Four Months Post-Summit: Reflections and Motivations

The Southern Coterie blog: "Reflections from the 2018 Southern C Summit" by Angie Avard Turner (photo: Mary Margaret Curtis of Mary Little Moments)
(photo: Mary Margaret Curtis of Mary Little Moments)

It’s now been about four months since the 2018 Southern C Summit. #timeflies And as I review my notes from the Summit (something you should do throughout the year!) and compare them to the real-life experiences I see my clients and myself facing, I wanted to expand on some legal topics that came up at the Summit, as well as share some of the business motivations that have stuck with me the last four months.



There was a lot of discussion about using hashtags.  I wrote an article about hashtags several months ago.  You should check it out.  It explains the growing number of hashtags being used and how there is a growing movement of brands that are using them as source identifiers (i.e. trademark material) in addition to search tools. It is becoming more and more important to be aware of how you use hashtags because brands are beginning to use them to distinguish themselves.


There is a lot of discussion of collaborations within TSC.  Non-disclosure agreements are really the only document that can protect your ideas and the conversations revolving around these ideas that you may enter into with others. Again, I refer you back to a two part series of articles that I penned for TSC: why every creative should be using an NDA and understanding the parts of an NDA.

Affiliate Links

There was a discussion about affiliate links and FTC regulations as it relates to brands and bloggers.  I will be addressing this in a later article, however, in short you should disclose and make it “clear and conspicuous (that is the legal standard).”  To explain it in a nutshell, lack of disclosure or improper disclosure is a violation of consumer protection laws.  These laws are federal in nature, so they trump any state laws that may exist.

Intellectual Property within Interior Design

Can interior designers protect their work from copycats?  Great questions.  This is an emerging area. There are very few cases that cover this area, so that means that the law has not really been decided.  This is another area I will be covering this year.  I will discuss best practices on how to protect your work and aesthetic, what do when someone copies, and how to avoid copying someone else.

Net Neutrality

This was brought up a few times in passing discussions.  The short answer is that is remains to be seen what the affects of this policy will be.  There are arguments on both sided of why or why not the policy should exist or have been repealed.  In the short term, all I can say is, “Stay tuned.”


Elizabeth Mayhew

  1. “Yes and…” I love this sentiment. I know this resonated with a bunch of you, as I, too, saw the hashtags and posts.  It’s not just saying yes arbitrarily, but the “and” is giving yourself permission to frame the yes in away that showcases your strength and abilities.
  2. “Write it first, then photograph it.” This is another great quote from Elizabeth’s discussion. The reference she was making was literal, however this is a great metaphor for how to live your business life. Write it, then visualize it.  When you write your story, your goals, there is something that happens that makes it more concrete.  Then taking those words, in black and white, and transforming them in full, living color gives us hope, encouragement and the empowerment to move forward, full steam ahead with our goals.
  3. “Instagram is the mini-magazine of yourself.” When Elizabeth said this I almost laughed out loud. Not at her, but at myself.  If anyone looked at my IG, it would look like, maybe, the front and back cover and that’s about it.  I am terrible at posting.  It is really tricky to post photos that are beautiful yet connect to what I want to say as a creative lawyer, but I’m working on it…slowly.
  4. “When showing something inexpensive, elevate it with whatever it is surrounded by.” When Elizabeth was making this branding point she flashed a cute, snappy little scarlet scalloped skirt from Draper James up on the screen. However, when I heard this I immediately thought of all the women in the room.  Many times we feel like we are the “Plain Jane,” the vanilla flavor, the inexpensive option. The main thing to remember is that is just a feeling.  We are elevated when we surround ourselves with valuable people (those who have skill sets different than ours).  We are given permission to be a better version of ourselves.

Holly Phillips

“Blogging became a habit.” When Holly said this I immediately thought of all of the little habits I have, both at work and personally. How long did those take for those habits to set in?  A day? A week? A month? Years?  I don’t know, but the point is she began and never stopped.  So should we all!  Begin somewhere, then reflect on what you just did, adjust, and then do again.  You will be amazed where you end up in a month, a year, or five years when you repeat this pattern over and over! Nothing happens overnight, which brings me to my next reflection.

Alexa Hampton

“Creative business is a marathon of sprints.” Seriously, I don’t know if Alexa realized the profundity (how profound) this is!  So true.  There are some many times in business where you are in a mad dash to get something done, or turned in, then it eases up and you can breathe, and then the craziness begins again.  Those creatives who can step back and see that the break neck pace is just a sprint and not meant to be a sustained pace are those who can keep going.  They understand that ultimately being in business is a marathon.  So slow and steady wins the race.

Overall, this was my favorite Summit.  Not just for the presentations, but for the people.  I have loved having the opportunity to cultivate relationships, learn about others’ businesses, while thinking about what I do in fresh and new ways.  This time in particular  though, I came back with a renewed sense of energy and vision for where I want to land, and I am looking forward to get a step closer each day!


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Avard Turner, J.D., LL.M. View More Blog Posts from this Author

Angie Avard Turner is an attorney who exclusively represents clients in the creative arts industries including retailers, wholesalers, artists, photographers, event planners, bloggers, and other creative service providers.  She is licensed to practice law in the state of Georgia, but she is able to handle copyright and trademark issues nationally.  For more information regarding her practice, visit­­­. Angie is also the owner and creative director behind Hype Strype, a fine stationery company that caters to those who love bright colors and patterns. 

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