Next Charleston speaker

Dos Bandidos Art

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June 21, 8:00am • Redux Contemporary Art Center • part of a series on Wonder

Dos Bandidos Art was born out of an epic trip across Mexico and they’ve been designing and screen printing their way across Charleston since 2010.

Everything they create is done with intention, both hand-drawn original designs and screen printing by hand. The duo behind it, Candace Patterson and Will Kiser were raised on and inspired by Rage against the machine, Obey Giant, and Grrrl Power.

Their designs grace everything from hand-sewn bandanas to small batch t-shirts + tank tops to signed and numbered prints.

Their home and studio is located downtown and they love to ride bikes, walk on the beach, travel the world, eat amazing food, drink the best coffee, play with their cats and make art.

All photos by Kate Thornton Photography.

1. What do you love most about what you do?

We love that we get to work together making affordable art.

2. What inspired you and how did you become involved in your current career(s)?

We have day jobs, but screen printing is our passion.  We are inspired by Charleston and life in general.  As far as screen printing goes for Will it was a college art class, and for me it was creating art and screen printing for my friend’s record label.

3. How do you start your day?

Will stumbles out of bed at 5am to shower, coffee and then go to his day job.  I throw back a single espresso and go work out with my friends to begin my day.

4. Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.

Proudest moment: Building our own studio with a little help from our friends to continue to follow our dreams and screen print in our own space.

5. Do you have a hidden talent?

Candace: I can dance, I danced from 3-college and pull it out every now and then; especially at wedding:)   Will: I can drive a 3 on a tree.

6. Who or what gives you creative inspiration?

We both get creative inspiration from the streets of Charleston, surfing, traveling, riding bikes, road trips, music, the arts community and other local artists.

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

Candace: Cortado  (I work at City Lights Coffee a couple days a week and power up on Counter Culture)  Will: Doppio espresso

8. What is your favorite place in Charleston?

Will: Santis Candace: Santis

9. How do you unwind or de-stress?

Candace and Will: Santis Margaritas

Morning person or night owl?


Summer or winter?


Mountains or beach?


Pancakes or waffles?

Waffles (Candice, but prefers crêpes) Neither (Will)

Fiction or non-fiction?


Preserve is a special topic for CreativeMornings Charleston for many reasons. We picked this month’s theme, as it is a true theme to describe necessary conversations in our city. 

Not only are we living in one of America’s most well known historical cities, but we battle with preserving not only the infrastructure in the Holy City but the Holy City itself.  

This month’s speaker is food writer and the Southern Forks’ Stephanie Burt. Per her usual style, she thinks about preservation beyond canning vegetables. Join us to discuss the importance of preserving this place that we call home and what’s she’s learned along her journey. 

All photos by Leslie McKellar

What do you love most about what you do?

Creates a sense of community. It’s always different.

What inspired you and how did you become involved in your current career(s)?
I have no idea how I became involved. Didn’t set out to be a food writer - it found me. I became inspired by other food writers.

How do you start your day?
Coffee & contemplation. Just like the show Stranger Things.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.
I hope it hasn’t happened yet.
Do you have a hidden talent?
Making up songs for my dog.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration?
So much gives me inspiration. If I have a few days where I don’t feel inspired then I’m not paying attention to the world. Coffee fuels our morning events. If you’re a coffee drinker, what’s your go-to order?
The darkest roast, the tallest cup. Black. What is your favorite place in Charleston?
I love driving over the water every day. Being able to see water views.

How do you unwind or de-stress? My favorite thing in the world is a porch swing, so sitting on that with earbuds.

Rapid fire: 

morning person or night owl?
summer or winter?
mountains or beach?
pancakes or waffles?
fiction or non-fiction?

As this month’s theme was chosen by us over at CreativeMornings Charleston, we thought it appropriate to feature the illustrator of Preserve, Charleston’s Chris Nickels!

Below is the Q&A written up by Emerline Ji at CreativeMornings. Thanks so much for making Preserve so beautiful, Chris!

Chris Nickels is an Illustrator who lives and works in Charleston, South Carolina. Originally from Athens, Georgia, Chris attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where he earned his BFA in Illustration. He has worked with a number of publications on projects for both print and digital media, but still enjoys taking up a personal project or two in his spare time. When he puts down his pen he enjoys the outdoors, reading, old cameras, and jamming on some video games.

How did you get into illustration work?

I always loved drawing and painting as a kid. Around my junior or senior year of high school, I decided to take it more seriously and apply to art school to study Illustration. Once I got out, the hard work started: a lot of emailing, portfolio editing, and favorable coincidences.

How has your work evolved over time and what were some influences that caused it?

The biggest growth in my work I’ve seen is from practicing observational drawing. The more I practice drawing from life and studying photos, the more I value certain design decisions over others. It slowly shapes the way you draw. As far as outside influences, I love cartoons and animation. Shows like Avatar the Last Airbender, Cowboy Bebop, and Steven Universe have all had a big impact on me.

I see from your work that you have a love for the outdoors. How does this month’s theme connect to you personally? Why is preservation important to you?

I lived on the coast for the last 10 years and got to see the best and the worst ways that we interact with nature, so much of our trash ends up in the waterways and ocean. It has huge consequences for the different natural environments that we all want to be able to enjoy.

A big hobby of mine is kayaking. I’m definitely encouraged to be more environmentally conscious because I want to preserve the environment I get to experience on my kayak. On the inspiring side, organizations like Charleston Waterkeepers (a recent CreativeMornings speaker) are doing amazing work to protect our natural resources and organize individuals for action.

What are some projects or plans for this year? How do you personally want to grow?

In general, I really want to pursue animation more both in my personal work and as a collaborator. I’d love to sketch more too.

What’s something that you recently learned or was inspired by that’s influencing your work or life?

It’s certainly not a life changing event, but I just started drawing with fountain pens rather than felt tip pens and (🤯) I’m never going back.

What does the future of illustration or graphic design look like to you?

There has been an explosion in resources for learning new drawing, design, and digital skills. I feel like this says a lot about the spirit of the design community and where it’s heading. There’s going to be more collaboration, more mixing of disciplines, and more resources than ever to help you create the work you want.

Tell us something about yourself that we can’t find on Google.

I have the two best dogs ever: Bishop and Midas. Anything that Google says to the contrary is a lie.

Explore more of Chris’s work on his website, Behance, Instagram, and Twitter.


We’re so happy to have Vikki Matsis, president and co-founder of Media Reform SC, as our April speaker on “inclusion”. Her organization established Charleston’s only listener-supported community radio station, Ohm Radio 96.3 FM - which focuses on the inclusion of Charleston’s local music and public affairs. 

As the founder of the American Hostel Conference and manager at Notso Hostel, Vikki has actually written the book on what it’s like to run a hostel. (Really..the book is called “Inside An American Hostel!”)

As one of Charleston’s 50 most progressive people (it was voted on!), we look forward to hearing about how inclusivity affects her everyday life.

 We chatted with Vikki to get an idea of how she’s created a media platform for inclusivity and what gets her inspired. 

All photos by Kate Thornton Photography:

What do you love most about what you do?

I love providing a platform for expression. Ohm Radio is a station that reflects what is happening in our community and is not influenced by advertising. I love being part of the solution, creating independent media in an increasingly consolidated and corporate world.  

What inspired you and how did you become involved in your current career(s)?

My advisor Dr. Faye Steuer taught me everything I know about media reform. She is the founder of MRSC and is the reason I became an engaged citizen in this community.  

How do you start your day? 

I start my day with a two and half year old hugging and kissing me and making me laugh. I also usually start my day with a cup of jasmine green tea.  

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.

Personally, my proudest moment was finishing a marathon in 2008. Professionally, my proudest moment was our first moment broadcasting over the air in Charleston, August 1, 2015 11AM!

Do you have a hidden talent?

I love to write and sing songs and play the guitar and piano.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration?

My husband Lee Barbour. He is the most dedicated and focused musician. He inspires me to be objective, listen deeply and be the best version of myself.  

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

No coffee for me! I’m a green tea drinker all day long.  

What is your favorite place in Charleston?

Hampton Park, on the branch of the big climbing tree

How do you unwind or destress?

I love to read, especially read cookbooks!


Rapid fire:

  1. morning person or night owl?

Night Owl

  1. summer or winter?


  1. mountains or beach?


  1. pancakes or waffles?


  1. fiction or non-fiction?


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: 

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