Our Story

THE SOUTHERN COTERIE IS A RESOURCE FOR THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SOUTH

The Southern Coterie is a virtual front porch for Southern creatives and entrepreneurs. Designed to offer a community of passionate business owners, makers and doers the opportunity to connect, collaborate and create, the “Southern C” is capturing the South’s entrepreneurial renaissance one post at a time. From “get to know” Q&A’s to inspirational start-up stories, to tips from the top names in the media, blogging, and business community, the “Southern C” is the virtual version of a traditional front porch – a laid-back gathering place to share, inspire,
encourage and nurture creative minds.

The Southern C Summit, The Southern Coterie’s live event, brings the online content to life offering attendees an opportunity to network and connect in person. The niche multi-day conferences combine educational and inspirational sessions with the best and brightest names in Southern business and branding intermingled with phenomenal food, drink and inspiring locales all while fostering a strong sense of community.

WHO IS BEHIND THE SOUTHERN COTERIE?

The brainchild of two Southern belles and businesswomen, Whitney Long and Cheri Leavy, The Southern Coterie developed out of a mutual love for the South and passion for the people and unique businesses that shape the region. After achieving much success both personally and professionally in former careers with local and national publications, Whitney and Cheri decided to bring their shared interests together and create The Southern Coterie. Their dream was to cultivate a space online where like-minded individuals could connect and be inspired.

 

Cheri Leavy

For Cheri, born with a knack for instantly connecting with people, The Southern C seemed like a natural progression. From novice beginnings’ writing a “cousin newsletter” to operating a successful online and print publishing business (Bulldawg Illustrated and guide2athens) with her husband, it’s Cheri’s enthusiasm and inspiration that has made the Southern Coterie and its live events – the Southern C Summits – a must visit for Southern entrepreneurs looking to make valuable connections. Constantly on the lookout for the newest talent in the South, Cheri has an authentic passion for meeting, greeting and giving entrepreneurs a platform to speak about their brands. “Cheri is a big ball of energy and ideas. She may be small but she is mighty,” says Whitney. An eighth generation coastal Georgia native, Cheri splits her time between Athens and St. Simons Island.

Whitney Long

After a successful career as a scout, stylist and contributing editor for some of the biggest names in print media like Coastal Living, Southern Accents, Southern Living and Better Homes & Gardens plus various special interest titles, Whitney took time off to focus on her favorite job – being a mom to four – but the scouting didn’t end there.

Whitney draws on her years of curating unique places and people for the lifestyle magazine industry to create connections, find strategic partners and cultivate a talented team of writers and presenters.“Whitney has her finger on the pulse of the South, old and new, which makes her such a visionary for the network and at our events,” says Cheri. Born in the quintessential southern town of Elba, Alabama, Whitney now calls the quaint seaside village of St.Simons Island, Georgia home.

 

Collectively it is their “can-do” attitude and unmistakable Southern flair that have contributed to the success of The Southern Coterie and The Southern C Summit.