THE SOUTHERN C(ity) GUIDE 2 Dallas with Kim Schlegal Whitman

Dec 1 2015

by Cheri Leavy

At The Southern C, our demographics span the entire South, from large cities to small towns, each with their own unique blend of Southern culture. This mix is a large part of what makes The Southern C special.

We want to promote this mix by having members in different cities peel back the curtain on the way they conduct business in their town.

This week, we have tv host, author, lifestyle expert and editor-at-large of Southern Living magazine, Kim Schlegal Whitman for our #tsctakeover on instagram and our pinterest board.  We are thrilled Kim will be joining us at The Southern C Summit this spring in Charleston.

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman

Kim Schlegal Whitman

Describe your brand/business and how it got started: 

I’m an author, lifestyle expert, TV Contributor and Editor-at-Large for Southern Living Magazine, and most recently, the co-founder of Halo Home Linens!  That is a lot of juggling!  I wish I could say that I started with a plan and a strategy but I really didn’t!  I’ve just seized opportunities and worked really hard to keep growing.  There were certainly things that I knew I always wanted to try.  Some have worked and others haven’t!  I started out with a party rental business, RSVP.  I remember so clearly the day that I had that “a ha!” moment that Oprah always talks about!  My mother had a large collection of nice china and linens for parties and her friends often asked her if they could borrow them.  One day, she was on a step stool pulling something down from a high shelf and, as she handed it to me she said, “We should be charging for this!”  She was being sarcastic but I thought we should so I started my business renting out my mother’s things to her friends.  I grew my inventory by purchasing things as people ordered them for rental and before I knew it I was in a large warehouse with a big staff!  After  writing two books on entertaining and promoting them in the media, I realized that what I really loved was producing the photo shoots, books, videos and TV segments. I got married around that time and my husband helped me prepare to sell my business.  He called my two largest customers and one of them bought it!  That gave me time to focus on the elements of my job that I was really passionate about.  I recently released my seventh book, Monograms for the Home,  and signed a new TV deal!  I’m also hard at work on my new table linen line, Halo Home by KSW, with my partner, Jen O’Neal.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.40.23 PM

First job: 

I had an internship with Ronald Lauder, son of Estee Lauder, in New York working on his art collection when I was in the Christie’s Education Program.  I loved it!


I’m always inspired but I’ve noticed lately that most of my inspiration comes from the past.  I love reading vintage books and magazines, watching old movies and researching history.

#1 skill needed to be an entrepreneur: 

Enthusiasm and a can-do attitude!

Role model: 

My mother.  She is amazing.  She balanced being a wife and mother with running businesses and volunteering.  I think she secretly has more hours in the day than the rest of us.

Favorite social media: 

Instagram!  Obsessed!!!

Fave Insta accounts to follow: 

@southernliving, @janshowers, @michellenussbaumer,@Markdsikes, @Alexsviewpoint (Alex Papachristidis)   and, of course,  My family (my parents are super into it!) – such a fun way to keep up! @bigmommaschleg_, @bobschleg, @justinwhitman, @krystalschlegel ,@karischlegel, @kirbyschlegel, @tdkloewer

Most used emoji:

winky face and blowing a kiss!

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 1.03.40 PMFavorite quote: 

My grandfather always said “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” and that ties with Eleanor Roosevelt’s “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”  OH – and we can’t forget Reece Witherspoon’s “My rule is if it’s not moving, monogram it”  I opened my new book with that quote!  My dad said “Work Hard Be Good” every morning when he dropped us off at school.  I love it because his hopes for us for that day could really be summed up just like that!

Biggest risk that paid off: 

When I was ready to sell my party rental business, my husband called my two largest customers to see if they would be interested in buying it.  It was risky because I didn’t want them to leave for thinking I wasn’t invested in the business anymore!  It paid off because one of them bought it!

Interesting tidbit about you or your business: 

We chose our daughters name so that she would have the same monogram that I have.  Now she will have to find a husband with a W last name so she can keep it. 😉

Favorite book or author:

I love biographies – couldn’t possibly pick a favorite book – how about a favorite genre 😉


My grandmother taught me to needlepoint when my son was born so that I could make him a stocking. I find it so relaxing but I rarely have time to work on it!  It took my five years to finish his stocking, I’m still working on my daughters and she is two!  Now I have to start them for my nephews!

Favorite charity: 

North Texas Food Bank – I’m honored to sit on the board as we work to shorten the line.

Favorite session at the Summit: 

Can’t wait to find out!

(Kim is presenting in spring 2016 in Charleston.)

What you love most about your town: 

The friendly, smiley, generous people!

Describe a typical day in your town: 

No such thing!  That is what I love so much about it.  There is so much to do here and I’m grateful that my schedule calls for different things every day.

Go to weekend recipe: 

My mother’s Turkey Chili – recipe on my blog




The Southern C(ity) Guides:

Cheri Leavy of The Southern Cotherie in the Golden Isles and Athens, GA

Whitney Long of The Southern Coterie in the Golden Isles, GA

Holly Phillips of The English Room in Charlotte, NC

Kelly Shatat of Moon and Lola in Raleigh, NC

Cassie Kelley of Womanista in Nashville, TN

Molly Waring of Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Libbie Summers of A Food Inspired Life in Savannah, GA

Beth Aschenbach and Danielle Norcross of Palm Beach Lately in Palm Beach, FLA







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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