The Event that Changed Me
Posted on February 10 2019
Last week I attended The Southernc Summit at The Cloister on Sea Island. Those of you that know me well know that I would rather have needles stuck in my eyes than be involved with a large group of anything! When I joined the Junior League, I lasted through one meeting and promptly resigned. When my kids were in school- I never went on a field trip, the PTA- that was a no too. I have always been happy to do my part- but only as a committee of ONE!
I LOVE being with a few people at a time, but large groups seem to overwhelm me. After college, I quit going to concerts, and not long after that even football games- and I LOVE Alabama football, but prefer the seat in my house. Maybe it is because I am a little claustrophobic, not sure, but I know I have spent most of my life avoiding large groups of people. (Unless of course it is a big party and lots of alcohol is involved- then I am GOOD!)
So when my sister, Mary Clayton Carl Jones insisted that I MUST go to this event, an event with THREE HUNDRED women, I found a million excuses why I couldn't, wouldn't or shouldn't. She did not relent. She told me it would be great for me, she told me I would meet amazing people, learn a ton of things that would help my business.
Then my friend Mary Beth Greene, who I have known for years, back when we were both doing other things, and had also attended and was pretty adamant that I go too.
Mary Clayton finally convinced me. At the time I signed up she was not sure whether she was going to be able to go or not because of work. I would not have been nearly as anxious if I had known she was going with me from the start, but I had a couple of months to be petrified about the whole thing before she signed up. Even after knowing she would be with me, I was still nervous.
Then I met these two beautiful and brilliant women when I first got there. Whitney Long and Cheri Leavy are the creators of the Southern Coterie and the Southernc Summit. I don't think I can effectively describe how "at home" or welcome they make you feel. When I met them, they were surrounded by hundreds of women, but yet, they took the time to talk to me, they hugged me like they had known me forever- I really love hugs! They made me feel that I was the most important person at the event, which I am sure is exactly how they made everyone else feel as well.
And I am just going to throw this out there in case Brian or Phyllis ever happen to see this- PLEASE send your crew back. I LOVE having them here and most of all getting to taste all the DELICIOUS food!!
All of this was grand and wonderful but the BEST part, the VERY BEST part... was meeting so many wonderful, talented people. I have new friends, I have people I am hoping to collaborate with, I met people that live in Birmingham that I didn't know and can't wait to get together with like Paige Albright, Elizabeth Adams and Lucy Farmer (you really should click on these links to see the amazing things they do!)I have a new friend, Jayme Evans Connecticut that I LOVE, she works for a company that sells Witch Hazel- and after telling me all about it- I am getting some!
I met the most amazing, talented Bettina Benson who I am going to probably drive crazy, but I LOVE her! (and she thinks I am a badass- so how could I not!) She is beautiful inside and out and designs the most gorgeous clothes for her company Chloe Kristyn.
The summit also lets you choose a mentor. I chose Lydia Fenet and she is a remarkable woman! She works for Christie's in New York. She also has a book coming out April 9th, I have already pre-ordered mine on Amazon. You should too whether you have a business or not because let's face it- who doesn't want to be the most powerful woman in the room! Even though I haven't read it yet, I KNOW it is going to be great, because Lydia is.
I know great things are going to happen because of this conference. I know my art is going to find new avenues and who knows what else. Most of all I know I have made some new friends that I will have forever and that is worth everything....including a couple of months of angst! And YES, I will be going again next year.
And just so you know- this is not any sort of affiliate marketing stuff- I TRULY loved this conference and love every single thing or person I put a link to- but if you know me, you already know I would never recommend something I didn't love!