Photo by Kelli Boyd
Cheri Leavy and Whitney Long are co-founders of The Southern Coterie -- a resource for the entrepreneurial South, designed to offer a community of passionate female business owners, makers and doers the opportunity to #connectcollaboratecreate both online and in person through a monthly membership and tailored in person events.
Their annual Southern C Summit starts today in St. Simons Island, Georgia and we’re thrilled to be joining them for the first time ever at the Sip + Shop event – come say hi if you will be in town!
Cheri and Whitney were kind enough to take a moment to chat with us as (in their Ali Swing Dresses!) we kick off our new “Lenora Loves” series! This monthly series will highlight some of our favorite tastemakers around the country – we can’t wait to share more!
Keep reading to find out more about The Southern C Summit and what Cheri and Whitney are loving at the moment!
What are you most looking forward to about this year's Southern C Summit?
I am looking forward to everything about this year’s event! We have an incredible group of attendees, sponsors and presenters in 2022. I cannot wait to see the collaborations and ideas that are sparked during our time together on beautiful Sea Island. I know we will all grow personally and professionally. It’s my new year’s reboot especially after the blur that has been January 2022. I am ready!WHITNEY LONG:
The amazing line-up!! We have a wonderful variety of strong presenters and topics that are so well tailored to our demographic. Also very excited about the great brands we have partnered with this year for the Swag Market and Sip Shop event - many familiar names that have participated before but also many new ones that attendees will also love!
Why was the "Ali Swing Dress" your Lenora Loves pick?
I love a shirt dress and think this one with a little swing to it is girly and fun!
I am all about a dress!! It’s so easy and comfy for life on the Georgia coast!
If you were going to gift someone an item from Lenora, what would it be and why?
I recently received a personalized travel jewelry bag and I adore it! Such a special gift to inspire travel and donning your favorite accessories while gallivanting around.
The Clover Ruffle Robe is such a great gift for a mom, sister, girlfriend’s birthday, new mom - love the design and cute pattern.
Majolica Image via One Kings Lane
Lenora is all about bringing a moment of luxury to your day to day life – how do you find ways to bring beauty or little luxuries to your life on a daily basis?
I always have fresh flowers around my home. They bring me such joy! A pop of fun color and taking the time to make arrangements and use my majolica containers is certainly bringing beauty to my life.
In a perfect world, I would end each day with a hot bath and some reading time BUT that is usually not the case being busy between home life and work life. So, when it does happen, that little bit of me time, it really does feel restorative.
Any favorite books that you're reading or shows that you're binging at the moment?
I read a lot of historical fiction. I am in a book club with friends and we are reading The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. Set in the 1950s, this storyline is a ten-day journey of four boys to California. They are in pursuit of the American dream of a better future and the story is filled with twists and turns and incredible characters that each have a voice in the story. We loved both Towles' novels A Gentleman in Moscow (a story of a Russian aristocrat trapped in Moscow during the 1930s) and Rules of Civility (a story of a secretary navigating New York society during the 1930s).
I am starting a Bible study where we will delve into Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer over seven sessions. I just read Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes for The Southern C Member Bookclub with Badass Women’s Bookclub’s Gina Warner leading us. It is incredible about tackling fears and also made me think about saying yes to saying no to make more time for being present and making space to experience what you say yes to more deeply.
I have been on a local history kick and reading the Eugenia Price trilogy - finally! I have lived on St. Simons Island for 29 years and finally getting around to it and really enjoying them. I am also reading The Wanderer: The Last American Slave Ship and the Conspiracy that Set Its Sails. This came about after reading Surviving Savannah (about the luxury steamship Pulaski disaster which is known as the Titanic of the South) and listening to the accompanying podcast. I could not believe I had not heard of this before!
As far as binge watching, I am into Curb Your Enthusiasm - the funniest, oddest, driest observational humor from Larry David. My husband has been telling me for years that I should watch it and while it took me a couple of episodes to get into it (Larry is not the most likable guy) I now love it!