Southern born and raised, it was a mutual love and passion for the rich culture and unique characters that call the South home that brought Whitney Long and Cheri Leavy together to create “the virtual front porch of the South.” With The Southern Coterie, Whitney and Cheri hatched a plan to create an online space about the people, places and things that inspire them. From country music to comfort food, fashion to football, they quickly realized a common denominator among their interests—the South. Recognizing the need for a platform where southern voices could be heard and creatives could connect, the social network of the South was born. Whether searching for the hottest restaurant opening, finding the perfect spot for a seaside wedding, or sharing grandma’s famous pimento cheese recipe, The Southern Coterie is the virtual version of a traditional front porch—a gathering place to learn, share and communicate. 

Whitney and Cheri shop Taigan for great summer & southern finds.

Whitney’s Picks
In our house, summer is the BEST time of the year! With four children, the school year is a time of structure, schedules, homework, tests and activities. Once the bell has rung on last day, routine and rules that apply during the school year are put aside (for the most part) and we officially kick off summer. We hide the datebook, put away the backpacks, play all day, go to sleep late and wake up late… fun!

Poolside or beachside is where you will most often find my active bunch. We are blessed to live at the beach so it becomes our playground during the long, glorious days of summer. The saddest part is how fast summer flies by!

Turkish-T Beach Towels
Pretty and practical for the pool or beach.

Classic ribbon belts are a Southern summer staple.

Beach Poncho
Look chic and be comfy while lounging poolside.

A mom of four needs a Beach Tote, not a beach bag.

For the beach bag, read Julia Reed’s Book while sipping sangria.

 Turquoise and Gold Cuff against tan skin – great combo and accessory that works with summer wardrobes!

 Stylish Shades
Great shape for protection from the sun in a fun color for summer.

Crisp Gingham Shirt for the hubby. Perfect for the 4th of July or a backyard BBQ.

Boys Polos in Summer Colors
For the above mentioned hubby’s three sons, color coordinate them all for a great photo op (I see Christmas card potential!)

Nine Holes Anywhere
Backyard fun for the long summer days.

Bonfires at the beach or lakeside.

Let their imaginations run wild in the summer with this Teepee. Great for an afternoon game or reading and rest.

When it’s too hot to go outside, and you know what I mean if you live in the deep South, bring summer inside with these fun Silk Ikat Pillows in vibrant colors.

For long, lazy weekends start the day with a Bloody Mary.

Fun napkin for a sunset cocktail.

Hot, Southern summer… a sweet way to cool off.

Cheri’s Picks
Cheri thought it would be fun to curate a collection of her favorite Southern finds from Taigan shops. Most of the items were made in the South and a few were found in hip Southern shops. In her typical “people person” way, she spotlights some of the personalities behind the brands she selected.


I always tell my Thomasville friends Margaret and Putt Weatherbee, the purveyors of Schermer Pecans, that the ultimate dessert is a glass of red wine and two of their chocolate covered pecans, ok maybe three.

I recently attended the oh-so-fabulous Thomasville Antiques Show and one day for lunch I enjoyed the Taste of Thomasville Cheese Platter (Thomasville Tomme, Asher Blue and Green Hill) with Blackberry Patch strawberry fig preserves, pecans, honey and a glass of a spicy Syrah. My kind of lunch plus the pimento cheese is to die for!

I enjoyed meeting Molly at The Southern C Summit in Nashville. Her designs are very chic especially this piece, The Love Knot Chain Necklace, that can be worn numerous ways.


I have admired Anne-Marie Varnell’s ability to vet the latest trends and find the up and coming designers for her shop, Cicada.   Hotty Toddy, have you ever seen an Ole Miss Rebel Belle that wasn’t well dressed? She knows how to wardrobe and keeps me happy with Great Blazers and the latest Rag & Bone bootie.

This Old Try tee is too much fun, “To Dixie with Love.” Old Try has a great story. The husband and wife artisans have created a company based on creating items that connect us to home, the South.

I love my “Cheri and Vance Leavy” Notepad from Lettered Olive and I leave it out on a desk in a hallway. My husband is scared to use it because he knows it is special and suspects it is part of the desk decor. Use it- I can get another!

I love the small version Cocktail Ham Biscuits from Callie’s Charleston Biscuits. I have called Carrie and her team in a panic to ship me a few dozen the week of a cocktail party so I can have some last minute ease and still appear homemade. People gobble this Southern party staple up!

These Peter Nappi Carina Booties in camel are perfect to transition into spring! I love the craftsmanship of any leathergood from Peter Nappi.

I adore this Palm Beachy Lacquer Bar Cart from my favorite bon vivant Jonathan Savage’s shop. Let’s take it poolside for a party and serve Southern Living Honeysuckle Watermelon Cocktails from it this spring. 

I either use a beautiful linen cocktail napkin or a a paper one with a funny on it. This is the best of both worlds with these hand Embroidered Linen Cocktail Napkins with whimsical images and jokes. LOVE!

Eighth generation from the Golden Isles of Georgia, I proudly use shells in my decor. I love this authentic Mussel Shell Lamp – so chic.

What’s not to love about Jules Reid? She is a southern belle that creates a fun bohemian line for us beach bound gals and she gives 10% of all her profits to single mother charities through JR GIVES. This could be my go to Cover Up this spring and summer.

Gena just gave me a copy of her Latest Cookbook and we have enjoyed several recipes already such as the Pecan Horseradish Stuffed Trout and the Hearts of Palm Salad. Her recipes are always successful and she has such a good updated spin on traditional Southern cuisine.

Leave a Reply