Posted by Fernando Montesinos on

Jane and I just returned from The Southern C Summit in Charleston, South Carolina! It was an inspiring 3 days of learning, networking and exploring beautiful Charleston. (My only regret is not digging my toes into the sand at Folly Beach.) We stayed right off King Street in a friend's carriage house. On our walk to the Summit we stopped by Bull Street Gourmet for yummy Lattés and breakfast treats to keep our energy up. We passed so many cute shops and restaurants, while we couln't browse them all, the ones we did stop by were so fantastic! The houses are so beautiful and all of the window boxes were in full bloom!

Stray Dog Designs was one of the sponsors of Summit and our colorful lighting was seen in both tents where we all gathered to drink, snack and talk. The Vine Garden Market did the tent design and it looked fabulous!

The first day we attended talks by the editors of Southern Living, Real Simple and followed by an informative session with Eddie Ross about photography and styling. The day ended with cocktails (made with Cathead Vodka) and conversation under the twinkling lights of the Serena Chandeliers, Adelaide and Virginia Pendants in the courtyard of the  beautiful William Aiken House. Jane and I ubered down to Chez Nous for a romantic dinner of Grouper, Rosé and finished off with a Buttermilk Panna Cotta.

Our second day was an intense day learning about Social Media from Waiting on Martha, brand collaborations from ShopBuru and Hatch Collection, and scaling your business from Charish and Taylor Burke Home. We snuck away for lunch at Verde, a salad and juice shop. They have 4 locations in Charleston and fingers crossed they will start expanding to other states soon!

We made a pilgrimage to Cannonborough and Elliotborough to check out Open Door Shop, owned and operated by Sewanee friend, Marion Blount and her partner Leslie Chapman. Their store started as an online wedding and gift registry and now they have a cute little store where one can view their wares and pick up a little gift. Harrison Blackford, another Sewanee grad, has her painting studio in the back! We also stopped by Proud Mary Global Textiles and oggled her pillows, textiles and clothing. The owner, Harper Poe, works with artisans in Mexico, Mali, Lesotho, Peru and Morocco to create her line of "ethnic chic" fashion and home decor. It was lovely to meet her and talk shop. 

On our final night we ate at Xaio Bao Biscuit, an asian soul food restaurant in an old filling station. The food is great and the service was impeccible. We felt very hip and trendy and happy to end our stay on such a high note! We had a delightful time visiting Charleston and we learned so much at the Southern C. We met lots of new friends and ran into old friends Maggie from Leland Gal, Rhett from Croghan's Jewlery Box and Ginny from Catstudio! We can't wait to apply all the new things we learned and see what collaborations come from our new friendships!


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