THE SOUTHERN C(ity) GUIDE 2 the Golden Isles with Whitney Long

Oct 6 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. We are calling this “The Southern C(ity) Guide”, which will be promoted across three TSC platforms–Instagram, Pinterest, and here on our website.

Our first Southern C(ity) Guide was brought to you by me – The Southern Coterie co-founder, Cheri Leavy – and I spotlighted the two spots I reside in the Golden Isles and Athens, Georgia.

This week The Southern Coterie’s other co-founder Whitney Long will share her favorite spots in the Golden Isles.

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Describe your brand/business and how it got started:

The Southern C grew from a shared interest with my friend, Cheri, for our love of all things Southern. What started out as a blog to talk about, share and promote the people, places and things of this region, quickly grew into a social network where others could join in the conversation.

After being dubbed “The South’s Must Visit Virtual Front Porch” by Southern Living, we knew we were onto something! We knew community and conversation is at the heart of every Southerner so we continued in this direction and furthered our reach by adding a team of contributors (the C-Team). With posts from these talented writers appearing weekly in our newsletter, we were able to hear different voices other than just Cheri and myself and our loyal following grew. During this time, we heard over and over again how our “members” wanted to meet in real life, not just virtually. Thus, our event arm, The Southern C Summit was born.

Now three years and seven Summits later, we find ourselves being a voice for the Southern creative and entrepreneur where we offer a mix of lifestyle and business content.

As our manifesto states: The Southern Coterie is an online resource for the entrepreneurial South. Designed to offer a community of passionate business owners the opportunity to connect, collaborate and create, the “Southern C” is capturing the South’s entrepreneurial renaissance one post at a time. The Southern C Summit brings the online content to life with a unique multi-day conference where attendees network and connect in person with the best and brightest names in Southern business and branding.



The creative entrepreneurial community in which I have found myself immersed. I am inspired by the many talented and creative people I meet online and at The Southern C Summits.  It’s so cool to see many in our Coterie literally taking off!  We often times get to know them on the ground floor (online by featuring them or in person at the Summits) and just as the seed is just being planted with their brand.  Then before you know it, that work is paying off with mentions in national magazines and blogs and as they top the lists of illustrious maker awards put together by names like Oprah, Martha Stewart, Garden & Gun, and Southern Living, to name a few.  We feel like proud parents, or better yet a proud older sister.


#1 skill needed to be an entrepreneur:



Role model:

My husband. He is truly an entrepreneur. Once you choose this path, it’s not all straight routes and easy travels. There are sharp curves, holes in the road, peaks and valleys but he handles it all so well and helps me do the same.


Favorite social media:

Instagram – it’s the time sucker of all time suckers!


Most used emoji:

I am a multi-emoji person. Funny thing I was late to the game on using them and now, I am making up for lost time. What I am partial to now: the dancing lady, praying hands, smoochie face and thumbs up – usually all at the same time to celebrate or show thanks for something good or exciting.


Favorite quote:

“There, but for the grace of God, go I”.  I heard this countless times growing up.  As I have gotten older, I truly appreciate what it means.


Biggest risk that paid off:

Jumping in and hosting three events our first year in – we managed to pull it off with the help of some amazing spouses, sponsors and a solid team on our side.  It takes a village and we are blessed with a good one.


Interesting tidbit about you or your business:

I am a mom of four and my work day is abbreviated as I try (sometimes not so successfully) to “turn it off” and tune in to them once school is out. I’m on their clock then.


Theme song:

No way I can answer this one – I am a music junkie so this is too tough.


Favorite book or author:

Always Rick Bragg – his writings bring me to tears every time. And he just released a new book… oh, happy day!



Reading, bike rides, beach walks,  travel (family vacations).


Favorite charity:

Locally, Faithworks. Started by a former pastor at our church, he is doing great things in our community. A humble servant, Wright Culpepper is the hands and feet of Christ in our community.  Globally, Compassion International. Our family sponsors two children in Burkina Faso. We are privileged to do so and it directs me back to my favorite quote mentioned earlier – “There, but for the grace of God, go I”.


Favorite session at the Summit:

Can I say every single one? Seriously, each presenter has been so well-prepared and I find myself furiously taking notes. We ask that they come with several key doable takeaways and tips for the attendees and funny thing is Cheri and I get so much out of the sessions, too!


What you love most about your town:

I am from a small town in South Alabama (Elba) and I find many similarities living here. The size allows for a close community feel: people looking out for one another, a compassionate and generous population, a church family you consider your own. Drop all of these attributes into this gorgeous landscape and it’s a pretty special place to call home.


The Southern C(ity) Guides:

Cheri Leavy in the Golden Isles and Athens, GA





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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