Southern & Charmed
“I don’t just own a plantation to sit on the porch and offer sweet tea. I want to work and I want to make something of my own that represents me, my land, and the way I am. Being an entrepreneur and comparing myself to my forefathers is intimidating, but it’s also exciting.”
Hagood Coxe, the newest cast member of Southern Charm Savannah and world-traveled entrepreneur talks about turning her family’s South Carolina rice into American sake.
From running with the bulls in Spain and painting detailed watercolors in Savannah, to riding her Appendix Thoroughbred on land and through water in South Carolina, Hagood Coxe has lived an adventurous life. Now, she’s the first woman in her family lineage to develop a business using her family’s rice farm.
Coxe, standing at 5 feet 9 inches, is a fifth generation farmer. In 1920, Coxe’s great-great grandfather bought several farms in South Carolina amassing the Coxe’s family farm, the largest contiguous piece of land in the state, about half the size of Rhode Island.
“The farm is my sanctuary,” Coxe says from her family’s kitchen that overlooks the bucolic lake her daddy, Campbell Coxe, created. “To have the ability to go out and run as far as I can and it’s still my home... It’s my safe place. There weren’t other kids out here so I had to be creative. Imagination is everything.”
Coxe grew up in the home her father built, a mile from “the big house,” the estate her family lived in for previous generations. Today, the big house is only used for holidays to preserve it for the sake of history. There’s also a family chapel built from the farm’s pine, two hunting clubs, and an old country store-turned-office.
Each generation of Coxe men innovated a new way to live off the family land. Coxe’s great-great grandfather sold lumber, her great-grandfather launched a cattle business, and her grandfather partnered with a global paper company to turn the lumber into paper. Her father planted Carolina Gold Rice and became the first person in America to sell the rice commercially.
Coxe, 25, will be the first woman in the family to commodify the land. In late 2018, Coxe will launch an American sake brand, Carolina Gold Sake, made from her family’s heirloom rice.