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Why I Have Attended Every Southern C Summit

Oct 4 2016

by Jamie Darling

The Southern Coterie: "Why I Have Attended Every Southern C Summit" by Jamie Darling of Darling's Fine Things in Newport, Arkansas
pictured: Jill McKenzie (L) and author Jamie Darling (R) in steve mckenzies Atlanta showroom. (photo: Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C and Waiting on Martha)

While thumbing through Southern Living in the summer of 2013, something caught my eye.  A spread about a collaboration of Southern stylist, entrepreneurs and creative types.  This was exactly what I’d been looking for to fill a niche in my professional life.  I took a chance and booked myself for The Southern C Summit in Nashville.

When the time came, I made the four-hour jaunt over to the Music City making my mind up on the way that I would engage in and with everything and everyone I encountered during this adventure.  So many creative people, so different, and so incredible, were concentrated into this one place and it was amazing! I was hooked and I have attended every Southern Coterie function since.

Every time I attend a Southern C function I am totally wowed and blown away by the other attendees.  I love hearing their stories and getting to know each of them. Without question, I am a better individual both personally and professionally because of my Southern C network. I have made lasting friendships among this spectacular corp. It’s so refreshing to be in a high-caliber group that lives by the idea of women helping one other because there is room for everyone’s success. The number of men is increasing with each session, and they are just as incredibly interesting as their female counterparts.

[bctt tweet=”It’s so refreshing to be in a high-caliber group that believes there is room for everyone’s success.” via=”no”]

During that first Nashville Summit, I met the wonderful Jill McKenzie, wife and partner of Steve McKenzie of Atlanta. This designing duo never stops creating and inspiring me and all those around them. I have maintained a friendship that I have enjoyed so much. Visits and market, texts, emails, and again at future TSC events, these two are the crème de la crème of genuineness and the epitome of the caliber of folks you’ll find in this group.

My next Southern C experience introduced me to Amy Mills, BBQ heiress, author and brand maven of 17th Street BBQ fame. Amy has been a constant source of encouragement, enlightenment and friendship since our meeting. So many wonderfully creative ladies that I now call friends have enhanced my world personally, creatively, and professionally because I joined this group. Not all are in my exact industry, but that makes my learning from each of them all the sweeter.

We all experience doubts about self, business, technique and just keeping life together and in between the lines. All of these are normal rites of passage. Each time I attend a Summit, I am reminded and reassured that I am not alone in these thoughts. While I certainly don’t have all the answers or all of the pieces to the puzzle, it’s a nice reminder I receive from my fellow TSC alums that this is a process, a growing and evolving process, that we must continue onward and help each other by sharing, collaborating, creating and connecting together. Our world and business changes so fast, requiring us to keep up. We all miss a step or two from time to time, but that’s the beauty of this group–to help each other keep up and conquer in branding, marketing, and every aspect of business that many overlook.

[bctt tweet=”We all experience self doubt, but each time I attend a Summit I am reassured that I’m not alone in these thoughts.” via=”no”]

Each time we meet, the world has changed so much with technology and evolving business trends. My mind is a complete sponge to learn from the presenters and alums all that’s possible and all the updates since our last meeting. When I leave each Summit, I am completely exhilarated and can’t wait to go home and implement all I’ve learned. With the busyness of work and still trying to make a living, sometimes it is easy for your focus from the last Summit to become a little hazy. Everything is so intense, we need an interim meeting between each Summit to stay on track and keep the focus!

Cheri, Whitney and their amazing staff do and unbelievable job of bringing the most impressive and informative presenters to this group. There’s absolutely no way I could gather such an audience for myself or a group of my friends to lead and inspire us to grow beyond our creative and ordinary limits as influencers, entrepreneurs, thinkers and doers. Knowing that I have had (or even still) have access to them is so incredible! Style experts, magazine editors, entrepreneurs, event planners, photographers, and more and all the best in their respective fields now share this kinship of creativity with you. How amazing it is to be among many smart and savvy folks who only want to work on bettering themselves, their business, and their brand?! Simply incredible. Describing this experience in precise words is difficult. It must be lived to be understood.

[bctt tweet=”I am a better individual both personally and professionally because of my Southern C network.” via=”no”]

3 COMMENTS

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3 responses on “Why I Have Attended Every Southern C Summit

  1. Amy Mills

    So thoughtful and on target, Jamie! My sentiments exactly. I treasure your friendship!

    I attend a lot of seminars and The S-C notes are the only ones to which I continually refer. So looking forward to February 2017 in Sea Island. I’m ready for a huge dose of inspiration!

  2. Rebecca Reynolds

    I love it when someone writes exactly how you feel. Thank you Jamie Darling. It was a pleasure meeting you and getting to know you last year in Charleston. I’ve attended many blog conferences but Cheri and Whitney have created something much bigger, more valuable and with a different type of connectivity that I haven’t found at other summits or conferences. As a designer from New England, I have attended the last two summits, gathered with old friends and met many new ones and have recommended it to many who now attend. In addition to the connectivity to other like minded creative smart passionate woman (and men ….. yes Jeffrey Johnson I got you hooked didn’t I , I’d be remiss not to mention that while a byproduct of the summit, I truly believe it’s the genuine Southern hospitality literally dished out by Cheri and Whitney m, their devoted husbands and all those who work to make this summit the epitome of the go to event for creatives anywhere, not just the south.

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