Back down South... I like the Midwest but there's nowhere like the South. To kick off my sabbatical, I spent 4 days in the "Holy City" with some of my favorite people. It was just what I needed to get re-inspired and excited about writing and social media. I hit the ground running (literally) to the American Theater on Wednesday morning to help set up with the rest of the summit team. As usual rain followed us to Charleston, but if you've ever attended a previous summit, you know that rain can't get us down!
We kicked off the day with Amy Smilovic of Tibi. Smilovic is a St. Simons Island native, UGA grad, and an inspiration to many. She held her own on the stage giving us many takeaways given her impressive rise to fashion fame and relatable story. She preached about having confidence and staying the course, "Build something great. Believe in it. Do not waver," she said; it starts with passion."
The words of wisdom and useful tips continued over the next few days from biz superstars, bloggers, and editors like Tara Geurard, MaryAnn Bekkedahl of Keep, Christopher Lester of Emma Email, Libbie Summers, Katie Armour of The Neotraditionalist and Matchbook Mag, Erin Shaw Street of Southern Living, Hanna Seabrook of Gadabout, Chassity Evans of Look Linger Love, and Jamie Meares of Furbish Studio.
A few more takeaways...
Another from Amy Smilovic: "Think big on goals and small on execution - focus + simplicity."
Jamie Meares: "Pimp it out like the rent is due." "You gotta have swagger like Kanye West. I have no idea what he's selling but I believe him."
Christopher Lester: "Your brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Images are KEY!"
Katie Armour: "If you do good work they will find you."
Chassity Evans: "Don't be afraid to seek out the people you want to work with. The worst they can say is no."
No summit is complete without incredible food, networking, and parties; Charleston was no exception. Throughout the conference we sampled goodies from around the south, traded tips with small business owners and bloggers, and had a great time. My favorite event this year was our farewell brunch at Le Creuset Atelier overlooking the Ashley River. It the perfect ending to a busy but fun few days in the Lowcountry. It also gave the summit team a little time to relax with the attendees. Don't get me wrong, I was still tweeting and instagramming like a mad woman but I had time to munch on a BBQ sundae (yep- sundae) and craft a flower necklace with the Beauty Everyday gals.
"It starts with passion." Amy said this during her session on the first day and it strongly resonated with me. At the Summits we come together because of our passions- passion for the South, small business, and connecting with each other. I'm so proud to be a part of this group of creative people and I can't wait until the next one!
To relive the fun in Charleston or see what the summits are all about- check out instagram or twitter and search #tscsummit.