Pinch me, please! Tomorrow, the August edition of Southern Living hits stores… and in it, you may find a familiar face. I am beside myself with excitement to share that you’ll find me alongside twelve truly bright, creative, and hardworking women as the 2020 Southern Living Tastemakers!
Growing up, I distinctly remember a huge, heavy chest my mother had filled to the brim with years and years worth of Southern Living editions. There was always a new recipe she was excited to try, a destination she wanted to take us to, and a beautiful interior design tip she wanted to implement. In a way, Southern Living has been a part of our family for as long as I can remember.
Today, it’s the only magazine I am religiously subscribed to, and definitely the one magazine I read cover-to-cover. One of the many little habits and preferences I’ve adopted from my mother!
Needless to say, when I got the news that I had been invited to Birmingham to join an unbelievable group of women for the 2020 Southern Living Tastemakers convention, you can only imagine my reaction. (Jumping around in my kitchen and copious amounts of tears may have been involved.)
It was a whirlwind 24 hours of photo shoots, delicious food, and my personal favorite moment, a round-table conversation during which each woman shared her story. What a privilege to hear the backgrounds, ins and outs, successes, failures, visions, and dreams each of these Tastemakers shared. I don’t know that I have ever been so deeply honored to have been included in a room and in a discussion.
While the convention seemed to be over just as quickly as it began, I left endlessly inspired by each new friend and with a deep appreciation for what it means to be a southern woman.
I wish I had snapped more photos than I did (it truly was such a whirlwind) but here are a few I managed to squeeze into this incredible trip.
Funny story: the image on the top right is of me and a precious Gainesville follower at the Birmingham airport. I had accidentally grabbed her carry-on instead of mine, and she realized it because she saw on Instagram Stories that I was flying to Birmingham! She DM’d me about the mixup (turns out she had purchased the same pink carry-on after seeing it on Lonestar Southern) and was gracious enough to wait for me to swap bags. She was headed to her boyfriend’s formal, I was headed to the Southern Living Photoshoot… we were both relieved to have our correct outfits! Haha! This story always makes me smile.
I don’t want to give the feature completely away, but before I sign off I wanted to share a couple of photos as well as a link to each fabulous Southern Living Tastemaker.
Southern Living 2020 Tastemakers
from left to right
Shay Sweeney of Shay Moné // Gen Sohr of Pencil & Paper Co. // Cristina Lynch of Mi Golondrina // Kate Bowman of Lonestar Southern // Molly Feinning of Red Clay Hot Sauce // Mariah Walton Bencik of West London Boutique // Mary Celeste Beall of Blackberry Farm // Bettina Benson of Chloe Kristyn // Jamey Gresham and Margaret Boyce of J. Lowrey // Trishala Bhansali of Lekha // Jane Scott Hodges of Leontine Linens
Let me tell you, each of these women is a true marvel in her own way. I hope you spend a few minutes acquainting yourself with each one. You may even recognize a few, like friend and fellow Dallasite Cristina of one of my favorite brands, Mi Golondrina!
Like I mentioned above, you’ll be able to find this edition of Southern Living in-stores tomorrow. In the meantime, you’ll find the digital version here. I truly hope you enjoy it!
And to Southern Living, thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for including me, and allowing me to me share the heartbeat behind Lonestar Southern with your audience. This is a moment I will never forget!
Love from the Sunshine State,