The Southern C Summit 2016 Agenda

Apr 5 2016

by Cheri Leavy

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.06.44 PMIt’s hard to explain the Summit until you attend but we have to believe it is a combo of things that makes it so unique – beautiful, out-of-the box venues and city locations, speakers and sponsors that are truly engaged with attendees and are so willing to offer their knowledge and valuable takeaway.  Finally, we believe the Summit magic is largely because of the openness and transparency among attendees and presenters that takes place at each Summit. It truly is a supportive community and it is amazing to see how everyone continues to connect, collaborate and create together long after that particular Summit is over.

Whitney and I are looking forward to you joining us in Charleston at the end of the month!

Here are the elements that will make the 2016 Summit the best one yet – the agenda for Charleston, SC April 27-29.  (Agenda details subject to change)


9:00-10:30 a.m. Workshops (pre-registered)

10:30 a.m. – Noon Drop-in Welcome Brunch

Location: Mills House Planters Suite

There’s no better way to start your time in Charleston than with a proper Southern welcome! Join The Southern C and our friends Southern Proper and Southbound magazine at The Mills House hotel for a mouth-watering brunch to kick off this year’s Summit. The menu will feature Low-Country fare re-imagined by Chef Jonathan Hawks including Shrimp and Grits in Martini glasses, Mini Fried Chicken & Waffles and Maple Syrup, Sliced Seasonal Fruit & Berries, Basil Marinated Mozzarella & Tomato Skewer, Smoked Salmon Crepe with Dill Spread & Salmon Roe, and mimosas and a coffee/tea bar.

10:30 a.m. – Noon  Registration 

Location: American Theater Lobby

12:30 p.m. Summit Kickoff 

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Location: American Theater Ballroom

The Southern C Summit branding and design for 2016

Both days our idyllic setting at the historic William Aiken House and American Theater will shine even brighter through the help of an amazingly talented team of valued sponsors.  The Vine and Beachview Event Rentals are creating the vibe of the tents in the William Aiken courtyard with the help of Stray Dog Designs and others as well as the ballroom design on Thursday.  The stage stylings are a collaboration between BMA at Home and ChairishEmily McCarthy is in charge of our cocktail napkins, cups and entertaining accoutrements.  STITCH Design Co is creating our print collaterals.  Y’allsome created the design for our gifted swag bags and some tees and hats that will be for sale both days in the break tent.   steve mckenzie’s and Atlanta magazine HOME are teaming up to lead a workshop with attendees that will style the luncheon tables in the William Aiken house.  And Patrick Properties Hospitality Group is the glue that brings it all together with The Southern C Team.  It’s truly an example of our mantra #connectcollaboratecreate.

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12:45 – 3:30 p.m. Summit Sessions

Location: American Theater Ballroom

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.  Session #1 The Inside Scoop

You’ve written a compelling brand story, produced beautiful images, researched relevant editors and pressed ’send’ on your big pitch – so, why are those emails met with no response? You need the inside scoop. Join us as we hear from the editors of national lifestyle outlets, Alexandra Macon, Managing Editor of, Sarah Karnasiewicz, Digital Food Editor at Real Simple magazine, and Krissy Tigilias, Executive Editor of Southern Living magazine. They will walk you through how stories are timed and produced, and how you can pitch with precision. Introduction by Leapfrog PR owners Libba Osborne and Jackie Thomson.

1:45 – 2:30 p.m.  Session #2 The Editor’s Eye presented by Eddie Ross of Better Homes & Gardens

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Ever wonder what it takes to go from iPhone scouting shots to magazine-ready rooms? Join design editor and entertaining expert Eddie Ross (Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, HGTV) for an exciting, behind-the-scenes look into the publishing world. Learn Eddie’s tips, tricks and inside secrets for styling rooms worthy of your favorite magazines. Whether you rent or own your home, small and large alike, you’ll learn how to look with fresh eyes at what you already own to add personal style with confidence.

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.  Session #3 From Blogger to Brand

Meet the women behind four top lifestyle blogs and hear how they have strategically grown an online following, defined their personal brands, and chosen partners for features and collaborations. Chassity Evans, Look Linger Love; Grace Atwood, The Stripe; Liz Adams, Sequins & Stripes and Caroline Harper Knapp, House of Harper

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Cocktails & Conversation in William Aiken Courtyard

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Wrap up Wednesday’s sessions the Southern way with cocktails and conversations in the scenic courtyard of the historic William Aiken House. Nosh on Food for the Southern Soul’s pickled shrimp and pulled pork BBQ, GooGoo Cluster’s dessert bar, Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese and Schermer Pecans while enjoying live bluegrass music from The Bluestone Ramblers. Cathead Vodka will be mixing up craft cocktails made with Food for the Southern Soul’s cane syrup or enjoy King Bean Coffee Roasters iced coffees and Coffee Cola.  And we will be showing off #usingthesilver with Croghans and a fashion capsule from Hampden Clothing.

Stop by and have a beauty recharge in the front tent both days – visit POUT and One Love Organics in the break tents to sample beauty products and leave them with a little treat.  The Vine and Beachview Event Rentals will have a spot for you to recharge your digital gadgets.

Dinner on your own to Explore Charleston

9:30 – 11 p.m. Nightcap at Striped Pig Distillery

Join us to visit Charleston, South Carolina’s first micro-distillery for a night cap.  Striped Pig Distillery will reward your taste buds with sophisticated, handcrafted rums, truly fantastic ‘moonshine’ whiskeys and silky smooth vodka. They are doing it all with respect for traditional methods, using local farmers, distilling spirits slowly, carefully, and using heirloom grains and fruits – The Southern Way.


8:00 – 9:00 a.m.   Coffee & Conversation in the William Aiken Courtyard

Enjoy pour over coffee from King Bean Coffee Roasters and networking with other early birds.

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.   Session #1 Social Media Strategy presented by Mandy Kellogg Rye of WOM

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Location: Both rooms

Mandy Rye of Waiting on Martha shares tips and tricks to grow your audience and engagement and in turn grow your business or brand. Along with the blog and her brick & mortar and online shops, Rye is an editorial & interior stylist

10:30 – 11:15 p.m. Book Break, Small Bites and Sips

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Location: Tents William Aiken Courtyard

Join us for a “Meet the Authors” break in the courtyard of the William Aiken House with book signings by Eddie Ross, Gena Knox, Libbie Summers, Julianne Taylor, Brian Hoffman and Kim Whitman. Sip on Kingbean Coffee and enjoy Equal smoothies, Fire and Flavor deviled eggs Terra’s Kitchen keenWOW salads as you mix and mingle with other attendees.

11:15 a.m. – Noon   Session #2

Work/Life Balance: The Myths, Mistakes and Maneuvers presented by Kim Whitman

Location: Ballroom

Join Kimberly Whitman for a conversation about the myth of the work/life balance and her the stories of the mistakes she has made and maneuvers that saved her! She will share examples from her day to day “routine” and share practical tips from highly productive people that you can apply to your busy lives.

Growing and Monetizing your Online Presence presented by Womanista

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Location: Cinema

Growing and Monetizing your Online Community   Learn how the popular site Womanista ( grew from founder Cassie Kelley’s personal blog into a women’s lifestyle brand that encourages and empowers women to be their best selves. Cassie and Womanista’s GM and Executive Director, Megen DiSanto, share tips and takeaway on how Womanista transitioned from blog into a digital media platform that currently reaches millions of users per month. They will give insight into growing your community, and/or followers, as well as best practices that have proved successful for Womanista in monetizing the site.

Noon – 1:15 p.m. Luncheon

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Location: Historic William Aiken House

Chef Nico of Charleston’s renowned FISH Restaurant and Patrick Properties Hospitality Group is preparing a delicious luncheon in the historic–and highly Instagrammable–William Aiken House.  Summit attendees will stop by the courtyard tent for a Georgia Peach bellini or tea.  Tables will be styled by attendees of the “Tablescapes: Setting the Scene” workshop under the direction of Jill and Steve McKenzie of steve mcKenzie’s and Atlanta magazine’s HOME Editor-in-Chief Betsy Riley. Each place setting will feature Dot & Army linens for luncheon attendees to take home!

Head to session #3 to enjoy a sweet treat from Grey Ghost Bakery.

1:15 – 2:00 p.m. Session #3

Brand collaborations presented by the founders of Buru, HATCH, Cotton + Quill and Emily McCarthy and moderated by Holly Phillips of The English Room

Location: Ballroom

Brand collaborations create great synergies, press opportunities and creative content for burgeoning and established businesses. Join our panel of experts and they discuss their recent partnerships – from initial outreach to setting expectations and sales goals. Morgan Hutchinson of BURU and Ariane Goldman of HATCH will outline their Mother’s Day collaboration, and Mary Catherine Folmar of Cotton + Quill and Emily McCarthy will discuss their fabric and wallpaper partnership. Learn from their experiences as Holly Phillips of The English Room moderates.

Is it time? Reevaluating your Brand and Giving it Attention presented by Stitch Design Co.

Location: Cinema

Amy Pastre and Courtney Rowson are the award winning designers behind Stich Design Co. and the thriving product line Sideshow Press. Their creative vision is behind many a notable brand – from Rewined Candles and Wildsam Field Guides to Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit and Whites Mercantile. Let these masters of branding, design and product development weigh in with the tools needed to assess your brand and answer one of the most pivotal questions “is it time to redefine, reinvest and reinvent.”

2:05 – 2:50  Session #4

Target Practice – Sharpen Your Skill presented by Hoffman Media

Location: Ballroom

A leading special interest publisher, Hoffman Media is proof that success comes from defining, understanding and catering to your target market. As the publisher of eight successful titles, such as Cooking with Paula Deen, Victoria, Taste of the South, and The Cottage Journal, Brian Hart Hoffman, president and Brooke Bell, Director of Editorial Operations will walk you through the valuable steps of defining your brand’s community and successfully cultivating it.

It’s a Small World After All presented by Molly Waring of Charleston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Catherine Schenquerman of JetBlue and Katherine Frankstone of Grey Ghost Bakery

Location: Cinema

Learn how more and more large-scale businesses are tapping small business entrepreneurs to give customers a more authentic experience with representatives from Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau , Jetblue and Grey Ghost Bakery.

2:55 – 3:40 Session # 5

Scaling Your Business Panel presented by Taylor Burke and Chairish

Location: Ballroom

In the time your business grows from an individual with a great idea to a fully functioning company, you will face many challenges. How to properly scale a business is a question on the mind of every entrepreneur. Key decisions often include when and whom to hire, requirements and options for external funding and how to scale while keeping an eye on cost. Enjoy a candid conversation with Anna Brockway of Chairish and Julianne Taylor of Taylor Burke Home about their journey from the dining room table to running successful, solidified brands. Moderated by Rachel Mountis, Head of Business Development for TBH, the discussion will provide attendees with key takeaways and action items for entrepreneurs ready to take the next step in growing their own businesses.

Video Branding On a Dime presented by Libbie Summers

Location: Cinema

Award-winning producer, Libbie Summers, shares the secrets to creating compelling video on a dime. She will inspire you to tell your brand story…not sell your brand story through motion. You’ll learn tips, tricks and timelines for telling meaningful stories through imagery by adding movement and emotion. And, you’re sure to walk away empowered to shoot your first video, tell a better story through still photography or both!

3:40 – 5 p.m. Cocktails and Conversation

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Location: William Aiken Courtyard

Join us for an afternoon of cocktails and conversations and get to know some of the brands that are introducing a new side to the South. Enjoy Tree House Macarons; Mod Squad Martha’s Three best friends sauces and dips, Music City Moroccan Salmon and Emmy Lou cookies; and Chick-fil-A’s new Superfood Side created by renowned Atlanta chef Ford Fry. Sip on Cathead Vodka’s craft cocktails or King Bean Coffee Roasters iced coffees while you shop Moon and Lola’s charm bar and connect with other Summit attendees.

Dinner on your own to Explore Charleston


8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. DETOX: Poolside Yoga

Location: The Mills House Rooftop

After a couple of days of intense learning, epic networking, and food and drink galore, Friday morning is the time to re-center yourself and find your zen at the poolside yoga session on the rooftop of The Mills House with Sarah Frick, owner of Charleston Power Yoga. With picturesque views of the Holy City, picturesque views of the Holy City, a hydration station and smoothies, this is just the way to kick off your day! Coolibar will be presenting this wellness component along with some of their fabulous yoga and swim UPF 50 fashions and hats — super cute and perfect for our Southern climate and lifestyle. Namaste, y’all!

10:00 a.m. – Noon   Sea Island’s Southern Grown Brunch at Le Creuset

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Location: Le Creuset Atelier

Join us for the final networking event of The Summit as we brunch and sip bloody marys alongside one of the best views in Charleston.  You’ll be treated to a sneak peak of Southern GrownSea Island, GA’s signature culinary and music event held at the Five-Star Sea Island Resort – while you enjoy brunch in Le Creuset Atelier’s state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen and cocktails and conversation on the lawn overlooking the beautiful Ashley River.  The Charleston Blog Society will have a DIY table where attendees can make a minted design business card holder for all those cards collected.  Southern Proper will also have a little send-off goody bag for attendees.  It’s not good-bye, it’s “Stay in touch and see you next year!”


CHANTERELLE PHOTOGRAPHY from last year’s Summit


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

Leave a Comment

2 responses on “The Southern C Summit 2016 Agenda

  1. Susan Schwelke

    I an looking to grow my business through Instagram. Would you recommend this workshop for someone like myself.

    Thanks Susan Schwelke

    1. Dominique Paye

      Hi, Susan! We recommend the Summit for any creative entrepreneur looking to grow their business, whether through social media or by connecting in person with other brands, bloggers and businesses. We do have a social media panel devoted to the topics of growing your business through social media, which will be hugely informative and with the most current information. I encourage you to look at our other sessions and speakers as well and see the breadth of expertise that our speakers bring to the stage. Hope this helps and we hope to see you at The Summit!

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