Name: Whitney Wise Long
Family: Husband, Victor; three sons, Bentley, 22, John Wise, 18, and Ellis, 17; and one daughter, Mary Whitney, 15.
Years in the Golden Isles: 28 years. I worked here a couple of summers as a nanny during which time I met my now husband. Post-graduation, I did a stint working in Atlanta, then I came back in 1993 and have been here since!
School: Auburn University
Occupation: Co-Founder, The Southern Coterie + editorial freelance, content creator and stylist for the magazine industry.
Describe a perfect Saturday for you in the Golden Isles: Begin the day with my husband on either a beach walk or bike ride. Then, if he is not working with his real estate clients as he is most weekends, I take him hostage for the rest of the day for a casual lunch at one of our favorites such as Fiddlers, Brogen’s South, Barrier Island Brewing or Southern Soul BBQ. That would be followed by some afternoon time on the beach with a good book or some magazines, then a late afternoon boat ride to Darien to dock at Skipper’s for dinner while heading home just in time to catch a beautiful Golden Isles sunset. If I can get any combination of our busy kids in on the day or evening’s activities, it’s even more perfect!
A local you admire: We are blessed to live in a very giving and charitable community and so many nonprofits are near and dear to my heart because of the work they are doing locally and beyond. And for that reason, I admire the leaders and team members at FaithWorks, The Gathering Place, Safe Harbor, Hospice of the Golden Isles, House of Hope, Adoption-Share, The Firebox Initiative, Communities in School of Glynn. I really could go on and on – seriously so many folks doing good work serving as the hands and feet of Christ. Personally, I admire my husband Victor. He is a wonderful, present and supportive dad to our four kiddos plus he’s a really great husband and best friend to me. He is generous with his time, resources and talents when it comes to family, friends, his clients and our community, and I admire the way he handles, and balances, all his roles.
Tell us a bit about the mission and goals of The Southern Coterie: At our decade mark, we revisited our mission statement and I think it really encapsulates who we are … “We #connectcollaboratecreate to #educateandempower female entrepreneurs in the South and beyond by fostering a welcoming community anchored in hospitality and by creating a supportive network of experts and entrepreneurs.” Hospitality and support are something we hold dear and we really look at every offering through that lens.
This month marks the 10-year anniversary of The Southern Coterie. What accomplishments are you most excited to celebrate? The ways that we have been able to help small businesses and creative entrepreneurs grow since our inception back in 2013! We have had a front row seat to seeing our community grow and thrive – even through the most difficult of times. It was inspiring to see how our members and event alums came together to help one another through the ups and downs of the pandemic. We literally saw smart collaborations thrown together overnight based on one of our Zoom calls! We’ll be celebrating not only our success but all of our members’ success at this 10-year anniversary mark.
How does one participate in the Southern Coterie? The Southern C has several ways that we connect with our community of entrepreneurs. With our monthly membership, we offer weekly calls with access to experts, industry leaders and peer to peer mentoring via zoom. Our events range from our hallmark #TSCSUMMIT that we host yearly (will be back at Sea Island Feb, 2 – 4, 2022 YAY!) to smaller tailored workshops, retreats and member meet-ups.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your role as co-founder? TSC has been incredibly rewarding on both a personal and professional level. Professionally, seeing how many lives and businesses have been impacted by our TSC community and continuing education events still blows me away! What started as a little idea to support the female entrepreneur has grown into this thriving, vibrant, supportive community that has tentacles across the country. Personally, I have grown as an entrepreneur and businesswoman right alongside The Southern C – it has been a fun and interesting ride. And, being a working mom has shown me that while it’s not always easy, it’s worth it. It’s good for me and good for my children to see me working and the satisfaction it brings. I found I can wear multiple hats and find joy in each.