Our Top Five Takeaways from The Southern C Summit

You may remember we introduced the founders of The Southern Coterie in this blog post last year, after returning from presenting at the Charleston Southern C Summit. Well, we had the opportunity to attend the most recent summit, just last month at The Cloister on Sea Island… The location alone had us swooning. Add in some top notch online personalities, business owners and all around creative entrepreneurs and we knew we were in for a treat!

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The stunning solarium ceiling at The Cloister on Sea Island

The summit was absolutely jam-packed and the amount of inspiration we’re feeling = unparalleled. We were thrilled by others who are following their passion and shared a bit about their journey with us – including Gray Malin, Lizzie Fortunato, Libbie Summers, Darcy Miller and many more.

Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit
Photo Credit: Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit

Here are our top five takeaways from what was an unforgettable event:

  1. Tell your story. We all have a story. Listen to another’s story. That’s what connects us as neighbors, people, shop owners, entrepreneurs, etc.

    Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C Summit
    Photo Credit: Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C Summit
  2. “Community over competition,” says Darcy Miller (from Martha Stewart Weddings) – value your industry relationships and be open to new ones. (Watch for some new steve mckenzie’s collaborations!)

    Photo Credit: Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit
    Catching up with the founders of Dear Keaton – Photo Credit: Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit
  3. Shoppers want experiences – the smells, tastes, textures, and learning opportunities they encounter all build the greater picture of what our brand means.

    Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit
    Photo Credit: Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit
  4. Think outside the box. This may sound obvious to some of us creative types, but what’s considered “out of the box” in our industry changes often and this bears repeating.

    Photo Credit: Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C Summit
    Photo Credit: Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C Summit
  5. Follow the Golden Rule. Sounds simple, right? In our everyday hustle and bustle, the golden rule may not be top of mind. But, if we can always remember to treat others as we’d like to be treated, a positive influence we will be.
Photo Credit: Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C Summit
Photo Credit: Teresa Earnest Photography for The Southern C Summit

We’re so honored to have been a part of this fantastic summit, along with so many inspiring individuals. We cannot wait to begin putting all our takeaways to good use, so be prepared for some pretty exciting things happening in the near future for steve mckenzie’s.

Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit
Steve’s workshop “Plan B:  Reinvention” – Photo Credit: Grey Owl Social for The Southern C Summit

If you weren’t able to attend The Southern C. Summit at Sea Island, we hope our top highlights aid you in your journey. And, we highly recommend you make plans to attend the next Summit; they’re not to be missed!

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A Sensational Summit with The Southern Coterie

Steve and Jill attended and presented at The Southern Summit, hosted by the folks over at The Southern Coterie, last month in Charleston – and it was an absolute delight!

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A highlight for them was the luncheon workshop they hosted, in conjunction with Atlanta Magazine: Home editor-in-chief Betsy Riley, where they shared with guests the basics one needs to effortlessly achieve gracious living and how to tailor seasonal tablescapes without breaking the bank.

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During this workshop, Steve and Jill offered participates a list of items that should always be on hand to create a warm, memorable design for their tabletops. This way, they’d be ready to host with only a moment’s notice.

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Grocery store flowers were taken from “meh” to magnificant during the workshop, in a centerpiece makeover, which guests really seamed to enjoy.

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Four tablescapes were designed for the presentation, one for each season. The summer table setting closed out the luncheon gathering, and wase used as inspiration for the next day’s luncheon for all 325 summit attendees.

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Together, Steve and Jill designed all of the tables for the summit’s feature luncheon, which took place at the beautiful, historic William Aiken House.

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But, as you know it takes a village to achieve such stunning results and a number of vendors came together to make the luncheon space so lovely. They include, Vietri dinnerware, Dot and Army linens, Royal Crown Derby fine china, Le Jacquard Francais table linens, Sasha Nicholas dinnerware, and The Vine, who provided an array of glorious succulents for the centerpieces.

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The Southern Coterie is an impressive gathering of Southern entrepreneurs and tastemakers, and we were elated to have been in such esteemed company at The Southern Summit! Some of the other presenters were Eddie Ross, Libbie Summers, Mandy Kellog Rye, Kristy Tiglias of Southern Living, Brian Hart Hoffman of Hoffman Media, Julianne Taylor and Holly Hollingsworth Phillips. Many on this list are friends of our ours, and some have even been tastemakers here, on the blog for steve mckenzie’s – such a fantastic group!!

Steve with Mandy Rye
Steve with Mandy Rye

Mandy Rye – of Waiting on Martha fame – presented on building your brand with social media (a personal highlight for Steve and Jill), and she will be doing an intensive social media seminar here in Atlanta. It’s very limited, and one day only (June 17), so sign up ASAP if you’re interested. steve mckenzie’s will be hosting a kickoff cocktail party the evening before Mandy’s seminar, so put it on your calendar… Details forthcoming.

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If this sounds like fun, that’s because it was! And next year, you should be a part of it! Thanks to all of our friends – new and old – who we enjoyed at The Southern Summit, and thanks to The Southern Coterie for inviting us to participate in this memorable event. We left feeling energized and inspired!