Share Your Story

Tell us how The Southern Coterie has inspired your entrepreneurial journey or how our resources and programs have helped you.

Testimonials for Summit & Events

Stelle Marcoux

“The Southern C Summit is the most stylish networking event there is. I met so many talented and inspiring businesswomen, and discovered unique makers and beautiful products that would otherwise be unknown to me. I learned so much from the panelists and attendees – from how to more effectively use social media to how to maintain a work-life balance. The event also provided an opportunity for me to connect with entrepreneurs on a personal level, and to foster what I hope to be life-long friendships.”

Steele Marcoux

Editor-in-Chief of Veranda

“The Southern C Summit was exactly what I needed during a freezing winter in New York, the opportunity to spend three restorative days in Sea Island listening to dynamic speakers, meeting incredible business owners and growing my network. If only every conference could be this much fun!”

Lydia Fenet

CEO Lydia Fenet Agency

Betsy Cribb

“Remember your first pep rally? That’s what the Summit feels like except you swap the high school football players for 300+ powerhouse creatives and entrepreneurs, and that sweaty gym for dreamy Sea Island. It’s three fun, jam-packed days of women cheering each other on and building each other up. In this digital age, when so much of our time is spent behind screens, the face-to-face connections, encouraging conversations, and creative collaborations that the Summit facilitates are invaluable.”

Betsy Cribb Watson

Features Editor Of Southern Living

eddie ross (cropped)

“The energy! The enthusiasm! The collaborative spirit! It was all about making new friends and learning from their experiences.”

Eddie Ross

Co-Founder and Chief Creator of Maximalist Studios (Formerly Editor with Better Homes & Gardens)

Caroline Bramlett

“The Southern C has been like family to me over the past 5 years of attending the amazing Summits at Sea Island. This community of entrepreneurs and creatives has been the biggest blessing to me and my career over the past 5 years… and there are no words to express how much it means to me! I have met lifetime friends and amazing business partners through this community that have all changed my life for the better.”

Caroline Bramlett Broome

The Southern Coterie is truly the definition of connection and collaboration. I have had the privilege of capturing headshots for so many amazing businesses and brands over the last four years at The Southern C and I can’t even begin to tell you the number of connections and friendships that have been a result of meeting at this conference and on the weekly membership calls. At my core, I’m an introvert, so networking events can be a little overwhelming and depleting at times, but this event leaves me feeling charged and excited about what to come in my business. The connections I’ve made are so genuine and it has been amazing to connect post conference to create magic with other female entrepreneurs. I can honestly say that #connectcollaboratecreate isn’t just a hashtag, it’s a lifestyle at The Southern Coterie.

Sirena Singleton

“At the Summit, I was not only able to share what I’m looking for from an editor and media perspective, but I was also able to connect with several entrepreneurs who spark content ideas for me as well.”

Krissy Tigilias

Executive Editor Of Southern Living

Mollie Burch

“The connections I made in just a few days are so valuable and I can’t wait to continue to connect and collaborate with the incredible women I met there. You two have truly created a beautiful thing.”

Molly Burch

Creative Director, CROSBY By Mollie Burch

J Lowery Co-Founders

“As first year Summit attendees and a young startup, we were unsure how we would be able to connect with such a wide range of accomplished female entrepreneurs and how we would have the time! We were completely blown away with the perfectly tailored and uplifting community Whitney, Cheri and team had built. The experience was invaluable to our team and we cannot wait to attend next year to continue connecting, collaborating and creating!”

Jamey Gresham and Margaret Boyce

J Lowery Co-Founders

Mary Lovett Varner Beck

My TSC Summit experience this year was a game-changer. The most valuable aspect of this week is that it puts you in the same room with women with varying levels of success, and you can learn something from every one of them. But one of my favorite parts about the Summit is the opportunities that come up in casual encounters – in the hotel lobby, on the shuttle, at a restaurant. If you really put yourself out there to connect with people in these situations, it is quite magical what can come out of it!

Mary Lovett Varner Beck

The Southern C Summit is the getaway my business and I need every year. The change of scenery is the escape out of my mundane everyday business tasks that allows me to see a bigger picture to keep going, pivot this, move this, stop this, etc. Networking with other small businesses provides relationships and a reliable community I can ask for assistance, ideas, and more anytime.

AnnaLouise Dixon

Kenzie Harkey of Simply Dare

The Southern C is one of the best networking groups I’ve encountered in my entrepreneurship journey thus far. The members are warm and inviting and some of the most creative individuals I’ve met. I always leave meetings and events feeling inspired!

Kenzie Harkey

Allison Newton

TSC is an incredible community of woman that want to lift each other up. Even from different industries and different stages in their business, everyone comes to the table to be each others cheerleader and it’s truly a beautiful thing to see and be a part of.

Allison Newton

Tara Cristin Pate

As a first time attendee and brand partner I wasn’t sure what to expect. But what I experienced was pure *magic* The energy, the connections and the attention to detail from the whole team has me counting down the days until the next one.

Tara Cristin Pate

Pam Shuler and Carolyn Shuler Bettin

As a 3rd year Summit attendee, we continue to bring home great take-aways from this fantastic conference. From listening to fabulous presenters in their fields to networking with fellow entrepreneurs, we feel the TSC Summit is worth the time and money we invest.

Pam Shuler and Carolyn Shuler Bettin

Leighton Newberry

From the bottom of my entrepreneurial heart, thank you for such an amazing TSC Summit! Even weeks after the Summit ended, I can’t stop thinking about how impactful it was. I am GENUINELY seeing the “ripple effect” that I believe is hard to explain to others, but truly is magical. From the speakers and sessions, to the fun dinners, silent disco, amazing mentor lunch and remarkable memories, it was top notch. I am thrilled to be a TSC member and advocate of TSC Summit!

Leighton Newberry

Elizabeth Kendrick

This was my first Summit experience – I had no idea what to expect, but it was more than I could have ever imagined. The connections I made, the real-time discussions I was having about my business, the education I was able to obtain in a short period of time… WOW!

Elizabeth Kendrick

Monica Farber

The Summit is an amazing way to kick off the new year. I always leave with a new idea, or more clear strategy for how I will proceed in business. More than anything, I find the networking aspect to be priceless. Everyone is there for the same reason, so collaborations are inevitable. I’m excited to return for year #4 in 2024.

Monica Farber

Tommy Johnson

The Southern C Summit has allowed me to connect with tons of great brands, creators, and business minds! It’s an incredible conference at a stellar location!

Tommy Johnson

Caroline Lunne

THANK YOU to you and your team for the incredible work of the Southern C. Your work, kindness, hospitality and belief in women is changing generations. Your impact is seismic, and I’m so grateful that I got to be touched by your passion this week. Y’all are doing exactly what God has called you both to do with so much grace and love! I’m looking forward to being a part of the Southern C for years to come… what y’all have built is something so special and it has inspired me deeply.

Caroline Lunne

Courtney Buchanan

I cannot thank you enough for one of the best weeks I’ve had in my career! The connections and knowledge that I have come home with are going to be truly life-changing, and I am forever grateful for what you have created.

Courtney Buchanan

The Southern C’s vibrant and compelling community brought together by Cheri Leavy and Whitney Long is exceptionally energizing for so many female entrepreneurs. You can’t help but feel rejuvenated and inspired after having attended one of their summits. This networking coterie is full of imaginative talents with a variety of backgrounds ranging from fashion, influencing, PR, marketing, artisans, retailers and so much more. This diverse group shares, supports, and inspires one another daily. Our experience with this incredible organization has led to meaningful relationships that have introduced great excitement into Dillard’s in a variety of avenues from new brands and products to collaborations and partnerships. And, we are excited for what’s to come!

Alexandra Dillard Lucie

The Southern C is more than a networking event, it is a community where creativity abounds through thought provoking conversations. Idea generation is fostered by an incredible camaraderie or sisterhood of sorts where members and attendees form bonds and relationships that build momentum for an array of different business models. With unparalleled enthusiasm from the powerful founders and leaders of these organizations, worlds and ideas collide forming truly unique concepts that push our teams to think outside of the box for the next big idea.

Annemarie Dillard Jazic

Emily Trotter

Emily Trotter, podcast host of Nothing But Fine

Stepping Out

A letter from Emily Trotter on her first Southern C Summit

You may have heard that I attended The Southern C Summit. I found myself sitting in a gorgeous ballroom at the Cloister in Sea Island, GA. (Seriously, if you get an opportunity to go there, DO IT. The grounds are spectacular. The staff is warm and inviting and so accommodating. Low country is so, just cool. I had forgotten how stunning it is. This is not an ad for The Cloister, although if someone knows someone I am glad to make it so.) I was surrounded by fabulous women. Truly some, pardon my language, badass females. I spent a few minutes completely intimidated, wondering why in the world had I signed up to come. I mean who am I? All I am selling is myself. And that is weird. I have told so many people about Nothin But Fine. I have passed out cards to waitresses, David Yurman sales associates, bartenders and random folks in restaurants and bars to the embarrassment of my husband and children. And I have felt silly doing it. But we have to do what we have to do to get ourselves out there. Right?

Self-promotion is not something I am naturally comfortable with. I can promote someone else all day long, but when I have to sing my own praises, I just feel awkward and unworthy. This must be how talent agents got their start because I would guess that a lot of artists are goofy or shy introverts just like me. I would rather pay someone else to talk good about me. Especially when you have been met with blank stares or uninterested nods with a “oh, isn’t that nice” or a “I am going to check this out as soon as I get in the car!”.

Which brings me back to why I was so anxious about  pulling up to the table at The Southern C.  That first morning when I hit the lobby in flare jeans and black top with abstract faces on it and everyone else was wearing a long floral dress, I almost went back to the room.  So much for blending in.  I had had a plan to enter quietly and sit in the back and I had blown that before I even got to the meeting room.  But, what could I do?  I squared my shoulders and walked like I knew what I was doing right into the thick of things.  And you know what?  I had a great time.  I met so many truly wonderful people from all sorts of businesses.  All of us doing our thing and all of us cheering for each other.  Yes, they even cheered for me.  It really beat all I’ve ever seen.  When you are explaining to someone what you do and they immediately get their phone out to look you up and click follow as you are looking at them…yall its kind of emotional to be honest.  It is the action and not just the promise to do it.  It is validating.  So, I’ve drunk the kool-aid for this organization.  I am here for it.  I am going to show up for the ladies I met and support them and tell everyone about them.  I foresee that I will be annoying.  These ladies might unfollow me, but that’s okay because they have already given me what I needed most.  The confidence to keep going, to keep working.  

Testimonials for Membership

Catherine Dolaher sitting in a chair

“A huge part of my job is managing partnerships between brands and artists, and it was through this work that I connected with many current TSC member brands. When you own your own business, you need to create your co-workers and I thrive in collaborative environments where all ships rise. I knew that TSC reflected this passion as well!”

Catherine Dolaher

CD Arts Management

Audrey Adele Márquez reclining near a clothing rack

“I joined TSC to connect with and be inspired by like-minded female entrepreneurs. I believe that when businesses collaborate with and support one another, everyone benefits! I’ve connected with many founders and entrepreneurs through the amazing membership directory and have found the educational resources shared in conversation and on weekly membership calls to be invaluable.”

Audrey Adele Márquez

Fashion Design and Development Consultant

“I became a TSC member to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs! I have found there is immense value in connecting with other business owners and leaning on each other for support, advice, guidance, and the opportunity to collaborate and brainstorm together. I am so grateful!”

Brooke Aliapoulios

The Social Resort

“I joined TSC because I was drawn to the network of other female entrepreneurs. I sometimes felt like I was on an island dealing with all the daily ins and outs of owning a small business. I love being able to reach out to a wide network of other women who are going through the same balancing act of family life, children, and a full-time business that can overtake everything!”

Chambless Kalka

Cake For Dinner

“I joined TSC to meet other creatives, small business owners, and brand owners that I can learn from and connect with. I’m exploring the world of licensing this year and am excited to collaborate with brands who want to use my artwork on their products and packaging. My favorite thing about being in TSC is the sense of community and the genuine support from all of the members. One of the best perks about being a member is access to the resources and discussions that are invaluable to any small business owner.”

Stephanie Troxler

Little Blue Designs

“I joined TSC Membership to connect and collaborate with other creative and smart business owners. I love that TSC is a supportive community that genuinely wants to help other business owners in their growth, success and struggles. I truly believe there is not a problem this group can’t solve!”

Lindsey Catone

What Lindsey Loves

“I joined to meet other motivated women entrepreneurs. I love the energy the group provides. Everyone is just passionately trying to succeed, which is exhilarating to be apart of.”

Adair Viella

La Pausa Consulting

“I have loved The Southern C community since I started my career here in Charleston. I remember going to one of their very first Summits and feeling so energized by the powerful, confident, and helpful women in the room (not to mention the style inspiration… I mean, wow!). I joined The Southern C to continue to build my network of strong and supportive talents.”

 Tarah Boyleston

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

“You simply can’t grow a business organically these days without a community and this membership is one of the best. It’s laid back, fun, and full of surprises. You never know who you will meet next or who will connect you to the person who opens the next door for your business.”

Anna Garcia

Varnish Collection