Our Team

Cheri Leavy

Co-Founder
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Cheri Leavy is a connector, cheerleader and marketing consultant for fellow entrepreneurs. Constantly on the lookout for the newest talent in the South, Cheri has a passion for helping entrepreneurs create and share their brand storytelling through her endeavors – The Southern Coterie • guide2athensBulldawg Illustrated.

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Whitney Long

Co-Founder
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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.  After the youngest began school, Whitney longed to again find a creative outlet and the result was the founding of The Southern Coterie.

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 for the Southern C Summit and Retreat.  She enjoys working alongside some of the South’s most creative minds while supporting both established and upcoming brands.  “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.

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Dominique Paye

Digital Media Director
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Dominique Paye is a marketing strategist and project manager. Since graduating from Washington & Lee University, she has managed projects across a variety of industries–from graphic design to interior design, real estate to government agencies–in D.C., California, Texas and Georgia.

Now located in Virginia, she works with creative entrepreneurs to market their businesses through social media and specialized content creation. You can reach her at www.dominiquepaye.com.

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Erin Phillips

Sponsorships
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Erin Phillips is the founder of Charleston’s boutique social media firm, Pinckney Palm. She is also author the blog Attention to Darling and joined the Southern C team in 2017 to work on sponsorships and serve as a consultant for social media.

Her background is derived of working in social media for lifestyle, healthcare and hospitality clients agency-side, plus experience client-side with a financial Fortune 150 company, Capital One. This combination gives her a unique perspective and solid foundation to propel her clients to the next level!

After time in Richmond, VA and DC, Erin now resides in Charleston, SC with her husband, little girl Sullivan and their two adopted retrievers. A native of Greenville, SC and graduate of Clemson University, she’s so happy to now be back in her home state!

For social media tips and #LifeUnderThePalm happenings follow along on Instagram with Pinckney Palm or check out the darling details on her blog account!

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Leapfrog PR Co.

PR
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Leapfrog is a boutique public relations and marketing firm specializing in “lifestyle” related businesses – from specialty food products, dining and fashion to textiles and design. Based in Charleston, SC, leapfrog’s small and savvy team offers a unique mix of national brand experience and extensive media network with accessible and high-touch customer service. Led by principals Jackie Thomson and Libba Osborne, current clients include Callie’s Charleston Biscuits, Marysia Swim, Tara Guerard Soiree, Schermer Pecan Co., King Bean Coffee and Shop BuRu among others.

A graduate of the University of the South – Sewanee and The French Culinary Institute, Libba Osborne has been promoting culinary businesses for over a decade with boutique firms in Atlanta, New York and Charleston. An Atlanta native, she now resides in Charleston with her husband and two young sons.

A native of Annapolis, MD and College of Charleston graduate, Jackie Thomson began her career working in the New York fashion industry and now partners with design and retail brands in the south and beyond. She lives in Charleston with her husband and son and daughter.

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Our Blog Contributors

Allieway Marketing

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Allie Balling and Irene Pappas are an unusually matched duo. With a background in construction marketing, Allie brings energy and dedication to an “outside the box” approach to marketing and graphic design. Irene’s experience is rooted in the fashion world. As a Public Relations veteran of the NYC fashion scene, Irene is committed to taking clients and brands to the next level through innovative outreach and engaging social media. Together, Allie and Irene have created a true alternative to conventional in-house marketing recourses for Allieway clients across a variety of markets.

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Laura Mixon Camacho

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S.C. native Laura Mixon-Camacho, PhD, coaches people who feel anxious or awkward about certain conversations or presentations.

She founded Mixonian Institute in 2009 to offer the world fresh solutions to communication conundrums. (Her modest goal is world peace.)

Through her charisma, persuasion expertise, creative research and sense of humor, she is shaking up the traditional approach to communication. By transforming the way you listen, interpret and speak, you can have more impact, with less stress. She can show anyone how to bedazzle a room by presenting with enthusiasm and authenticity.

Named by The Moultrie News as a “Leading Woman in Business,” and praised for “doing an amazing job of connecting ‘soft skills’ involving the head, the heart, with the nitty gritty technical, logical, analytical workplace we work in” by Will Terry of Mayne Pharma USA.

When not working, you can find Laura at hip-hop class with one of her daughters, or planning her next decadent dinner party.

Her career highlights include facilitating The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People for the Stephen Covey Group in Caracas (in Spanish,) being editor of the bilingual management newsletter, Management Perspective and a writer for Business Venezuela, the publication of the Venezuelan-American Chamber of Commerce. She has a PhD in Communication Studies, specializing in persuasion and an MBA. For 10 years she taught various interpersonal communication and public speaking classes at East Carolina University and College of Charleston. She is an active board member of Charleston International Music School.

To find out more about Laura’s work at Mixonian Institute, visit www.mixonian.com.

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Rachel Camfield

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Rachel Camfield turned her passions for beautiful things, positive communication, and effective marketing into a career in the wholesale home décor & gift industry in 2011.

Specializing in regional sales and media + PR, she honed her skills for branding and online marketing, business to business sales, and account management through countless road trips around the country, over 3,000 cold calls, and an unwavering vision for brand storytelling through social media channels and digital + print platforms.

Her love for uplifting those around her including heart-centered women desiring to live lovely lives to working with small businesses, brands, and aspiring entrepreneurs and helping to coach, craft, develop, and share their brands with the world sparked her to create her own company, Carriage House Collaborations & Coaching, a creative boutique coaching and design studio.

She resides in Richmond, Virginia with her golf-pro husband and toy poodle in their 1939 fixer-upper. To find out more and connect with Rachel, visit her on social media @rachelcamfield (Instagram is her fave!)

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Tamara Eckles

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A proud South Carolina native from the Pee Dee Region, Tamara Eckles moved to the metro Atlanta area after graduating from THE university of South Carolina, Clemson University (Go Tigers!)  While attending Clemson, she became a member of the oldest African American Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha and is still an active member.  After receiving both a  B.S. and M.S. degree in Economics, Tamara started a career in the Financial Services industry.

After years of working in the corporate arena, she started to get the itch to do something more. She wanted to utilize her creative side and knew that her skill in the kitchen, specifically baking, would be the way to go.

Tamara’s passion for baking was first learned at her maternal grandmother Janie’s knee. Janie was the quintessential baker of the rural South Carolina community that Tamara’s mother’s family grew up in. Tamara has fond memories of watching Janie bake in her “seasoned” pans. Tamara started her own baking journey as a teenager baking cheesecakes from scratch and almost-homemade peach pies. Fast forward 20 years and her passion for baking led to the creation of  Jem of the South, A Dessert Media Company.

What started out as a way to chronicle dessert making has since morphed into a fun website, a blogtalk radio show, dessert recipe videos, an E-Book and Dessert Guide series.  Stop by and “Discover Something Sweet” with Tamara!

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Mandy Edwards

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Mandy Edwards is the owner of ME Marketing Services, a social media marketing company that provides consulting, management and training to businesses of all sizes.

A graduate of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, Mandy has 12+ years of sales & marketing experience. Past work experience has included print advertising sales and local store marketing for Chick-fil-A and Bruster’s Ice Cream.

Locally, Mandy is involved in Professional Women of Statesboro, the Statesboro Chapter of the University of Georgia Alumni Association, NFL Player DeAngelo Tyson’s Tyson Foundation, serving on the board, and First Baptist Church. She is a contributor to Steamfeed, Business 2 Community, Social Media Today and Dawn of the Dawg, a UGA sports blog. Mandy is a graduate of Leadership Bulloch and was named to the Statesboro Herald’s Top 20 Under 40 for 2013. She has also been mentioned in Crain’s Chicago Business, Forbes and the Huffington Post. Mandy is married to prosecuting attorney Ben Edwards and is the proud mother of two redheaded daughters.

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Catherine Hamrick

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Mad about the South—that’s me. Other regions hide their oddball relatives in the attic. But Southerners are so proud of quirky that we stick them on the front porch.

My parents (Leon country boy + Miss Bunny belle peach = swell!) mated North Georgia twang with Atlanta vowel blurs. And then came moi: a New South product born in Birmingham.

I signed on as a copywriter with “Mom’s magazine,” Southern Living, and then waltzed through sister magazine Southern Accents. It was a crash course in all things Southern: cottages, shotgun abodes, dogtrots, grand mansions spared Sherman’s burn, porches made in the shade, lush gardens, blue highways, big city glare, small-town low lights, antiques, blues, the best of American literature, and food, food, food. However, a turn at Cooking Light purged bacon grease from my kitchen.

I took a detour to the Midwest on joining the staff at Meredith Books and Better Homes and Gardens. Iowans are low-key friendly and put on the best state fair. Ever! There you can hobnob with (or flee) any politician flirting with a presidential run. I learned to nibble funnel cakes and turkey legs as big as baseball bats.

After weathering whiteouts, this AL Gal tricky-trotted back South and lived in Virginia. A recent move brought me to Delaware, with close proximity to two destinations beloved by Southerners: Longwood Gardens and Winterthur.

Also, I remain an ardent Francophile and adore Paris, Chartres, Flaubert, Verlaine, antique architectural plates, Left Bank baby bistros, a flea market toss, and Kir. I mix it up with Southern junk funk. Call my house “carnival crazy.”

My career as a writer and editor was anything but predictable. I covered every topic but porn and physics. After writing, ghostwriting, and editing a grandiose pile of branded books and articles, I jumped into blogging bliss. Catch my creative nonfiction (Southern characters welcome), poems, musings, and garden rambles at Random Storyteller. For reflections on writers, poetry, and social media, drop by Catherine Hamrick: Soul Deep Storyteller.

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Emily Hines

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Emily Hines is a Georgia girl now living in Bloomington, Indiana with her husband and two black labs. She is a freelance writer and digital media manager hooked on cruising back roads, craft beer, and snapping photos of old buidings. Follow along with my United States travels at Em’s on the Road.

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Lauren B. Hopkins

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As the principal of boutique public relations and communications firm LBH&Co., Lauren 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 her darling daughter, Grace.

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Monica Lavin

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Monica is the Founder and Creative Director of Lavin Label, a lifestyle blog that focuses on beauty, travel, fashion, and entertaining through fresh and unique visual storytelling.  She is well versed in emerging technology and social influence through her work at NASA and most recently her job as Communications Director for Information Technology at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.

Monica’s knowledge of technology and her well curated taste in all things lifestyle lend themselves naturally to a fresh perspective on storytelling that captivates her followers and inspires them to become part of that story.

Monica now lives on St. Simons Island, Georgia with her husband and two Springer Spaniel pups.  Be inspired to join the story by following lavinlabel.com!

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Shannon Loughran

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Following her heart back to her Southern roots, Shannon relocated to Charleston, SC from New York City and joined the Leapfrog PR team – a boutique public relations and marketing firm specializing in “lifestyle” business – from specialty food products, dining and fashion to textiles and design.

A native of Richmond, VA, Shannon spent her high school years in the Northeast following a family move and followed her passions for journalism, fashion and art to New York University where she graduated with a double major in Journalism and French and a minor in Art History. During her time in New York, she gained several years of experience at top publications and companies such as WWD in Paris, Teen Vogue, ELLE, Moda Operandi, Proenza Schouler and business management firm Launch Collective.

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Haile McCollum

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Haile McCollum is the Owner of Fontaine Maury a brand and design firm in Thomasville, Georgia. Fontaine Maury works with emerging and growth minded companies and non-profits nationwide to engage their audiences in a more meaningful way and maximize profits. She develops, documents and extends brands through creative business strategies including, print design, digital design and social media.

She has worked with artists worldwide to license designs to Walmart, Target, Tiny Prints, Treat, 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.

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 published by Thomasville Center for the Arts in Thomasville, Georgia. Thom is the personification of the creative life in Thomasville. Weaving together the written word and stunning images, Thom expresses and promotes the abundance of creative thinking in Thomasville. It introduces thinkers, visionaries, muses, artists, entrepreneurs and professionals to the region who share their talent to shape Thomasville and beyond.

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.

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Nancy McNulty

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Cool, new and different is the mantra driving the public relations efforts of Forest Home Media. Based outside Nashville in the historic Forest Home area, Nancy McNulty works as a PR rep with a variety of home lifestyle companies including the 2014 Nashville HGTV Smart Home builder. Nancy also served on the PR team for Southern Living Idea House at Fontanel.

A long-time Tennessee girl with a communications degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, her career began as a newspaper reporter and a state agency spokesman. This background pushes her to deliver relevant, deadline-driven content to local and national media outlets while working closely with a talented blogging community.

Forest Home Media launched the 2015 Nashville Symphony Show House merging all things social and trad media for a great PR punch for the Southern Contemporary Folk style home built by 2012 Southern Living Custom Builder of the Year, Castle Homes.

Her family homestead is affectionately known as Blackberry Hollow where Nancy and her radio advertising hubs raised their two children and where they spend lots of time entertaining.  Catch her adventures on her travel and experience blog NanceSense.com.

If you are in the Nashville vicinity, join her creative consortium of home lifestyle bloggers and media, the Nashville Influencers, started by Nancy and her business partner, Dana Tucker, or connect with her at ForestHomeMedia.com.

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Paige Minear

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Paige Minear is the author, mother and preppy creator behind the design blog The Pink Clutch. Paige is known for her home full of color, Palm Beach style and antique treasures. With a love for all things design related she writes five days a week allowing her readers to indulge in colorful posts and inspiration. She is a lover of a strong latte, champagne cocktails, a stack of magazines, crisp button downs, popped collars, a sweet treat and a house full of fresh flowers and monogrammed linens. She can be seen most days in a gingham button down, pearls galore sporting leopard flats and ready for adventure.

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Carrie Peeples

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Carrie Peeples is a life saver for people who are too busy to get their homes organized.
Through her proven process of evaluating how you function in your home and clearing clutter, she’s here to organize your home, teach you the steps to manage it on your own, and make it beautiful. Her unique systems make you feel like you’re in control again.

Her adoring fans + clients of her company, NeatSmart, have called her “a life saver” and “the best secret I kept from my husband,” and one client called her “my personal organization trainer.”

And when she’s not organizing, you can find her indulging in cooking, bootcamp, Instagram surfing and trying out new restaurants with her husband.

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Holly Phillips

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Holly 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.

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Louise Pritchard

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Louise Pritchard is an experienced professional with progressive leadership roles and a successful track record in cross-industry strategic market development, relationship management and business problem solving
Ms Pritchard brings her creative problem solving and critical thinking approach to each client. Her passion and drive is evident in helping each client to discover the “ah-ha” moment when new ideas and strategies transform their brand strengths into results for their company.

Ms. Pritchard founded Pritchard Volk Consulting, LLC, in 2001 after nearly 30 years in the business arena. Her experiences with FORTUNE Magazine, as Southeast Division Manager, Director of Marketing of Holiday Inn Worldwide, Director of Marketing of Egleston Childrens Hospital and other high level marketing positions helped her form the philosophy and process for her consulting business. She is also an Executive Partner and the Mason School of Business, College of Williams and Mary MBA program.

She is a Auburn University graduate and an avid SEC football fan. With four grown daughters pursuing their careers in various part of the country, she and her husband enjoy their off time visiting them in Charlotte, Savannah, Atlanta and LA.

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Ashley Schoenith

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Ashley Schoenith is the lifestyle designer behind the heirloomed and IceMilk Aprons brands.

Inspired by her Southern upbringing of made-from- scratch cooking, her love of family, frequent trips antiquing, and her Grandmother’s knack for entertaining, her designs are a reflection of the romantic past that today’s fast-paced and disposable generation yearns for. Her super-focused design aesthetic is apparent in all aspects of her life.

A passionate entrepreneur with a background in strategy, branding & online marketing, she has proven herself through past successful business ventures having been featured in a variety of major media outlets as O, The Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart, Real Simple, Southern Living and Food Network, to name a few. With a never-ending work ethic and drive for success, her visionary spirit is constantly in search of best-of-breed leaders in their own industries for collaboration.

With a common heirloom-focused thread in all she does, her lifestyle brand includes heirloomed, heirloomed blog and consulting arm, Deep South Social.

She resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband Shane, and three children, Wyatt (4.5), Sawyer (2.5) and Waylon (1), along with their dog, Kona.

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Kate Spears

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Kate Spears is a self-proclaimed Southern belle who grew up in a tiny town near Nashville, but now calls Knoxville home. She graduated from the University of Tennessee (Big Orange Country!) with an undergraduate degree in art history and a master’s in public relations & advertising. In 2009, she started my blog, Southern Belle Simple, with the simple hope of giving herself a creative outlet. She continues to be amazed each time it leads to a new opportunity and cherishes the relationships that are formed along the way.

Kate is passionate about family history, time-honored traditions, and her Southern heritage. Her people hail from across the South, from the Lone Star State of Texas to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. She grew up spending summers on her great-grandparents’ Tennessee farm where she developed a deep appreciation and admiration for people who could coax beautiful and delicious things out of a mound of dirt. She comes from faithful men, devoted women, hard workers and wickedly good cooks.

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Angie Avard Turner

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Angie Turner is a business law and intellectual property attorney with a fancy for all things patterned with a punch of piping hot color.  After almost 22 years in retail, 12 years in wholesale, and 6 years in licensing, she decided to give the people what they were asking for—an attorney who was familiar with the needs of creative entrepreneurs.  She represents really cool people involved in creative ARTS {that’s, Artists, Retailers & wholesalers, Techies, and Service providers} and is a creative entrepreneur herself!

As a designer, artist, author, and entrepreneur, she understands the legal needs of creative businesses because she has walked a mile in those shoes—she has owned and operated one for over a decade!

She has always loved being creative. Since she could walk, Angie has had a love affair with the jumbo box of 96 crayons. She started Hype Strype, a fine stationery goods brand, back in 2003. At the time, she was not really focused on law, but more on keeping her 2500 customers across 45 states happy! But when people learned she was an attorney too, they were very quick to ask all sorts of legal questions pertaining to their creative endeavors. So… now she combines both of her loves—creativity and the law. Angie loves helping others know and understand many of the things she had to learn the hard way and it gives her great pleasure to see a client so “fired up” about an idea that they have invested themselves in.

Although she was born and raised in Georgia, Angie is the product of a Northern, West Point-educated father {he’s from oh-so-proper Boston, Massachusetts} and a Southern, Auburn-educated mother {she’s from sweet-home-Alabama}. She graduated from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina {a very cool city}, then moved to Michigan where to obtain her law degree. She and her husband have three fantastically amazing children who are ages (12), (7), and (2). They all have strong family names that tell them a story of where they came from.

You can learn more about Angie at  www.angieavardturnerlaw.com or www.hypestrype.com.

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Danielle Wecksler

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Danielle Wecksler is a culinary professional providing prix fixe and a la carte digital marketing and content solutions for editors, bloggers and food product businesses through her company, Plateful Solutions. Her unique background in the food and tech industries puts her in the perfect position to help culinary brands tell their stories, no matter the platform. If you need recipe development, blog writing, food styling, photography or video for your digital channels, she can #TakeItOffYourPlate.

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Katie Weinberger

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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.

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