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CREATIVES: Three Entrepreneurs to Watch

Aug 12 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.

TJ Callaway – www.onwardreserve.com

TJ Callaway is the founder and CEO of FiveMileClub.com, a buyers’ club that provides members-only access to brands you know and trust at prices of up to 70% off retail. Onward Reserve, an online menswear and lifestyle shopping destination, grew from that flash sale site. Now you can also enjoy Onward Reserve in its brick and mortar location in downtown Athens, GA.

Theme Song:

TJ Callaway: Frank Sinatra

Fave book or author:

TJ Callaway: Mr. Anonymous: Robert W. Woodruff by: Charles Newton Elliot

Favorite charity:

TJ Callaway: Salvation Army

#1 skill/attribute needed to be an entrepreneur:

TJ Callaway: Passion

Role model:

TJ Callaway: Teddy Roosevelt

Favorite social media:

TJ Callaway: Instagram

Favorite quote:

TJ Callaway: Never, never, never give up. -Winston Churchill

Interesting tidbit about you or your business:

TJ Callaway: 1. We were named “Best menswear store in the South” after only a few months in business by Social Primer. 2. Growing 500% annually over the last 3 years.

Natalie Evans – www.lowcountryluxe.com

Natalie Evans is the president and founder of Low Country Luxe based out of Savannah, GA. Low Country Luxe offers high-quality, luxury products that encapsulate the elegance and charm of the Southern US, Low Country lifestyle. The company has expanded to include retail products inspired from around the world, as well as private label luxury products for personalities, resorts and companies. Low Country Luxe is known today as the “Southern Fragrance House.”

Inspiration:

Natalie Evans: Without hesitation, it’s Mother Nature. My own backyard was the inspiration for my packaging and for the fragrances of Low Country Luxe. Though we often overlook the beauty that is all around us, when we do take the time to marvel at trees, water, flowers and mountains, they are the most amazing sources of inspiration. My hope is that Low Country Luxe candles can allow for more moments of natural enjoyment, even indoors.

Theme Song:

Natalie Evans: I believe music is the language of the soul so it’s really difficult to pick just one song. But I will say whenever I hear “Brown Eyed Girl” or “Sweet Caroline” I can’t help but smile! When it comes to dancing with my twin eight year old boys they always want to hear Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”

Fave book or author:

Natalie Evans: A Whole New Mind – Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future By Daniel Pink. This is by far one of the most amazing books for the creative types among us. I’ve long thought that the ability to think beyond ‘the norm’ will transform the business world and this book supports that very theory.

Favorite charity:

Natalie Evans: The Penn Center on St. Helena Island, Promotes and preserves the history and culture of the Sea Islands serves as one of the country’s first schools for freed slaves. A portion of the proceeds of our Gullah candle go to support the center. Last year, a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Though she had every right to become withdrawn, instead she began raising the needed funds to find a cure for her disease. I’m so honored to help her in her continued efforts to raise the funds she, and so many others like her, need.

#1 skill/attribute needed to be an entrepreneur:

Natalie Evans: There’s a saying ‘it’s not business, it’s personal’ and in the past few years, even though business has continued to do very well, personally, I have endured the heartbreak of divorce. I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone but I can say, with confidence, that it made me reinvent myself and today I am a strong, single mother who is successfully running her own business – and never ever looking back. Even in the tough times, you always have to believe everything will always work out.

Favorite social media:

Natalie Evans: Google – I’m a self-proclaimed geek who loves researching!

Favorite quote:

Natalie Evans: “I am not afraid… I was born to do this.” – Joan of Arc

Interesting tidbit about you or your business:

Natalie Evans: When I was told, early in my pregnancy with twin boys, that I had to go on total bed rest it was a blow to say the least. But out of that ‘forced’ downtime I developed the idea for Low Country Luxe and within a matter of months, my boys and my company were born.

Javacia Bowser – www.seejanewritebham.com

Javacia Bowser of Birmingham, AL successfully built a community of women bloggers, both online and off, through See Jane Write, an organization for women writers that she started in 2011 and then with the 2013 launch of SeeJaneWriteMagazine.com, an online lifestyle publication for women who love writing, blogging, and social networking.

Inspiration:

Javacia Bowser: I am inspired most by women. My desire to encourage women to find their voices and share their stories motivates me to do all the things I do through See Jane Write. And the women writers and journalists that I admire inspire me to pursue my personal writing goals as well.

Theme Song:

Javacia Bowser: “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyonce. I’m sure this surprises no one.

Fave book or author:

Javacia Bowser: Choosing a favorite book or author is like choosing a favorite child! But if I must, I would say either Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott or Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. These are both books that I revisit again and again to inspire my writing.

Favorite charity:

Javacia Bowser: I give thousands of dollars each year to my church. Church of the Highlands does so much community service locally, nationally, and globally. Leaders and members of Church of the Highlands not only preach the gospel, but practice it too.

#1 skill/attribute needed to be an entrepreneur:

Javacia Bowser: The most important attribute of an entrepreneur is the willingness to take risks. Regardless of your skills and resources, you must have the courage to try new things, even if everyone around you thinks it’s crazy.

Role model:

Javacia Bowser: My role model is 17 years old. You might think that’s quite sad considering I’m 32, but Tavi Gevinson became a blogging superstar and launched an online magazine before her 16th birthday. She’s a fierce feminist and most likely the future of journalism. She should be your role model too.

Favorite social media:

Javacia Bowser: Twitter. I’ve done a good job of following awesome people so my Twitter timeline is always chockfull of wisdom and wit.

Favorite quote:

Javacia Bowser: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Interesting tidbit about you or your business:

Javacia Bowser: See Jane Write began as just a group of 14 women crowded around a table at a Mexican restaurant in Birmingham. We just sat and ate and talked about writing for a few hours. It was great and I really thought that’s all See Jane Write would ever be. But then I started hosting events that attracted 40 to 75 people and my e-mail distribution list grew to more than 300 names and then I got this crazy idea to start a magazine. See Jane Write is now slowly growing into a business, but I want it to be more than that. I want See Jane Write to empower women to lift their voices and to live out loud. I want See Jane Write to be a movement.

Also ENJOY spotlights on other entrepreneurs –

Nan Myers, Jay Ducote and Jane Pope Cooper

XOXO – CHERI HARDEN LEAVY

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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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