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CREATIVES: Three Entrepreneurs to Watch

Aug 4 2013

by Cheri Leavy

The Southern Coterie is a social network (tscoterie.wpengine.com) with events (thesoutherncsummit.com) that connect influencers, entrepreneurs and marketing professionals with an affinity for the South.

Enjoy this series where we introduce you to Southern creatives we find inspiring.

Nan Myers – www.fireflyhome.com

Nan Myers, a fifth generation from Thomasville, GA opened a design store Firefly sixteen years ago in her hometown with her dad. The sole owner now continues to add to its handmade offerings and fine antiques. In 1998, Travel and Leisure wrote that “Firefly could hold its own in Soho.” Nan is also a talented event planner with national acclaim.

Inspiration:

NAN MYERS: Traveling in general, and specifically New York City and New Orleans, both oozing with this creative energy that I just soak in. I have to get my “fix” a couple times a year. Last Summer, I was fortunate to be able to go on an all girl’s hunting trip to Argentina. It was incredibly beautiful. Nan “will travel” Myers is my middle name.

Theme Song:

NAN MYERS: Just the Way you Are, Bruno Mars

Fave book or author:

NAN MYERS: A Prayer for Owen Meaning, by John Irving

Favorite charity:

NAN MYERS: I am currently serving on the Thomasville Antiques Show board, which is a foundation that benefits the children of Thomas County. Not only is it a top-notch weekend with speakers like Gil Shafer III, Ben Page, Suzanne Kasler, but we gave over $100,000 this year alone to specific programs that nurture our children, emotionally and physically. The day we met to decide on the dispersement of those funds was one of the most memorable and rewarding days that I have had in a long time. It truly takes a village, and I am proud of my village, Thomasville.

#1 skill/attribute needed to be an entrepreneur:

NAN MYERS: A strong work ethic and humility. If you are not willing to work like a beaver, don’t expect anyone else too. Being humble and appreciative of your successes goes so much farther than being a puff of fluff that prattles on and on.

Role model:

NAN MYERS: My sister Ivey. She is good to the bone, funny, creative and real. She is also a great Mom and is game for about anything including cooking her children’s yard kill; like snake, (seriously).

Favorite social media:

NAN MYERS: Pinterest without question. I don’t get to spend much time on it, which is probably a good thing.

Favorite quote:

NAN MYERS: This is tough, as I have a “quote” problem and have been collecting them since high school. I keep this particular one in my wallet though. ” You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage…pleasantly, smilingly, non apologetically … to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way you do that is by a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. Stephen Covey

Interesting tidbit about you or your business:

NAN MYERS: Well, I was a sculpture major, and I have a knack for finding amazing artists, who become my vendors. It sets our brick and mortar business apart, and I think people are pleasantly surprised to stumble upon it in South Georgia. My store either “speaks to you” or it doesn’t, and I am O.K. with that.

Jay Ducote – www.biteandbooze.com

Jay Ducote is a chef and popular Southern food and beverage blogger. Bite and Booze chronicles his culinary experiences in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and beyond. Jay is a freelance writer and monthly contributor to The Southern C network. His blog has been turned into a radio show that airs on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.

Inspiration:

JAY DUCOTE: I get inspired by many things, mostly from surrounding myself with creative people. My inspiration to start Bite and Booze came from a combination of my friend John from high school, my credit card statements showing how much money I spent eating and drinking, and how bored I became at my day job. I found cooking inspiration from memories of my grandmothers’ kitchens, growing up around hunting camps, and my good friend from college Chef Eusebio Gongora. Currently I’m inspired by people who dedicate their lives to making a difference, good food and drink, and creative people that make ordinary days into extraordinary experiences.

Theme Song:

JAY DUCOTE: The Imperial March – John Williams
There’s no cooler way to enter a room than to Darth Vader’s theme song. Seriously. Try it.

Fave book or author:

JAY DUCOTE: I have to admit that I don’t read much. As odd as it may seem, I spend way more time writing, and looking at words is not my desired form consuming content. I read a good of online stuff, but when it comes to books, I don’t ever seem to get to my reading list. The last fictional books that I read cover to cover and truly enjoyed were the entire Lord of the Rings series before each movie came out. Yes, if you couldn’t tell by my theme song answer, I am a dork.

Favorite charity:

JAY DUCOTE: I’m so active in my community that it is hard to pick one. I have done a lot with the Boys and Girls Club, United Way, and many more. I have a radio show on Baton Rouge Community Radio. I sit on the Dean’s Circle for the LSU College of Humanities and Social Sciences. But currently I probably do more work with Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge than any other. Their mission to help support those people living with cancer.

#1 skill/attribute needed to be an entrepreneur:

JAY DUCOTE: To say something different or unexpected here, I’ll go with patience. It takes a lot of patience to be a successful entrepreneur. Sometimes things happen quickly, but most of the time it takes time to create something worth creating. You have to look at the bigger picture and be patient with putting all of the smaller details in place.

Role model:

JAY DUCOTE: Holy crap… that’s a tough one. True role models are difficult to find for me. Who is doing something that I could model my role after? Perhaps I should go with somebody like Anthony Bourdain who has been extremely successful as a writer and television personality. But I hear from a lot of people that he is also an asshole, which isn’t me. Maybe Andrew Zimmern is closer to being that role model, but he doesn’t excite me as much. Maybe I should look to someone locally instead of a celebrity, but there’s nobody I know that I’d consider be my role model. I guess I’ll just have to go back to my mother and hope that I continue to have her sense of love, care, compassion, and adventure.

Favorite social media:

JAY DUCOTE: I’ve gone back and forth a good bit, but ultimately I think Facebook has come out on top. I use Twitter a lot too, but Facebook is really where the most action is for me and I think the platform that has contributed the most to Bite and Booze. Plus, it just seems like everyone is one there. LinkedIn and Google+ have seemed to be a complete waste of time, and I know I don’t have time for Pinterest. Can I count YouTube? That site is certainly important.

Favorite quote:

JAY DUCOTE: “If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.” – One fish two fish red fish blue fish, Dr. Seuss

Interesting tidbit about you or your business:

JAY DUCOTE: I got a Masters Degree in Political Science before deciding I had no interest in being a politician or political scientist for the rest of my life. I taught high school math and coached baseball at an inner city school for two years. I have two radio shows about eating and drinking. I get to tell people that I eat and drink for a living, which is always fun. I have a book deal with the LSU Press, but don’t look for anything on the bookshelves until August of 2014. My middle name is Douglas. I’ve been to 40 of the 50 states, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and I’m itching to explore more of the world through the lens of food and beverage.

Jane Pope Cooper – www.janepopejewelry.com

Jane Pope Cooper is the designer and creative director behind Balboa Collection and Jane Pope Jewelry. Jane works from a studio and showroom in downtown Spartanburg, SC. Her successful designs have been featured in numerous national publications and are a favorite of celebrities and can often be seen on the red carpet.

Inspiration:

JANE POPE COOPER: Everything around me: travel, fashion, nature, art, friends, family. It is difficult not to be inspired by everything I come in contact with.

Theme Song:

JANE POPE COOPER: All My Mistakes – The Avett Brothers, makes me think of my cute hubby.

Fave book or author:

JANE POPE COOPER: Grace Coddington’s book is on my nightstand. Can’t wait to dive in!

Favorite charity:

JANE POPE COOPER: Kindermourn – It is an organization that supports children and families who have lost family members. I got involved when my former business partner passed away after a 3 year battle with a brain tumor. Her husband and 3 precious children got support through Kindermourn’s services. I collaborated with Towne & Reese on a wildly successful and special project in Sydney’s honor to benefit Kindermourn (more here). And after surviving my own brain tumor, I have a extra special spot in my heart for those who leave their children too soon. I am thankful for every day I have with my sweet babies and husband.

#1 skill/attribute needed to be an entrepreneur:

JANE POPE COOPER: Perseverance. It can be a challenge to own your own business. You have to stay true to who you are and what you love to do.

Role model:

JANE POPE COOPER: Anyone who finds a way to balance doing what they love and taking care of the ones they love. It’s a tricky balance I strive to attain. Anyone who does it well is a role model in my eyes.

Favorite social media:

JANE POPE COOPER: Instagram. Hands down.

Favorite quote:

JANE POPE COOPER: One day can change everything. – unknown

Interesting tidbit about you or your business:

JANE POPE COOPER: I have moved my business 7 times. I am not sure if this is good, bad or indifferent, but it’s something you may find interesting. New York, Charleston, LA to name a few. The best part is, I can work from anywhere. It just takes some reorganizing and rethinking.

XOXO – CHERI HARDEN LEAVY

1 COMMENTS

Cheri Leavy View More Blog Posts from this Author

Cheri Leavy is a connector, cheerleader and marketing consultant for fellow entrepreneurs.
Building rapport and strengthening a sense of community:
• A community of female entrepreneurs through the The Southern Coterie and The Southern C Summit
• The faces and places of Athens that make our city so vibrant through guide2athens
• A community of devoted football fans through Bulldawg Illustrated
- Contributing editor to Coastal Illustrated, Executive Board Member of the UGA Alumni Association

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One response on “CREATIVES: Three Entrepreneurs to Watch

  1. tamiramsay

    I know both Nan and Jane personally and they are inspiring women to be sure. Incredibly creative and living authentically and creatively. So happy to see them featured here and glad be be introduced to Jay Ducote!

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