Becca Finley fiercely cares about elevating others. Throughout the years, she has helmed several mentorship & multi-media access programs with The Music Initiative & This Is Noteworthy, and has a history of taking students under her wing as they take their first wobbly baby steps into the professional world.
She has cultivated, created, curated, and co-produced some of Charleston’s most beloved events including: Yogapop, BalconyTV Charleston, Listen To Your Mother, and the music course for the Cooper River Bridge Run. She continues to impact the music scene in the area with CHARM (Charleston Health Alliance for Regional Musicians), a local nonprofit program that helps up and coming musicians obtain health insurance.
She spends her personal time caring for others as well - several of her friends have experienced her thoughtfully planned birthday celebrations and her dog, Mr. Tupelo Honey, can attest to her endless affection. Connections Media is a natural progression of her dedication to helping other people and giving them the voice they need.
What is your favorite 80s jam? “Cool It Now” New Edition, but especially the Bobby Brown rap near the end. I can recite every word.
What types of things do you splurge on? Ha- my laundry detergent (Tyler Candle Company: DIVA), and Caudalie DIVINE oil.
What is your favorite form of entertainment? Theatre, Music, and Film, and I’m starting to get into comedy a bit more.
What situation would make you feel most out of place? Standing on a stage with a light shining on me asking me to sing.
Design a perfect day in Charleston? So hard because there are so many types of days that I like and it’s the PEOPLE that I like to do these things with that make them special, but this an in general: Sunrise stroll on Sullivan’s Island Starting at the far end near Station 10 with my lab pup Toops, coffee at Co-op or Beardcat’s, morning work session at GoToTeam, the Harbinger or Harold’s, stroll around Hampton Park, mid-day filming or interviewing sessions in my Hampton Park treehouse or in Hamlin Plantation, late afternoon archery at Mullet Hall, dinner at Stella’s/Layla/Juliet/Purlieu or Carmen y Juan’s, music at The Royal American, nightcap at home on the porch lounging on the red leather sofa with a cocktail and the sound of the bullfrog.
Caitlin Billard is a woman of variety. She has lived in four countries, held jobs or internships in five fields, experienced life as the youngest sibling and as an older sister, and been both a dog person and a cat person at different times. All of these various experiences have given her a uniquely open-minded outlook and she strives to continue to grow her perspective in all aspects of life.
She met Becca in the summer of 2017 when she interned for her to execute a philanthropic music festival in Charleston, SC. She joined Connections to bring her wide scope of skills to the team and to continue to grow by listening and learning from others.
What's the most amazing true story you've ever heard?
What is truth? “In accordance with fact or reality”? What is reality anyway? And at the same time, how am I to say that anything is not true? What do I know of someone else’s truth?
Where's your favorite place to have charcuterie?
Where ISN’T my favorite place to have charcuterie? I haven’t been to ALL of the charcuterie places so I feel bad, living in ignorance, naming one better than all the rest. But Bin 152 and Avondale Wine + Cheese are my Charleston faves.
What's your secret talent?
Running in heels
What word is a lot of fun to say?
When have you felt like you were living life the fullest?
On spontaneous road-trips + while skiing
Caralie Byrnes has believed that words have meaning from a very young age. While some parents have to fight to get their children to read, her parents had to take books away because she read too much. While she was a student at the College of Charleston, she put her love of words to work through her English major and Creative Writing concentration and through Chucktown Underground, an online art scene magazine she co-founded (with Caitlin).
She learned about Connections through Caitlin and was drawn to the project for its focus on words and commitment to sharing the stories and perspectives of other people.
Personal description: brown hair, deceptively easy name, too many hair ties on my wrists, English degree
Favorite CHS business: I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Second State Coffee for getting me through college with their Brown Sugar Lattes, and I am so inspired by the creative drive and, naturally, fashion sense behind Red Rose Vintage, but I think Dellz Uptown might take first place. I crave their Snobby Nachos, Jazzy Pizza, and Vitality Bowl on a daily basis, and one of those will have to be the first meal I get next time I'm in Charleston.
3 favorites: 1. Hummus. 2. Watching four-way intersections from above. 3. That moment about 3 min into "Dance Yrself Clean" by LCD Soundsystem when the whole song changes
Name a positive trait that you possess: Curiosity. Whether it's googling what chewing gum is made of (rubber, btw - you're welcome), or spending a long drive only listening to music history podcasts, when something catches my interest, I don't let go of it until I understand. Except calculus.
What do you wear around the house? I don't get dressed into presentable clothes until I'm going to leave the house or someone is going to come over. So usually, the same too-big sun-bleached crewneck sweatshirt I inherited from my friend's mom, and stretchy running pants with a rip in the knee.
Acecily “Ace” Alexander is powered by love for her family - in both a traditional and self-made sense. She’s been a proud auntie since she was in the first grade and her love for her nieces and nephews spilled over into a desire to empower all children in her community. So, in 2016, she founded an arts camp for kids in underserved neighborhoods in Charleston. Her goal is to help the kids she feels a connection with, even if not by blood. In her own words, “Although I was blessed to have life changing positive role models and opportunities growing up, I want to be who I needed as a child to someone else.”
She became involved with Connections when she met up with her old friend Becca for lunch and learned that the project would combine her love of self-made families (the Connections team) with elevating her community. This, combined with her experience in public relations, social media, writing, and non-profit work, made her a perfect fit for the Connections team.
Favorite music youtube video?
I mainly watch videos on YouTube for music purposes. I’ve been listening to “Nice” by Beyoncé and Jay Z a lot lately.
Best pasta place in the CHS area?
When I’m in the mood to treat myself, I get the tagliatelle from Al Di La in Avondale.
Movie: in theatre or at home?
Usually at home, so I can pause it for bathroom and snack breaks. Also, to have the ability to restart it in case I fall asleep.
Most horrifying moment?
Walking up the stairs to go down a water slide. Not a fan.
What brings you the most joy when you see it?
Kids singing and dancing. Also, tacos and guacamole.