We couldn’t have asked for a better speaker for this month’s CM Water talk. Not only is Andrew Wunderley a passionate surfer, boater, and swimmer, he’s the Executive Director of Charleston Waterkeeper, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting, promoting, and restoring the quality of Charleston’s waterways. We caught up with him to learn more about his background, why he loves all things H2O, and where he finds creative inspiration. Check out the full Q&A below. 

All images by Amaris Photo: http://amarisphoto.com/ 

What do you love most about what you do?
The easy answer is the opportunity to be on or in the water. But it’s really the water people. The folks that fish, surf, sail, paddle, volunteer, paint—whatever it is they enjoy. There are a lot of really neat and interesting people around here that love our rivers and creeks.

How did you get into your field of work?
I studied science, environmental policy, and law. Charleston Waterkeeper brings all those things together in one place. More than that, I really like to surf. The thought of loosing that to pollution or a lack of access is unbearable.

How do you start your day?
Email. Unless there’s waves. Then I surf. 

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.
The proudest moments for me are when people get inspired by our work, internalize it, and reflect it back to our community with their own voice and actions. I see that in volunteers, I see it supporters, I see it when folks show up speak at city council meetings. Their stories are always inspiring.  

Do you have a hidden talent?
Building stuff and fixing things—boats, surfboards, computers, furniture. I’d really like to learn to work on cars someday.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration?
An old Waterkeeper once told me: “If you ever get stuck for what to do, go down to river and listen. And, then go do what the river would do if it could speak.” Works every time. 

CreativeMornings events are fueled by coffee. If you’re a coffee drinker, what’s your go-to order?
Black. But, I don’t order out. It’s too expensive. Plus, the best coffee comes from the pot on my kitchen counter.

What is your favorite place in Charleston?
It depends on the wind, tide, sand, and swell.

Rapid fire:
Morning person or night owl? Morning. The earlier the better
Summer or winter? Summer
Mountains or beach? Beach
Pancakes or waffles? Egg and cheese sandwich
Fiction or non-fiction? Non-fiction

Don’t miss Andrew’s #CMWater talk on Friday, March 15th at Bay Street Biergarten! 

On any given day, you’ve probably seen a logo, menu, or label designed by Stitch Design Co. Founded in 2009 by Courtney Rowson and Amy Pastre, SDCO Partners is a multi-disciplinary studio of designers, developers and creative thinkers headquartered in historic Charleston. 

Over the past decade, Courtney, Amy and their talented team have crafted collateral for the likes of Le Creuset, FIG, Rewined Candles, and hundreds of clients around the world. Their work has received numerous awards and been featured in Domino, Monocle Magazine, and Communication Arts, to name a few. 

On February 22nd, this dynamic duo will dive into the topic of Symmetry, sharing more about their work as creative entrepreneurs. As a special sneak peek, we caught up with Courtney and Amy to learn more about their passion for design, their morning routines, and what brings them creative inspiration each day. Read the full Q&A below and mark your calendars for February 22nd! 

What do you love most about what you do? 

Courtney Rowson (CR): We love the challenge and process of finding solutions for each of our clients and projects. No two projects are the same at SDCO so it is very satisfying to help find solutions and be a part of their success. 

How did you get into your field of work? Did you always know you would become designers (and entrepreneurs!)? 

Amy Pastre (AP): I knew on some level at an early age that I wanted to have a career in the arts. This ultimately lead me to pick graphic design as my major in college. Being an entrepreneur, however, started as a necessity and has been something I have thoroughly enjoyed. 

How do you start your day? 

CR: We both start the day early, typically around 5:30 with a morning workout in order to be back home in time to get our kids ready for school. It’s important to us both to protect that time with our family, as well as making times for ourselves before we start the workday.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment. 

AP: In May, SDCO will turn 10. We are extremely proud of the work we’ve created over the past 10 years and the team we have in place. We’ve been able to grow in a way that has allowed us to evolve while still remaining true to our core company and personal values. 

Do you have a hidden talent? 

CR: Part-time therapist, mind reader, negotiator and hand model.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? 

AP: Inspiration is everywhere. We are both always looking, researching and noticing the nuances everywhere.

CreativeMornings events are fueled by coffee. If you’re a coffee drinker, what’s your go-to order? 

CR: We are both trying to avoid caffeine these days. So our go-to is a tea or Chai Latte to warm us up in the morning.

What is your favorite place in Charleston? 

CR: Being on the water.

How do you unwind or de-stress? 

AP: Staying active and making time to get outside and away from the computer.

Rapid fire: 

  1. morning person or night owl? AP: Morning  CR: Morning
  2. summer or winter? AP: Summer  CR: Summer
  3. mountains or beach?  AP: Beach  CR: Mountains
  4. pancakes or waffles? AP: Pancakes  CR: Waffles
  5. fiction or non-fiction? AP: Non-Fiction  CR: Fiction

Take a stroll around the Battery or walk through our city parks, and you’ll be surrounded by so much history, it might all start to blend together. But what if you knew the interesting quirks or epic tales of the houses on Tradd or the buildings on Broad? 

During December’s “Tradition” talk, Brittany Lavelle Tulla will lift the veil on many of these spaces. As the proprietor and lead architectural historian of BVL Historic Preservation Research, she’s helped clients like the National Park Service, Charleston County Parks, and the City of Charleston unearth centuries-old stories and preserve the rich history of our region’s built and natural spaces. Brittany also teaches in the Department of Historic Preservation and Community Planning at the College of Charleston, and leads the Charleston World Heritage Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to gaining World Heritage recognition for historic resources in Charleston. 

In 2018, Brittany was named the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “40 Under 40: People Saving Places,” a new national list honoring 40 movers and shakers under the age of 40 from a variety of backgrounds and industries who are expanding what it means to save places and tell America’s full history. 

Here, we get a sneak peek at her work, her favorite places in Charleston, and some of the wild stories she’s uncovered so far. 

What inspired your interest in historic preservation? What do you love most about what you do?

I am fascinated with the fact that these buildings are some of the only remnants left of the generations that came before us. The buildings HUMANIZE history. We make movies of these time periods all the time – old buildings are the product of those time periods we romanticize and they encapsulate the energy and passion of hundreds (if not thousands) of people over time. I love telling those stories, helping people understand the who, what, when and how of these structures so that we can USE them in the 21st century. Old buildings are usually the bloodline of our communities and I love to help keep them relevant and ALIVE.

What’s one of the craziest/coolest stories you’ve uncovered while working on a preservation project?

I was conducting an extensive house history for a client and I uncovered that President Franklin D. Roosevelt, during his presidency, often stayed at the house as a close family friend of the owners between 1933 and 1945. Not only did he stay, but I proved he made many decisions within the walls of the Legare Street home that defined the New Deal, and ultimately changed the course of American history. Charleston was such an impactful player in the development of our nation, well into the twentieth century.

I also often get clients who say “this building doesn’t look significant,“ “no one significant lived or worked here” or “nothing important happened here,” and one of my favorite things to do is to prove them wrong. I love uncovering cool stories about every day people and putting them in their context. An Irish railroad worker may not seem so significant at first, but when you tell the FULL story of that railroad worker, of his immigration to the US in the 1860s from Ireland during the Industrial Revolution, renting a single room for his family of 6, and finally saving enough money to build a home in a predominantly Irish neighborhood, and the daughter he raised within that little house he built, went on to nursing school and as a first-generation American, ultimately became the head nurse for the U.S. Army during World War II. That railroad worker, his family and that little building he built all of a sudden comes to life in a way no one had expected. And those stories are EVERYWHERE! Every building has a story.

How do you start your day? 

Cup of tea and if I’m lucky (that is, if I get up on time!) a little meditation.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment. 

I love teaching at the College of Charleston in historic preservation and some of my proudest moments come at the end of each semester. When my students enter the classroom, they often do not know what historic preservation is, but it is so cool to see how differently they look at historic architecture when we are done and how many actually go on to switch their major to historic preservation. It is a great feeling to know that we are training a whole new group of young people to go out and be the voice for these old places and spaces that matter.

I was also honored to be included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s inaugural list of “40 Under 40,” a list of 40 young preservationists around the nation making change in their communities.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? 

Being outdoors, 100%. I also get inspired by visiting small towns and seeing their Main Streets and experiencing the local economy. That is where preservation is most beneficial - at the local level, helping sustain a local economy. South Carolina’s small towns are unbelievable and whenever I visit one, I am always inspired by the creativity and passion of the local community to keep their culture alive.

Coffee fuels our morning events. If you’re a coffee drinker, what’s your go-to order?

My go-to is a coffee with a little bit of cinnamon and coconut milk!

What is your favorite place in Charleston? 

Tradd Street or Legare Street, at golden hour, on a week day, walking down the middle of the street. Just me (no tourists or carriages), the sunset and some of America’s most beautiful historic buildings.

How do you unwind or destress? 

Family time (no phone!), yoga and meditation

Rapid fire: 

  1. morning person or night owl? Night owl!
  2. summer or winter? Spring and Fall :)
  3. mountains or beach? Mountains
  4. pancakes or waffles? Pancakes
  5. fiction or non-fiction? Non-fiction! But are you surprised?

Want to learn more about Brittany’s work in historic preservation, and the incredible stories she’s uncovered? Don’t miss our “Tradition” talk on December 14th at Society Hall! 

Kate Gray’s route from her hometown of Tucson, AZ to Charleston, SC took 9.5 years and approximately 16,112 miles. Earning her international business degree from the University of Washington in 2011, Kate graduated with a clunk right into the Great Recession. Unsatisfied with her job prospects and in search of a challenge, she took a leap and moved to Santiago, Chile, where she soon landed a job at Microsoft as Customer Marketing Manager. Kate spent two years overseeing the implementation of marketing campaigns throughout Chile, but ultimately concluded that selling software was not her cup of tea.

Kate then spent two years in Los Angeles, where she worked for Sony Pictures Animation and Warner Brothers Television in hopes of becoming a screenwriter. A visit to Charleston provided a sea change for Kate, as she fell in love with the Holy City and decided to trade the Pacific for the Atlantic, and television for classical music. As the the Director of Marketing for the Charleston Symphony, Kate has finally found fulfillment in both city and profession.

In our latest Speaker Q&A, find out how she starts her day, why she loves her work at the Symphony, and her secret Leonardo daVinci-style talent that you’re sure to envy. Plus, join us on November 16th to hear her take on “Restart.” 

What do you love most about what you do? I love that I work to promote a product I wholeheartedly believe in. A world with more classical music is a better world.

You used to work in production for Sony Pictures Animation and Warner Brothers. What inspired the shift from film/TV to the symphony?

I spent two years in LA working towards a career in screenwriting, and quickly learned that Hollywood wasn’t the right fit for me. I came to Charleston to visit a friend and liked it so much I never went back to California. At that time I was unsatisfied with my work in Los Angeles, and was desperate for a job I could feel good about investing my time in. Working for the Charleston Symphony turned out to be a perfect fit.

How do you start your day? Begrudgingly.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.

When I was 24, I moved to Santiago, Chile. I didn’t have a job there, or a place to live, but I was desperate to find some direction in life, so I bought a plane ticket to the other side of the world and told myself that no matter what happened, I would never regret trying something different. Not only was it a great step professionally, but I learned that sometimes the hardest part is just taking that first step into the unknown. Moving to Chile remains the best decision I’ve ever made.  

Do you have a hidden talent? I can read and write backwards, Leonardo DiVinci style. In high school I turned in a few assignments this way, just to keep my teachers on their toes.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration?

People who wake up early to work on their creative side projects before they go to work in the mornings. I don’t know how you do it!

Coffee fuels our morning events. If you’re a coffee drinker, what’s your go-to order?

Lots of drip coffee. Preferably delivered intravenously.

What is your favorite place in Charleston?

My apartment. It’s my happy place. It’s filled with art that I’ve collected throughout my travels in Latin America, and has a nice little balcony where I sit and watch the sunset.

How do you unwind or destress? Exercise, classical music, good tv shows, and my favorite card game, Set!

Rapid fire:

  1. morning person or night owl? Night owl
  2. summer or winter? Winter, because it’s an introspective season. And also because I love winter clothes.
  3. mountains or beach? Cities?
  4. pancakes or waffles? I’ll go with waffles because they’re Leslie Knope’s favorite.
  5. fiction or non-fiction? Fiction

Charleston resident Christian Senger is the man behind Holy City Sinner, the most popular local blog in Charleston. For the last five years, the residents of the city have voted the website and its Twitter feed as the best in Charleston.

Created in August 2011, Holy City Sinner celebrates the many sides of the historic and lively city of Charleston. From local news aggregation, helpful resources, and interviews to event listings, celebrity sightings, and party previews, the blog serves as a hub for the city’s day-to-day happenings.

We have the great great pleasure to host Christian at Merchants Hall October 19th, for our very own interpretation of HONESTY. Come check him out and sign up Monday 10a.


What do you love most about what you do?
The connections and opportunities. Holy City Sinner has completely
changed my life. I’ve met incredible people, attended unique events,
and learned so much about the city. None of that would have been
possible without the website.

What inspired you and how did you initially start Holy City Sinner?
Did you always know you were going to be a community connector?

I have always been a voracious consumer of news and avid user of
social media and the internet. Plus, I have always had an interest
in both contemporary culture and history. After moving to Charleston
11 years ago, these interests only expanded as I tried to learn as
much about the city as possible and get acclimated to my new
surroundings. Charleston has some great local media outlets, but I
felt there was room for a different type of voice. I wanted to share
events, talk about current issues and news, and shine a light on
events, places, people, and organizations that may not normally get
any coverage.I always thought I’d be an active participant in my community, but I
never envisioned myself being a community connector in the way I am

How do you start your day?
After hitting snooze far too many times, I try to find coffee as soon
as humanly possible. I would not be able to function without it

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.
Winning my first Charleston City Paper “Best of” Awards in 2014. Since
it’s voted on by the community, it gave me confidence in what I was
doing and inspired me to work harder and expand upon what I was doing.

Do you have a hidden talent?
I can fall asleep just about anywhere at any time haha

Who or what gives you creative inspiration?
Talking to other Charlestonians and observing other people’s work -
journalists, artists, writers, musicians, podcasters, activists, etc.

Coffee fuels our morning events. If you’re a coffee drinker, what’s
your go-to order?

Something with espresso (like a macchiato). I need a strong caffeine
boost to get going in the morning.

What is your favorite place in Charleston?
The Battery

How do you unwind or destress?
Netflix, books, and music

Rapid fire:
morning person or night owl? night owl
summer or winter? summer
mountains or beach? beach
pancakes or waffles? pancakes
fiction or non-fiction? non-ficition

Educate.Motivate.Train isn’t just the name of John Wilson’s business – it’s his passion. As a speaker, coach, and championship-winning athlete, John advocates for the importance of joy, playfulness and enthusiasm in all areas of life. Humbly starting his soccer journey in a pair of Converse high tops, John’s winning mentality and talent with the ball allowed him to experience the sport at the highest collegiate and professional levels.After helping the Clemson University Men’s Soccer program win an ACC Championship, #1 NCCA national team ranking, and an Elite Eight Division 1 Championship finish in 1998, John embarked on an illustrious 15-year professional soccer career with Major League Soccer and the United Soccer League. He won an MLS Cup with the Kansas City Wizards, a Supporters Shield with D.C. United, and 3 USL Championship Titles with the Charleston Battery. John currently serves as an Assistant Coach with the Charleston Battery, an ambassador for the sport to undeserved communities, and a thought leader for business communities on risk taking, trailblazing and teamwork.

Here, find out what brings him creative inspiration, where he gets his coffee fix, and how he made the shift from soccer to speaking. 

And don’t forget to mark your calendar for August 17th – John is sure to inspire us all during his #CMCommunity talk at The Gibbes Museum! 

What do you love most about your work?
Coaching: That I never think about it as work and everyday there is an opportunity for me to affect someones life through sport. Speaking: I love being able to use words to make people laugh, smile, and to inspire them. 

How did you get into public speaking and training? Did you always know you’d wind up in this field?
Unofficially, I started speaking at my dad’s church and would also speak to soccer teams once I turned pro. From there, I started traveling the country on behalf of NCSA, educating parents and athletes on the recruiting process.

I didn’t know I would end up being a speaker. I stuttered as a kid and for some time public speaking terrified me. Once I got over my fear, I realized that I got the same rush on stage that I would get when I was playing soccer.

I always knew that I should be in coaching, but never truly made a commitment at the youth level until recently with ELITE FUTSAL CHARLESTON. I enjoy coaching the pro players, but think I can make more of an impact at the youth level.

How do you start your day? With a prayer and verse/quote, music, 2 glasses of water, coffee, and sometimes a run or gym session.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.

Becoming the first person in my family to graduate college. Being selected as a TEDx speaker and going through with it. Winning 4 Championships: 3 with the Charleston Battery and an MLS CUP with the Kansas Wizards. Being drafted by Major League Soccer. Having my high school jersey retired. 

Do you have a hidden talent?
I’m still searching for it :)

Who or what gives you creative inspiration?
My family, friends, and running.

Coffee gets all of our events going. If you’re a coffee drinker, what’s your go-to order? Medium roast coffee with a little bit of creamer and agave. If I’m feeling something a little sweeter, I go with a vanilla latte. Kudu, the Harbinger, and the Daily are a couple of my go to’s. If I’m in Mount Pleasant, I go to Vintage Coffee.

What is your favorite place in or around Charleston?
Hampton Park and Sullivan’s Island. 

How do you unwind or de-stress
Run or play pick up soccer.

Rapid fire: 

  • Morning person or night owl? Not a morning person.
  • Summer or Winter? Summer
  • Mountains or beach? Mountains
  • Pancakes or Waffles? Waffles
  • Fiction or non-fiction? Non-fiction

Photos by Keely Laughlin Photo


A year from now, you might tell your friends, “I knew him when…” Some of you might already be saying that. Since releasing his first LP, Chaos Theory, in 2009, Matt Monday has taken the Charleston – and national – music scene by storm. A talented hip hop artist, producer, and entrepreneur, Matt founded the indie music label Southern Wealth In Music (S.W.I.M) Group in 2013 and has since released two highly acclaimed albums, Filthy and Filthy 2. 

He’s opened for notable artists like J. Cole, Tech N9ne, Warren G, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, The Movement, Pastor Troy, Wiz Khalifa, and Grammy-nominated producer Sonny Digital, and his video for “Strokers Row” was featured at the South by Southwest festival. A native of Charleston, Matt has been voted by Charleston City Paper readers as Best Local Hip Hop Artist and Hip Hop Artist of the Year multiple times. In 2016, he was the first hip-hop artist to be recognized as one of “Charleston’s 50 Most Progressive” by Charlie Magazine.

In our July 20th talk on “Intention,” Matt will share his path to success and how he’s stayed true to his vision along the way. Here, find out more about how he starts his day, where he finds inspiration, and what he’s most proud of to-date. 


What do you love most about your work? I love everything about the process of making music, from concept to recording/mix/mastering. I enjoy the connections that are made when people listen and relate.

How did you get into hip hop, and music in general? Did you always know you’d be a hip-hop artist (and entrepreneur / producer)? I started in High School in a class called music tech that taught students how to record and produce music. From there I started writing and recording songs non-stop until I finally made my own album.

How do you start your day? I wake up at about 7am and start with some breakfast & a coffee and hop my bike for a 5 mile ride with my headphones in. By about 9am, I’m showering and hopping on conference calls before I’ll work on an idea that’s in current production or thinking of a new one.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment. Filthy 2 might be my proudest moment thus far. Being able to record, produce, write, and release that project on my own is a liberation that can’t be bought.

Do you have a hidden talent? I’m the UNO world champion 1998-2001. Not really but I wish, ha! No hidden talents that I’m aware of.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? Experiences. Women. Film Scores and sometimes the actual film itself. 90’s New Orleans rap (specifically Juvie). Visual Art.


Coffee gets all of our events going. What’s your go-to coffee order? I like a light breakfast blend with 2 creams and 3 sugars (raw cane). Anything more than that would have me off the wall.

What is your favorite place in or around Charleston? My house.

How do you unwind or de-stress? I play jazz, chill-hop, chill wave, British Rock, SOUL MUSIC (STAX, MOTOWN, KING, MCA), and 90’s RnB. 

Rapid fire: 

  • morning person or night owl? Morning
  • summer or winter? Neither, FALL
  • mountains or beach? Beach
  • pancakes or waffles? Waffles
  • fiction or non-fiction? Fiction

Photo credit: Jenna Jones Photography


If you’re anything like us, you probably have Allison and Jamie Nadeau to thank for remembering holidays…and maintaining relationships. This dynamic duo started INK MEETS PAPER, a line of colorful greeting cards, stationery, and other paper goods made right here in Charleston, SC. Each INK MEETS PAPER item is crafted on printing presses from the 1920s, and their thoughtful designs have garnered attention from the NY Times, Design*Sponge, and retailers around the country. 

More than a letterpress company, INK MEETS PAPER believes in the power of connections. Through events, calligraphy workshops, and their motto “Text Less. Write More,” this small-but-mighty company is on a mission to make the world more human one card at a time. 

Here, find out how they turned a side hustle into a national business, why they love what they do, and how they find creative inspiration, and make sure to grab tickets to their talk on “Craft” on Friday, June 22nd! 


What do you love most about what you do?
Allison: I love being involved in the physical process of creating. Every time we print a new card or product, it’s always like magic seeing the first time it comes off the press. Expanding on that, I love how many places our cards go and how many people connect through our cards. It’s absolutely humbling and amazing.Jamie: Constant improvement. Running our business offers continuous opportunities for “doing it better.” The more that we can refine the experiences (both internally amongst the team and externally for our customers), the better we are as a business. I feel lucky that we get to make a product that isn’t truly “completed” until someone has put part of themselves— their thoughts & feelings—  into the card through writing. We put so much love into our business, and it’s a complete honor to support the love of people that we may never meet.  


How did you get into letterpress printing and stationery design? Did you always know you’d be entrepreneurs and/or own a creative business?
Allison: INK MEETS PAPER initially started as a side/hobby project back in 2006 with custom stationery and invitations for friends and family (very very very small scale). Along with a move to Charleston, SC and corporate jobs as an editor and interaction designer, we discovered a love for the craft of letterpress printing in 2008 with a printmaking class at Redux Contemporary Art Center. After spending so much time behind the screen, it was refreshing to be so hands-on and involved in the physical process of creating a printed piece. 

That same year, we purchased our first press, a 1,000+ pound Chandler & Price printing press (made in 1923!), and moved it into a spare bedroom in our house. At first, we focused solely on learning the craft of traditional printing, rather than immediately trying to turn it into a business (we weren’t exactly sure what we wanted from this). We were both working other full-time jobs at the time, so we were able to take things slowly. 

As we became comfortable printing, we started to explore more of the industry (stationery/greeting cards, wedding invitations, custom printing for others). Handwritten correspondence really resonated with us — it’s such a beautiful and timeless way to connect with those you love. In particular, we saw greeting cards as an easy and accessible way for people to connect with one another. We started work on developing a collection of greeting cards to help spread a bit more love and kindness and launched the INK MEETS PAPER® greeting card line in 2010. Since then, we’ve continued to add new cards and paper products to the collection, all with the goal of inspiring people to send more handwritten love. Jamie: I think we always leaned towards owning a creative business. I started freelancing in high school, and our first side-business was an eBay store where we focused on packaging & customer experience to drive sales of used tech products. As we were working to leave the corporate world, we worked together as freelance designers before starting INK MEETS PAPER. INK MEETS PAPER built upon many years of attempts and failures to create a sustainable business that fit both of our skillsets in a way that we could build and build and build without feeling burned out.


How do you start your day?
A+J: With a pot of french-press coffee while sitting on the couch in the living room.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.
Allison: Being able to be full-time with INK MEETS PAPER and designing a business that we love. Jamie: Building INK MEETS PAPER encompassed massive amounts of personal growth as I learned to take risks, live authentically, and to face fears about what I could accomplish as an individual. As a couple, we learned to find comfort in the “uncomfortable” times and to always work on business/personal growth. That work has benefited every aspect of our lives, and while I can’t pick a particular moment, I certainly feel pride as we tackle the continual journey of life & business-building together.

Do you have a hidden talent?
Allison: Jamie can juggle!
Jamie: Ha! I can get pretty ‘locked in’ when working on a project at work. Juggling is the perfect quick break when I need it. :)

Who or what gives you creative inspiration?
Allison: Since we’re a greeting card company, we’re very copy driven. We want the sentiments on our cards to be a starting point for the person adding their message to the interior— which we always keep blank. As a result, a lot of our card inspiration comes from relationships, both our own and those we observe.Jamie: I LOVE music, and am always listening to a wide-range of different artists. Music helps me get into flow, and I have specific playlists for different types of work I may do throughout the day, so it really drives the creative work I do.


What’s your go-to coffee order?
Allison: almond milk latte
Jamie: whole milk latte

What is your favorite place in or around Charleston?
Jamie: Ahhh, such a tough question! We’ve lived here for 12 years now and there are so many incredible spots to enjoy. Honestly, I think our favorite places in Charleston change with the seasons. I love the perfect Lowcountry views at Bowens Island, a cocktail at Stems & Skins in Park Circle, and dinner at Leon’s or Little Jack’s. When we need a break from routine, we go for walks downtown together. Since we live & work in Park Circle, downtown serves as a great place to disconnect and spend time in the moment.

How do you unwind or de-stress?
Jamie: going for a run, dialing in cocktail recipes, or relaxing outside
Allison: with a glass of wine while spending time outside in our backyard

Rapid fire: 

  • morning person or night owl?
    Allison: night owl
    Jamie: morning person
  • summer or winter?
    A+J: summer
  • mountains or beach?
    A+J: beach
  • pancakes or waffles?
    Allison: pancakes
    Jamie: waffles (with fried chicken!)
  • fiction or non-fiction?
    Allison: fiction
    Jamie: non-fiction

Photos by Keely Laughlin Photo, https://www.keelylaughlinphoto.com/

If you live in Charleston, chances are you know about Quintin Washington. After leaving the newsroom at WLCN-TV, he launched his own weekly YouTube show called “Quintin’s Close-Ups.” Since starting the show in 2012, Quintin’s taped over 1,000 one-on-one interviews with celebrity chefs, book authors, politicians, lawyers, community leaders, school leaders and other newsmakers. His interview with United States Congressman Mark Sanford in 2014 made headlines around the world with MSNBC and BuzzFeed running stories about the interview. 

Below, we flip the script and ask Quintin a few questions about his commitment to journalism, his proudest accomplishment, and how this morning person stays awake without coffee. 

What do you love most about what you do? Serving the public.

How did you get into your field of work? Working at local independent station, WLCN, as the host of the “Quintin Reports” Web show.

Did you always know you were going to be a journalist and entrepreneur? Absolutely.

How do you start your day? Praying to God in the name of Jesus.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment. Being on the front cover of the Charleston City Paper in 2016.

What’s one skill you think everyone should have? Being punctual. 

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? The Holy Spirit.

What’s your go-to coffee order? I hate coffee. The Arizona Herbal Tonic is my drink.

What is your favorite place in Charleston? The Mount Pleasant Towne Centre.

How do you unwind or de-stress? Running and praying.

Rapid fire: 

  • morning person or night owl? morning person
  • summer or winter? summer
  • mountains or beach? beach
  • pancakes or waffles? none. I actually like oatmeal.
  • fiction or non-fiction? The Holy Bible.

Photos by Keely Laughlin Photography 

Greg Tavares performed in his first improv show in 1985 and never looked back. In 2000, he co-founded of Theatre 99, "Charleston’s Home For Improv Comedy.” He’s also the co-founder of  the Charleston Comedy Festival, The Have Nots comedy improv company, and the Piccolo Fringe Festival. Greg wrote the book Improv for Everyone in 2012 and has taught at improv theaters and festivals all over the country. He has a BFA in acting and an MFA in Directing, but still has nightmares that he never finished high school. 

Here, find out why he loves improv, what gives him creative inspiration, and the one improv technique we all need to know. And when you’re done reading, make sure to snag tickets to Greg’s #CMGame talk at The Alley on April 20th! 

What do you love most about what you do? Getting to play with my partners in scenes is so much fun. It’s like being a kid so I never have to grow up.

How did you get into your field of work? Did you always know you were going to be a actor (and theater owner AND author?!)?

I knew I wanted to be an actor when I was in high school. I discovered improv at a young age (around 15 or 16), but the big moment for me with improv was when I was 18 and took a workshop. It was just like the lights got turned on in my brain, and from that moment on, I just knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. 

How do you start your day? I get out of bed and take my six-year-old to kindergarten.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment. 

Professionally, I’m proud of being able to open and sustain a theatre that is dedicated to improv. I get to share improv with people in shows and classes, and make a living as an artist. Personally, my proudest moment has been becoming a father of two kids. 

What’s one improv technique everyone should know?

Saying yes to what your partner gives you. Seeing what others do as gifts, instead of something to overcome or change.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? 

The company members at Theatre 99. They all come from different walks of life, but have found improv, fallen in love with it, and chosen to become improvisers. It reminds me of why I got into this all those years ago.

What’s your go-to coffee order? Regular drip coffee at any local bakery

What is your favorite place in Charleston? The beach when I am paddling on my stand-up paddle board. 

How do you unwind or de-stress? Binge watch Netflix.

Rapid fire: 

  • morning person or night owl? Night owl
  • summer or winter? Summer
  • mountains or beach? Beach
  • pancakes or waffles? Buttermilk Blueberry pancakes
  • fiction or non-fiction? Fiction