and Washington & Lee University graduate, Betsy now lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where she’s hopped on the “Roll Tide!” bandwagon and developed a deep love for Alabama white sauce.
Find out Four Things You Didn’t Know About Betsy!CLOSE BIO
A leading figure in the publishing industry, Phyllis Hoffman DePiano is the founder and chairman of the board of Hoffman Media. A native of Alabama, and a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she began her career as a Certified Public Accountant with a nationally known firm before founding, in 1983, a special-interest publication company now known as Hoffman Media. Phyllis is recognized industry-wide as a savvy businesswoman and talented entrepreneur. She serves as the creative engine of the company, which defines and celebrates the lifestyles of women through an ever-widening range of beautiful magazines, including TeaTime, Southern Lady, Victoria, and Taste of the South. In 2005, she partnered with restaurateur, author, and TV personality Paula Deen to create Cooking with Paula Deen, a lifestyle/cooking magazine that was the number one newsstand launch in its inaugural year. Since then, she founded The Cottage Journal in 2010 and Southern Home, Southern Cast Iron, Bake from Scratch, and Classic Sewing in 2015.CLOSE BIO
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 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.CLOSE BIO
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.
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.CLOSE BIO
Steele Marcoux is the Editor-in-Chief of Veranda magazine.
Previously she was editor of Coastal Living, Executive Editor at Country Living, Style Director of Country Living, Design Editor at Southern Living in 2013 and prior to that held the same position at Coastal Living. She has been a freelance writer, editor and producer for Time Inc. titles and a number of others including HGTV Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens and more. Steele is from Atlanta, where she attended the Westminster Schools. After graduating from Williams College, she lived in Washington, DC for three years before returning to the south to pursue a graduate degree in American History at the University of Alabama. Steele lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband, two sons, and her dog.CLOSE BIO
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)CLOSE BIO
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.CLOSE BIO
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.CLOSE BIO
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!).CLOSE BIO
Is your design work ready for media attention? Recipe for Press founder Amy Flurry offers a behind-the-scenes fact check on what editors everywhere love (and loathe) in a pitch and how to crack the code to being published and to becoming a content curator’s trusted resource.
Amy will demystify what the journey to getting published looks like, how to package your pitch and smart ways to steer clear of the little mistakes proven to kill big opportunities.
In this session, she will help you lay the groundwork for pitching and work with you to create an attainable and actionable starter plan for getting projects and products positive notice in the opinionated eyes of today’s press.
Limited to 20 attendees.
Amy Flurry has two decades of editorial experience, conceiving story ideas, producing shoots and writing copy for magazines and online publications, including Country Living, InStyle, Refinery 29, Conde Nast Traveler, Better Homes & Gardens and Lucky magazine.
Inspired by this rich career in publishing, Amy authored Recipe for Press (Pitch Your Story and Create a Buzz, 2011) then took to the road, sharing her editorial insights with entrepreneurs. Recipe for Press (Designer Edition, 2018) is her newest book with the tools interior designers, architects, landscape planners and product designers need to take advantage of the new media opportunities available to creative professional.
Amy also applies her collective expertise in applying trend direction to product and brand development, working with companies to expand their marketing strategies and to connect businesses to the interior design trade.CLOSE BIO
Dive into the world of PR with LBH & Co.’s Lauren Hopkins and Kari Torstenson. With more than 20 years combined experience in lifestyle communications, Lauren and Kari partner with clients in the destination, design, and art industries, helping drive brand awareness and growth through effective brand management, thoughtful storytelling, and meaningful partnerships.
Attendees will benefit from the duo’s experience promoting clients across a variety of industries, as well as their expertise in the fundamentals of making a great impression and building relationships on behalf of your brand.
Limited to 6 attendees.
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 her 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.CLOSE BIO
Kelli Boyd is a professional photographer with more than a decade of experience shooting commercial products, lifestyle content and events. Her lifestyle and event photography has been featured in numerous print and digital publications, and she is a regular commercial photographer for brands ranging from beauty products to digital influencers to interior spaces.
Emily McCarthy has been styling and designing products for retail since before the opening of her storefront Emily McCarthy Shoppe in 2016. Her extensive background combining brand design and retail marketing provides a unique perspective on the changing industry today.
Together, attendees will learn how to style a product and shoot it, whether it be for social media, print advertising, or e-commerce.
Please note: This is a hands-on workshop. Brands are encouraged to bring their camera/iPhone and a current product to style and shoot. Emerging brands can bring a similar product to style.
Limited to 24 attendees.CLOSE BIO
Haile McCollum is the owner and creative director of boutique brand and design firm Fontaine Maury. Fontaine Maury’s branding and creative design work is firmly rooted in strategy. Haile and her team work collaboratively with organizations that want to build stronger, more valuable brands.
You will walk away from this fast-paced session with creative, strategy-based tools that you can use to articulate your brand’s attributes, personality and voice. This session will be fun and rewarding, expect to work hard and learn a lot!
Limited to 20 attendees.
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.CLOSE BIO
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.
Limited to 20 attendees.CLOSE BIO
Waiting on Martha’s founder and curator, Mandy Kellogg Rye, lives by one mantra, “Life should be lived beautifully every single day.” Drawn to the “finer things” at an early age, her mother taught her how to appreciate beauty while her father how to create beauty.
A Michigan native, Mandy left the mitten behind and headed to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois where she graduated with dreams of becoming a high-powered attorney. However, her dream quickly fell short when she realized law school wasn’t all about wearing a designer suit and winning arguments with loads of whit and banter. Law school wasn’t a complete bust though; it introduced her to Chicago, her first big city and one she still holds dear to her heart. A city that unknowingly became the backdrop, and beginning of Waiting On Martha.
A bracelet actually started it all. Well a bracelet, an obsession with food, an incessant need to throw a party whenever an opportunity presented itself, and an adoration for all things DIY. But back to the bracelet. One fateful day Mandy ventured into a Chicago bead store while a class was in session. Thinking that jewelry making would be a fun hobby, she began taking classes. To be clear, Mandy had no plans of it becoming anything more than a hobby. You know what they say about best laid plans…in 2011 Mandy opened an Etsy shop and officially launched her Waiting On Martha bracelet collection in April. The response was, and still is, quite overwhelming. Individuals not only loved the bracelets, but they wanted to know more about Mandy and her life. Enter Waiting On Martha The Blog.
As the ultimate creative and personal outlet for Mandy, Waiting On Martha The Blog focused simply on creating a beautiful everyday through fashion, food, décor, and DIY. As the reader’s grew so did the oh-so common question “where do I get that?” And thus, as Mandy puts it, “It only took one reader’s question to push me to indulge my dream of opening a boutique.” Waiting On Martha Home opened as an e-commerce boutique in July of 2012 and opened a brick and mortar location in Atlanta in 2015 (where Mandy now resides with her husband and Cavalier King Charles Addison).
Limited to 40 attendees.CLOSE BIO
Are you a creative that is interested in licensing your designs? Are you a brand that is being approached by creatives for collaborations? Learn from this panel of experienced entrepreneurs that have navigated the waters of licensing. You’ll hear from both perspectives of the artist and brand. Walk away with a clear understanding of how to approach brands, what key elements should be in your contract, the nuts and bolts of the money, and when it makes sense to private label your products versus license your intellectual property.
This presentation includes the perspectives of these prominent entrepreneurs:
Julianne’s namesake lifestyle brand is an offshoot of her work with product development at Taylor Burke Home, and she currently has multiple licensed collections under the Julianne Taylor Style brand. Julianne will share her learnings from negotiating multiple contracts and explain when it makes sense to create a personal brand outside of your company brand.
Lynai Jones, Owner of Mitchell Black
Lynai’s company has launched successful licensed wallpaper collections with Gray Malin and others and brings valuable insight on the necessary elements for a successful collaboration.
Kelly Shatat, Owner of Moon & Lola
Kelly’s company has worked with Emily McCarthy and Thimblepress to launch successful jewelry and lifestyle products. Kelly will share her learnings from these partnerships and her perspective on knowing when to license and when to private label.
Thomas “TomTom” Ard, Creative Director of Jayes Studio
TomTom has parlayed his hand painted designs into a successful licensed collection with Jayes Studio and collaborations with other brands. His pieces sold so well at Jayes that they brought him on board as Creative Director. TomTom will share his path of artist to entrepreneur and the pitfalls to avoid.CLOSE BIO
Jenn Agnew has 20 years of sales and marketing experience. She has developed a knowledge in print and digital marketing strategy as well as sales. She has worked closely with travel and tourism as well as government and business sectors and has a significant background in event management and promotion. Her past involvement includes roles as Senior Director Integrated Marketing and Communications for Atlanta magazine, Marketing Director for Childcare Network, and marketing leadership roles for various resorts including Jekyll Island Authority and Callaway Gardens.
Jenn is an avid tennis player. She and her husband, John Agnew, have two sons Mason (14) and Kip (11).CLOSE BIO
Cristin Cooper is the face behind The Southern Style Guide, a vibrant lifestyle destination with a contemporary southern flair. The Southern Style Guide is the source for knowing what to buy, where to shop, and how to style everything from the next on-trend outfit to a memorable dinner party. With a background rooted in high-end marketing and advertising, Cristin is skilled at developing and fulfilling partnerships, generating collaborations, and delivering content that meets the needs of her followers.CLOSE BIO
“A person’s home—what it looks like, where it is, how it’s lived in—reveals more about him than anything else in the world,” says personality-packed New York interior designer and lifestyle expert Elaine Griffin. ”My work as a decorator aims to implement a refined version of the client’s own vision for his space, whatever the look, feeling, or style. Dictatorial design is a no–no—the decorator’s hand should enhance a client’s personality, never eclipse it.”
A cast member and third-place winner of NBC’s 2014 primetime design competition reality show, American Dream Builders, hosted by Nate Berkus, Elaine is also the author of the bestselling Design Rules: The Insider’s Guide to Becoming Your Own Decorator (Gotham Books, 2009). A compendium of the rules, principles and proportions that define well-designed spaces and make them look great, Design Rules has become a go-to reference book in both America and China, and transformed Griffin into a home design authority for every style, price point and demographic.
A nationally-recognized tastemaker whose insider’s tips and projects appear frequently in print, Elaine is the former contributing editor, design, for Better Homes & Gardens; designed the Good Works Makeovers for Oprah’s O at Home; was a contributing/special projects editor at Elle Decor; and is ranked as one of House Beautiful’s Top 100 American Designers. A participant in the 2003 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse,
Elaine’s private client work has been featured in publications including Elle Decor, House Beautiful, the New York Times, Daily News and New York Post, Southern Accents, and New York magazine. She appeared regularly on the Today show.
A Georgia native who has recently returned to her roots in Coastal Georgia, Elaine is a graduate of Yale University (B.A., Art History) and studied at the New York School of Interior Design. She began her design career in the office of architectural behemoth Peter Marino, following a nine-year career as a publicist in New York and Paris, and officially opened her own firm in 1999.CLOSE BIO
Sallie Holder is an experienced business coach, consultant, & trainer who inspires and empowers you to grow yourself and your business. A graduate of Vanderbilt University with a degree in Human & Organizational Development and a law degree with a specialization in Labor & Employment law, Sallie is able to apply her expert knowledge, industry experience, and relentless energy to helping you and your company solve issues and create growth.
Sallie began her career as an attorney at an internationally recognized law firm. She quickly became a sought-after speaker & counselor by human resource practitioners, companies, and others interested in bettering the employer/employee relationship within their company. After ten (10) years in practice, advising businesses with only a few employees to employers such as FedEx and Michelin, Sallie became an entrepreneur, starting her own business in sales. Sallie became a top producer in her field within just a few months. She applied her expertise in developing processes and systems honed while practicing law, as well as her understanding of the psychology of human development to her new business. However, she didn’t stop there. She discovered her true passion was sharing the steps to success with others. She began coaching other entrepreneurs to start their businesses. Over her career she has trained more than three hundred (300) women around the world on sales strategies & how to effectively build their own business. She has led workshops, weekend sales retreats, breakout sessions & more on topics such as time management, business development, leadership, & the fundamentals of sales. She has been recognized as one of the “Best and Brightest 35 and Under” by Greenville Magazine; received the award for “Young Professional of the Year” from the Greenville Chamber of Commerce; and the Jumpstart Award from her previous company for helping the highest number of people to successfully launch their business during the fiscal year.
Now Sallie has her own Speaking + Coaching + Training Company to serve entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. She is dedicated to using her unique skills & understanding of business, entrepreneurship & sales to provide coaching & training to those looking to achieve a greater level of success. Visit www.sallieholder.com to engage with her or read more about her Company & how she might serve you.CLOSE BIO
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, co-owner and principal 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.CLOSE BIO
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.CLOSE BIO
Holly Phillips is a residential interior designer and co-owner of The English Room, which is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. Her style is elegant, eclectic and colorful. She has completed homes all over the east coast that have ranged from the super modern to very traditional while keeping it true to her style.
She loves overseeing the design process from beginning to end. Her love of color, pattern and layering of old and new can be seen in all her work.
She has worked in the design world from an early age. Her mother took her to antique shows all over the east coast and she went on her first buying trip to Europe at age 12. The home she grew up in was designed by Mario Buatta. She has fond memories of introducing Mario “the Prince of Chintz” to Chick-fil-a nuggets while discussing “decorating” as a third grader. Her mother, Nancy Hollingsworth, is a well known interior designer, and specializes in the English Country style. Childhood play dates could turn into magical discussions with mother while they moved around furniture. Her lifelong passion for the arts has never waned. She has a strong educational love for antiques and the history of the decorative arts led her to this business.
Her early design experience includes working with Alexandra Stoddard and Sotheby’s – both in New York City. She completed a Mint Museum Senior Study and worked at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center. After College, she lived in London while completing Sotheby’s 17th and 18th century decorative arts program. She has also completed The Winter institute at Winterthur, which provided a deep exposure to one of the most complete collections of American Antiques in existence. Her first “professional” job was with Travis & Company in Atlanta where she ran the Antiques side of the showroom. In 1999, she joined her mother full time at the English Room in Charlotte. Her educational background includes a degree in Art History from Rollins College and a degree in Interior Design from the American College.
Her work has been featured in Southern Accents, Southern Living, Charlotte Magazine, Charlotte Urban Home, Southpark Magazine and Better Homes and Gardens and Windows and Walls.CLOSE BIO
Stacy Smallwood founded Hampden in 2007 as a style destination in Charleston that would allow women to fall in love with the most desired names in fashion, and to discover her favorite under-the-radar designers. Stacy travels to New York and London, Milan and Paris each season to stock her store with the best in established and emerging brands. An unerring eye for discovering the season’s most covetable pieces makes Stacy a respected resource for fashion insiders far and wide.
A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Stacy was accepted into the prestigious Neiman Marcus buying program in Dallas, TX where she worked as an assistant buyer & department manager. The retailing tenets she learned from the esteemed store lead her efforts at Hampden today. An elevated shopping experience, high-touch service and relationships – with customers, designers and employees– reign.
In addition to acting as owner and buyer for Hampden, Stacy signed on as the stylist for the female broadcasters at NBCSports and worked on a national TV show as the costume designer. She has appeared on the NBCs TODAY Show, online at Town & Country and The New York Times digital, and in the pages of Coastal Living, Southern Living, Vogue, and more.CLOSE BIO
Vera Stewart is a Southern TV show host, entrepreneur, caterer, cake expert, and mentor. Her cooking and lifestyle show, The VeryVera Show, premiered in Augusta, GA in 2012 is now syndicated to 13 markets in the eastern US, including Savannah, Charleston, Tampa, Greenville, and Indianapolis. VeryVera Cooking Camp completed its 15th year this year and has franchised locations in Aiken, Charleston, Macon, and Indianapolis. Vera’s debut cookbook, The VeryVera Cookbook: Recipes from My Table, hit shelves in April 2018, garnering praise from fans and media publications alike.CLOSE BIO
Most notably known as the Founder + Creative Director of Taylor Burke Home, Julianne Taylor is also a published author, avid collaborator, public speaker and business consultant to creatives. With a B.F.A. in Interior Design from the University of Georgia and a Master’s in Human Resources from the University of South Carolina, Julianne’s background in both creative arts and business provides a unique perspective on building successful partnerships in the creative arena.
Julianne launched the Julianne Taylor Style brand in 2016, which is an umbrella company for all of her licensed collections, brand partnerships, and consulting. Julianne has successfully launched products with other companies that include wallpaper and candles (Mitchell Black), artwork (Oliver Gal), and an upcoming collection of metal toileware (Jayes Studio) in 2019.CLOSE BIO
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.CLOSE BIO
Katie Weinberger is the marketing and creative half of the husband-and-wife duo behind King Bean Coffee Roasters. As a lifelong reader and writer, she aims to read a book a week and writes regularly on her personal site, writingdownadream.com . She lives in Charleston, SC with her husband, son, cat, and dog. On the weekends you can find her paddleboarding upriver to the sandbar with her son and pup.CLOSE BIO