Creative Conversations: The Southern C

I am ecstatic to share a conversation with my two dear friends and founders of The Southern Coterie, Cheri Leavy and Whitney Long, in celebration of 10 years of their booming empire. 

I have know these two talents since the beginning of this wild ride.  I am honored to have attended every summit with the exception of 2 smaller retreats.

The Southern C and The Southern C Summit has grown into the preeminent conference to support growth and continuing education for small business and entrepreneurs.

Enjoy getting to know the most courageous creatives and consider your purchase of a ticket to The Southern C Summit before they sell out. 

Tell us a bit about the mission and goals of The Southern Coterie: 

At our decade mark, we revisited our mission statement and I think it really encapsulates who we are…  “We #connectcollaboratecreate to #educateandempower female entrepreneurs in the South and beyond by fostering a welcoming community anchored in hospitality and by creating a supportive network of experts and entrepreneurs.”  Hospitality and support are something we hold dear and we really look at every offering through that lense.


This month marks the ten-year anniversary of The Southern Coterie, what accomplishments are you most excited to celebrate?  

The ways that we have been able to help small businesses and creative entrepreneurs grow since our inception back in 2013! We have had a front row seat to seeing our community grow and thrive – even through the most difficult of times.  It was inspiring to see how our members and event alums came together to help one another through the ups and downs of the pandemic. We literally saw smart collaborations thrown together overnight based on one of our zoom calls!  We’ll be celebrating not only our success but all of our members’ success at this 10 year anniversary mark.

How does one participate in the Southern Coterie?

The Southern C has several ways that we connect with our community of entrepreneurs. With our monthly membership, we offer weekly calls with access to experts, industry leaders and peer to peer mentoring via zoom.  Our events range from our hallmark #TSCSUMMIT that we host yearly (will be back at Sea Island Feb 2 – 4, 2022 YAY!) to smaller tailored workshops, retreats, and member meet-ups.  

What are some recommendations for enjoying Sea Island resort? 


The Beach Club is so fun and such THE social scene with friends visiting! Be sure to start the day with a Blueberry Basil Margarita and the Tuna Poke. If you are looking for a quieter day on the ocean then go to The Lodge pool and drink a Reggae Beat to set the chill vibes. The bagpiper playing there at sunset is special.


Make sure to catch the sunset and bagpipes at the Lodge! Enjoy the world class spa and treatments. Get a bike and ride up and down the drive viewing all the beautiful homes and details. 

With Sea Island in your backyard, where do you like to travel to the beach?


We love going to the Hamptons with our friends from New York. Our most recent trip was to Bridgehampton in cooler temps of September not in high season and we loved it. We have stayed in East Hampton and it was nice being so close to shopping and dining. Home base was in Montauk a few times where we enjoyed laid back beach days and wild ones too at Gurney’s or Navy Beach with a dj. We have stayed a few times in Amagansett which is low-key with an incredible farmer’s market and GOOP pop-ups but then a night scene with live music at The Stephen Talkhouse. Southampton – great shopping and dine at Tutto Il Giorno for celeb sightings. Visiting the Surf Lodge just makes you feel cool. And a day lounging around Wolffler Estate Vineyard with a live band is fun.


No place like 30A! Growing up a little over an hour away, the Florida Panhandle was like my family’s playground so I have many great memories. Since having my own family, we go every summer and make even more fun memories! Nostalgia aside, it’s hard to top the beautiful gulf water and sugar white sand, the mix of old and new beach communities, stunning architecture, yummy and innovative restaurants and bars as well as  limitless outdoor activities. 

What is your next trip?


My husband and I have published Bulldawg Illustrated, a Georgia magazine covering UGA football and fanfare, for the last 20 years and we are currently in our dream season and my next trip is to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game. I am very excited to travel the next day with friends Kelli Boyd (The Southern C photographer), Brian Hart Hoffman and Brooke Bell (of Hoffman Media) to Paris for a baking retreat.


My sweet, adventurous, travel-loving husband has planned the most amazing holiday trip for our family! We are going to Munich, Salzburg, Prague and Vienna – so much to see and do while there and he has planned it down to the last detail. Cannot wait!! 

What are you reading?


The Year of Yes for The Southern C Bookclub

and The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles for my other book club because we loved Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow.


Capote’s Women,

The Year of Yes, Are You Drowning, The Wanderer

What are your favorite blogs/ publications?


Whitney and I are both avid magazine readers. It makes our #ISPYTSCSUMMITALUMS easy to share because we are always celebrating our members and alums press firsthand. We have a very inspiring and published group of tastemakers and movers and shakers. I love your blog for The English Room for shopping advice and incredible art and interiors Q&As. 


Love all magazines – truly. I subscribe to at least 15 and read every one. Digital magazines are not the same to me – I need to hold it in my hand, turn down pages, tear out pages; etc. And I love reading your blog, the English Room! Also Design for Mankind – Erin Loechner spoke at our Summit Retreat at Watercolor, FL, several years ago and she writes thoughtfully and beautifully on her blog.


What are you binge watching?  


Currently watching Yellowstone and Succession. 


Curb Your Enthusiasm and Billions 

What is your favorite podcast?


Excited to have She Said/She Said sponsoring at the next Summit and spotlighting some of our accomplished female entrepreneurs. Laura is a great interviewer and I enjoy her series.


This American Life, She Said/She Said, The First 15, Bad on Paper 

Your favorite up and coming artist?


We have so many strong ones in The Southern C and I can’t wait for our Bubbles, Books + Brushes event with an artist market and book signing. I just followed UGA graduate, Laura Deems’, launch of a series and she sold out in hours and I missed the opportunity to purchase a piece. Her work is so good. 


Cullen Peck – she just did the most amazing, lifelike portrait of my four kiddos and I am in love with it and her style!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know these to creatives.

REMINDER: do not miss out on this opportunity to attend TSC Summit.  

It is the recharge my creative juices need each year to work smarter, collaborate more and find the joy in my endeavors. 

Ticket includes:

  • 8 Sessions with Industry Leading Professionals
  • Small Group Mentor Lunch
  • Valuable Access to Presenters and Mentors
  • Layered Networking Opportunities and Social Gatherings – Swag Market, Sip + Shop, Bubbles, Bites, Books + Brushes and more

Virtual Ticket includes:

Education and encouragement extends to the virtual attendee with access to a mix of live streaming sessions and thoughtful breakout opportunities.  A virtual retreat that echoes the vibe of our TSC Membership and our mission to #connectcollaboratecreate on our virtual front porch.

Click here to read testimonials from 2021 virtual attendees.

  • Live Streaming to the Retreat Educational Programming
  • Community Building Introductions
  • Participate in Q&A with Presenters in the Sessions
  • Small Group Mentor Sessions Online


Daily Desires: 

Shop my Holiday Gift Guides in the coming days and PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS. 

2021 Gift Guide for The Bibliophile

2021 Gift Guide for Her

2021 Gift Guide for the Host / Hostess

2021 Gift Guide for Him

2021 Gift Guide for Teens

2021 Gift Guide for The Little Ones

2021 Gift Guide for Me

2021 Gift Guide for the Home

2021 Guide to Holiday Attire

2021 Gift Guide for Holiday Decor

2021 Stocking Stuffers

2021 Gift Guide for your Furry Friends

2021 Guide to Advent Calendars

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