It's been a whirlwind of a summer. I'm finally getting situated at our new house in Bloomington, Indiana. Boxes and suitcases are still overflowing but had to take a brake and reflect on The Southern C Summit in Athens. Kickoff Cocktail: Epting Events did a wonderful job hosting presenters and sponsors the night before. It was a fun way for everyone to meet and enjoy fabulous Southern food, cocktails, and splendid company.
While studying historic preservation at the University of Georgia, we often heard about Mr. Epting and his love affair with old buildings. It was so much fun to meet him in person finally and see some of the historic houses he has saved by moving them to The Hill.
It's hard to go home early in Athens, but I knew my 6am wake up call the next day was not going to be easy...
Summit Day: It was an awesome day filled with inspiring sessions, thoughtful conversation, and tasty food from some of the best Athens restaurants. And yes lots and lots of tweeting.
Shameeka Ayers of The Broke Socialite started things off with a bang. I was so excited to see her speak and she did not disappoint. Her session explored ideas of branding through the infamous Kardashian family- so smart and entertaining. Can't stop listening to that Robin Thicke song either.
All of the speakers had common threads speaking to authenticity, self confidence, and enjoying your work. My takeaways: Be yourself; be your brand. Be your own junkyard dog..or hire one. Love what you do and you won't have to "work" a day in your life.
Like any good Southern event, fabulous food was a centerpiece. I ate myself silly. But really how could I not with Epting Events serving up yummy Goo Goo Cluster desserts and restaurants like 5&10, The National, The Branded Butcher, Paulie's, Hip Pops there representing Athens, Georgia.
One of the highlights for me was seeing the ladies from Beauty Everyday in action. I've been a huge fan of Rebecca Wood for a while and a reader of their blog for about a year. Not a traditional learning session by any means, the three artists moved props, set a tablescape, and started shooting without really even speaking. Wood, Rhinne Allen, and Kristen Bach have been working together for years and it shows. They talked about their experiences living in Athens, their thought process behind photo shoots, and their gorgeous new book entitled Beauty Everyday. They invited everyone to walk around the set to see what they were working on; I immediately jumped up there.
That evening we headed over to one of my favorite spots downtown- The Georgia Theatre for Cocktails and Conversation. Southern Living's Hunter Lewis moderated our panel of experts including Peter Dale of The National, Whitney Otawka of Farm 255, and Greg Best of Holeman and Finch. The party was a great success with delicious appetizers, seasonal cocktails, and thorough discussion about Southern identity, food, and drink.
I had a blast hanging out with some of my old grad school friends, connections made at TSC Summit on Jekyll, and meeting online friends in person (I finally met Angie Tillman from Phickles Pickles)! My sweet husband hears about The Southern C all the time so I was so glad he could come to the event and see what its all about.
Can't wait 'til Nashville! For TSC Summit Nashville schedule and ticket info click here.