Movers & Shakers: from candy to Crestwood

Welcome to Bham Now’s Movers & Shakers.
Selfie of Mom and me carrying our Bartaco tradition from Atlanta to Birmingham
Meet Mover & Shaker Chelsie Coker, a Media Planner and Buyer for Markstein. She moved from ATL to Bham on her own volition, and has been shaking things up here ever since.

What is a Mover & Shaker?  In this Bham Now series, we seek out young professionals who have made the decision (sometimes personal, sometimes professional) to move to Birmingham from large, “cool” cities. With these brave uprootings, we want to find out how their Magic City experience has been thus far. In first-hand accounts, see how these young talents are taking in and shaping up our favorite city.  Now, on to Chelsie…

Hello Bham! My name is Chelsie Coker, and I can’t believe I am approaching my first anniversary in the Magic City. Weird to think about! I still feel like I am new here. Prior to Birmingham, I moved to Atlanta to start my career after graduating as an advertising major from The University of Alabama.

While my move to Atlanta was for professional reasons, my transition to Birmingham was personal. 

Waterfall hiking
Meet Jackson! He’s been introducing me to his favorite hiking trails at Ruffner Mountain and Oak Mountain

I spent the entirety of my Atlanta life (3 years) in a long-distance relationship. My boyfriend, Jackson, helps families find their future homes with ERA King Real Estate of Birmingham, his family-owned business. Since his location is less flexible, I have known for quite some time that I would settle down in Birmingham.

Obviously, this was not a premature move — I was able to enjoy the transition from day one. I went all in, living downtown less than a mile from my new office in a brand new studio overlooking the Barons stadium — a living situation that is far out of reach for most Atlantans. 

Barons Game
My youngest brother and sister loved visiting to watch the Barons.

Birmingham has almost everything I loved about ATL, without the traffic (obviously, I avoid 280 if possible); a gourmet food hall, nearby hiking trails, yoga studios, music festivals, farmers markets, TopGolf (coming soon) and Bartaco. While living in downtown, I loved walking to Pizitz for date night and jibaritos. I’ve since moved to Crestwood, and we have forged new date night traditions from game night at Saturn to brunch at Rowe’s serving station. Although, all this love I have for my new hometown doesn’t deny the fact that Birmingham is STILL missing out on ClassPass. 

(ClassPass is a flexible fitness membership that lets you book classes without the hassle of multiple gym/studio memberships)

The fact that I moved to Birmingham to invest in my personal relationship shouldn’t discount the big plans I have for my career.
movers and shakers cc
One of the four Markstein Breakout teams. Everyone broke out!

I have spent the past year at Markstein, a communications agency, where I have developed an abundance of new skills that I might not have experienced had I stayed on my former path. I started my career as a Media Planner for Carat ATL, a global media agency, working on the Perfetti Van Melle (Airheads and Mentos Candy) account.

Marksketin team
Markstein at Birmingham Reads Day

I have since traded in my sugar addiction to cast a wide net, working in a variety of new industry verticals and expanding my skill sets. The company culture has made the transition seamless – Markstein had rather large shoes to fill, and they have exceeded my expectations. See more of our team outings and office shenanigans on Instagram: @marksteinco

Sloss Fest
We look forward to Sloss Fest every year!

Finding a friend group in Birmingham was never an issue. Many of the amazing friends I made in Tuscaloosa settled in Birmingham. Now that I am here full time, I feel closer than ever with these friends. From frequent wedding events and holiday visits (that act as college reunions), to monthly supper club and the occasional happy hour, my time in Birmingham is quite eventful.

However, I wanted to invest more in Birmingham outside of appreciating the abundance of green spaces and splurging on dinner at Bottega. 

Fairytale Ball
The Fairy Tale Ball benefiting Childcare Resourses

What better a way to meet people outside of your circle and really give back to the city than joining a civic community! Thanks to a friend of a friend, I discovered Childcare Resources. Investing in children and their development long term is something that Jackson and I realized we share a passion for. We decided to take this adventure together and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting other junior board members and supporting an organization that enhances the future of children.

Bye Bham! I’m off to keep moving and shaking!

Follow me on IG: @ChelsieJCo

Chelsea Coker - Mover and Shaker
Chelsie – Moving and Shaking in the Alabama Outdoors

Are you a Mover & Shaker?  Or know one? Email to be considered for our series.  Thanks!

Read more in the Movers & Shakers series.

Hunter Holland
Hunter Holland

Pop culture, crafting, and live concerts are my jam. Let's talk about any and all of the above! Marketing graduate from the University of Montevallo. Fierce Walker Countian. Also known as @hhollaa & @hunnyholla.

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