Southern C Summit – Sea Island, Georgia



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, The Summit has featured editors from Domino, Real Simple, Southern Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Hoffman Media, and Traditional Home among others. Past Summit attendees have heard from successful entrepreneurs like Fine-Art Photographer and New York Times Best-Selling Author Gray Malin, Tibi Founder Amy Smilovic, and key voices from companies such as Pinterest, One Kings Lane, and Land of Nod.  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 two add-on workshops prior to the start of the Summit on Wednesday, February 7 from 8:30 – 10:30 am at The Cloister. Attendees may choose ONE workshop for an additional fee of $200. Limited seating for each and attendees must sign up when purchasing Summit tickets.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 am:  Registration for Add-on Workshop Attendees (workshop attendees only)

8:30 – 10:30 am:  Add-on Workshops (pre-registered attendees only)

10:00 am – 12:00 pm:  Registration at The Cloister Foyer II

10:00 am – 12:00 pm:  Swag Market

12:00 – 1:00 pm:  Grab your own lunch at Sea Island

1:00 – 1:15 pm:  Welcome with Introduction of Cheri Leavy and Whitney Long, co-founders of The Southern C, by Brian Hart Hoffman of Hoffman Media

1:15 – 2:00 pm:  “From Startup to Media Darling, Building an International Clean Beauty Brand” with Rose-Marie Swift and Elaine Sack of RMS Beauty. Moderated by Jackie Thomson of Leapfrog PR Co.

2:00 – 3:15 pm:  “Securing Press in Today’s Media Landscape” with Kim Alexander of Garden & Gun and Jennifer Condon of Elle Decor, House Beautiful and Veranda. Moderated by Jessica Mischner. Introduction by Jackie Thomson and Libba Osborne of Leapfrog PR Co.

3:15 – 3:30 pm:  Guided Meditation with Valerie Langley

3:30 – 5:30 pm:  Free time to enjoy Sea Island

6:00 – 9:00 pm:  Enjoy cocktails, food, music and conversation at the Summit Soirée at The Vine’s Greenhouse

Thursday, February 8, 2018

9:00 – 9:45 am:  “Building a Brand…And a Customer Base” with Elizabeth Mayhew of Draper James and Brian Hart Hoffman of Hoffman Media

9:45 – 10:30 am:  “It Takes a Village (of Tech, Tools and Processes)” with Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha

10:30 – 11:15 am:  “Converting Social to Sales: Creating a Real Return on Investment (ROI) on Instagram” with Ashley Brooke of Ashley Brooke Designs, Monica Lavin of Lavin Label and Stacy Smallwood of Hampden Clothing

11:15 am – 12:00 pm:  Small-Group Mentor Round Tables

12:15 – 1:15 pm:  Luncheon presented by Sea Island

1:30 – 2:15 pm:  “Minds Behind The Mine: Reinventing an Elevated Brand” with The Mine’s Alexa Hampton, Michelle Newbery and Eddie Ross. Moderated by Jennifer Condon, Senior Market Editor at the Heart Design Group.

2:15 – 3:00 pm:  “A Case Study: Your Business’ Website is More Than Just a Calling Card” with Natasha Murphy and Alexandra Golden of Nicely Built

3:00 – 3:30 pm:  Summit Takeaways with Brian Hart Hoffman and Brooke Bell of Hoffman Media

4:00 – 6:00 pm:  Sip, Shop + Socialize at the Sea Island Beach Club

6:00 – 9:30 pm:  Dinner on your own

9:30 – 11:30 pm:  Silent Disco + Night Cap (cash bar) at Mizner Ballroom

Friday, February 9, 2018

10:00 am – 12:00 pm:  Beachside Biscuit Bash with Bake from Scratch and fellow bakers Carrie Morey of Callie’s Charleston Biscuits, Ryanne Carrier of Certified Burgers and Beverage, Vera Stewart of VeryVera, and Matt Hogan, Executive Baker of Sea Island


Building a Brand…And A Customer Base

The world—and your competition—is at your customers’ fingertips. So how does your business stand out and compete? Elizabeth Mayhew, the Brand Editor for Reese Witherspoon’s lifestyle brand Draper James, will share her insight in what it takes to differentiate your business from the competition and build a loyal customer base through focused branding and storytelling. Through a (no doubt, lively) conversation with Brian Hart Hoffman, President/Chief Creative Officer at Hoffman Media, Elizabeth will draw on her current experience at Draper James, as well as her time at REAL SIMPLE, House Beautiful, Woman’s Day and the Today Show.

Securing Press in Today’s Media Landscape

The media landscape is changing at a dizzying rate and no one knows that better than the principles of leapfrog – Jackie Thomson and Libba Osborne. To tackle some of your biggest questions, they have tapped Jennifer Condon, Senior Market Editor for Elle Decor, House Beautiful and Veranda and Kim Alexander, Digital Media Director of Garden & Gun, to share how brands can best work with editors in the print and digital spaces to garner coverage in 2018.

Moderated by longtime editor and writer Jessica Mischner, attendees will walk away with an understanding of the emerging opportunities for exposure.

Minds Behind The Mine: Reinventing an Elevated Brand

The visionaries behind The Mine, a leading home furnishings and décor resource, discuss their brand relaunch in April 2017. This creative leadership team will present their processes in creating & refining a focused brand mission. Be entertained as The Mine execs share their experiences in capturing new consumer audiences, forging exciting new relationships within the design community, and their evolving vision for the future … all while soaring as an online luxury destination in this highly competitive space.


From Startup to Media Darling, Building an International Clean Beauty Brand

Rose-Marie Swift has been a make-up artist for over 35 years; her work has been featured in countless publications, her portfolio includes many famous faces and she has worked with some of the top fashion photographers.

When Rose-Marie was in her late 30s she began to experience some health issues that were causing many problems physically, mentally and emotionally. After an extensive series of tests, she learned that her blood contained toxic levels of heavy metals as well as high levels of pesticides and other chemicals also used in cosmetics. Until then she had no idea that cosmetics could be a contributor to serious health issues.

After years of rebuilding her own health, Rose-Marie realized that she wanted to help other women claim their right to healthy beauty. To achieve this goal she created RMS Beauty, her acclaimed line of organic color cosmetics.

in a world of big investors, and in an industry of fierce competition, she’s kept her head down and built rms beauty her way. and she’s done it successfully. get inspired by her entrepreneurial journey and learn how to avoid the mistakes she sees many entrepreneurs making.

Converting Social to Sales: Creating a Real Return on Investment (ROI) on Instagram

Monica Lavin of Lavin Label, will lead a discussion on using Instagram to convert followers to customers and how three different businesses maximize the ROI for their brand and partners.

Monica brings experience exponentially growing her consulting business using the platform, and will be joined by Stacy Smallwood of Hampden Clothing, who uses the platform to generate online and in-shop sales at her acclaimed Charleston clothing boutique, as well as Ashley Brooke of Ashley Brooke Designs, who uses Instagram to generate business as a social media influencer (and who is also accountable for generating ROI for her partners). Collectively, they count 161,000 Instagram followers between them, but more important is the thousands they see on their bottom lines.

It Takes a Village (of Tech, Tools and Processes)

Just like any job, if you have the right tech, tools and processes in your business, things become more efficient. And with every employee and business facet you add, it becomes even more mission-critical.

Digital influencer and multi-business owner Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha, Inc. will give us a peek behind the curtain as she shares the tech, tools and processes used on a daily basis to run a cohesive team across four business lines – e-commerce, retail storefront, fulfillment center, and lifestyle blog. She will also share the lessons learned while growing her business from a one-woman show to a team of 15, plus tips for managing (more like surviving) the growing pains.

A Case Study: Your Business’ Website is More Than Just a Calling Card

Your website is the digital arm of your brand, and to be successful it needs to capture your brand’s essence, functionally support your brand’s mission, and convert visitors to customers. Using the recent redesign and development of The Southern C website as a case study, the website professionals at Nicely Built will discuss the process of complete site transformation, current best practices for website design and development, including: considerations when choosing a platform; the importance of information flow; copyrighting, photography and visual balance, including suggestions for photo sizes, word count, key word usage, etc.; considerations when setting up/running online retail storefronts; engaging your audience; SEO tools; and retaining visitors through faster load times and information flow.