• September 2015

Embrace the Race — Richmond 2015

What would you do if an international bike race — scheduled to bring 1,000 top cycling athletes and 450,000 people — was about to descend on your city? If you are an entrepreneur, odds are good you would find a way to put yourself, and your business, in the middle of the action.

That’s exactly what BJ Kocen and Tammy Rostov decided to do when the two Richmond retailers founded West Main Village, a community of 35 restaurants, galleries, retail shops, and small businesses that will close down the block in front of their shops and host an array of events during the UCI 2015 Bicycle Race, Sept. 25-27.

If you are a bike fanatic, you know all about Richmond2015.com. The Road World Championships (or simply, Worlds) is cycling’s pinnacle event, held annually in an international city chosen by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) through a competitive bidding process similar to the Olympic Games.

Covered by more than 500 media outlets from around the world and broadcast live to a global audience of more than 300 million people, this nine-day event features 12 championship races for Elite Men and Women, Under 23 Men, and Junior Men and Women.

“It is a rare opportunity for the athletes to compete for their country, just as they do during the Olympic Games,” officials explain. “Athletes compete in three different disciplines including the traditional Road Race, the Individual Time Trial, and the recently introduced Team Time Trial. World champions are crowned in each discipline. Worlds is truly one of the great global sporting events.” Scroll down to learn more.

In celebration of this exciting event coming to the town where we recently opened our offices, we dedicate this issue to the bikers, businesses, food, fun, and future of Richmond, VA.

Following are some of our favorite people, places, and things to do in town:

  • Food is one of the most exciting parts of Richmond, so don’t miss our reviews and interviews with some of our favorite eateries: Brux’l Cafe, Spiral Noodle, and Rostov’s Coffee & Tea shop. Plus, if French food is a favorite of yours, don’t miss our July 2015 review of Chef Paul Heitz’s Amour Wine Bistro in Carytown. It recently was ranked a 2015 Restaurant Award Winner by Wine Spectator.
  • Historic Hotels abound in the capital of Virginia, which is among America’s oldest cities. Patrick Henry, a US Founding Father, famously declared “Give me liberty or give me death” at Richmond’s St. John’s Church, leading to the Revolutionary War. So where do you stay when you come to town? One of our favorites is a charming spot in the center of town, where Edgar Allen Poe played as a child: Linden Row Inn.
  • Art history is also something Richmond does spectacularly well! In this month’s History column, Grateful American™ Foundation founder David Bruce Smith shines a light on that fact in his conversation with the VMFA’s Alex Nyerges. Check out their podcast interview.
  • Bikes are also the best way to tool around town — even when international bikers aren’t coming to Richmond. Data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows that Richmond leads Virginia cities in bike commuting, with 2.2 percent of workers getting to work by bike. This makes Richmond 42nd out of the 375 cities reporting, notably just behind Santa Monica, CA. Join in on the fun. And learn more about the powerful history of bikes in this month’s Books column.
  • Beer — craft beer, especially — is also one of the tastiest treats in Richmond, according to Jane Ferrara, the chief operating officer of the City of Richmond’s Economic Development Authority. Click here to see what the hoopla is all about.
  • Networking in Richmond is also easy and fun, especially if you are a woman looking to grow your career. “Perhaps it’s that southern charm at work,” according to Dee Dee Schurman, the incoming president of Richmond’s Network of Enterprising Women.
  • Chambers of Commerce are always a great place to join to grow a business. And if you are a woman wanting to build relationships, sign up for the next Real Conversation event at the Richmond Chamber’s Extraordinary Women’s Exchange. Don’t miss our Q&A with membership coordinator Stephanie Phillips.

We raise our glasses of wine, beer, or the biker’s choice — refreshing water — to the past, present, and future of Richmond! And we leave you with this parting thought about the power of riding a bike.

“Throughout human history, in any great endeavor requiring the common effort of many nations and men and women everywhere, we have learned — it is only through seriousness of purpose and persistence that we ultimately carry the day. We might liken it to riding a bicycle. You stay upright and move forward so long as you keep up the momentum.” — 8th (and current) Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon

Keep on pedaling! — Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine • Founder, InkandescentPR.com

Richmond 2015: How to Capitalize on a Big Opportunity

ENTREPRENEURS OF THE MONTH: SEPTEMBER 2015

BJ Kocen, Jennifer Glave, and Tammy Rostov unite to create West Main Village and Embrace the Race, Richmond 2015

By Hope Katz Gibbs,
Publisher, Be Inkandescent

The three West Main Village founders knew they had to do something.

The announcement had just been made that the international UCI Bicycle Race would be coming to Richmond, VA, from Sept. 19-27, 2015 — and the cycle route would be curving just a block away from their shops — Tammy Rostov’s Rostov’s Coffee & Tea and BJ Kocen and Jennifer Glave’s art gallery glave kocen.

Over a freshly brewed pot of dark roast, the entrepreneurs cooked up a plan: They’d gather the community of 35 restaurants, galleries, retail shops, and small businesses in the three-block area in front of their shops, arrange to close off one block to traffic, and host an array of events during the weekend of the race, Sept. 25-27.

They posted a West Main Village Facebook page, and started having meetings. And, they began attending meetings of the city’s organizing committee. And, they asked as many questions as they could to position themselves for maximum visibility.

Scroll down to read our Q&A. And click here to listen to our podcast interview with the West Main Village founders on the Inkandescent Radio Network.

Be Inkandescent: Guys, tell us when it first hit you that you absolutely had to do something to get some of those 450,000 people into your stores.

BJ Kocen: I think it was the minute we heard about the race coming to Richmond. We knew that the only thing that could top this event was if Richmond secured a bid for the Olympics. So this is huge!

We talked to a lot of people who said they plan to stay home to avoid the chaos. But the three of us felt differently. That’s why we came up with this idea of embracing the race, because we see it as an opportunity for all of the business owners in the neighborhood to come together and work on something big that is certain to be a ton of fun.

The world really is coming to Richmond, and we want to welcome all these people from different nations to our great city. We want to be ambassadors. We want them to have a good time, be comfortable, and we want to show the world what RVA has to offer.

Be Inkandescent: Your two shops are right next to one another on West Main Street. Tammy tell us how this big idea to host a street fair was set into motion.

Tammy Rostov: It started last May 2014, on a Thursday. I remember it clearly because a group of kids was handing out information packets explaining that the road would be closed all weekend because the collegiate bike races were coming through town. They wanted to let us know there would be a slight inconvenience. I was intrigued, so I went down to watch the race and see how it would impact the neighborhood.

It dawned on me then that in September, we would have the world bicycle race in town — and it would be a huge event. We knew from Richmond city officials that the road in front of our stores would be blocked to traffic, so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity. Wouldn’t you?

The next step was to invite all the neighbors to come hear about what was happening, and think about what we could do to maximize our visibility. We had about 20 people at the first meeting to hear what it was going to look like, and what we could do to welcome the people who come into our community for the UCI Road World Championships.

Don’t stop now! Read the rest of our interview. Click here to listen to our entire podcast interview on Inkandescent Radio. And click here for the Official Race Schedule. Ride on!

Entrepreneurs Unite: Find New Ways to Shine a Spotlight on Your Business

Tammy Rostov, BJ Kocen, and Jennifer Glave created the West Main Village in 2014 in an effort to “Embrace the Race” — that is, the 2015 UCI Road World Championships that will come to Richmond, VA, on Sept. 19-27.

The event is expected to draw 450,000 people to this relatively small city. So we sat down with these savvy entrepreneurs to learn more about their thought process, their challenges, and their big dreams for what may come as a result of their efforts to close down the block in front of their shops and host a street fair on Main Street in the Fan district of town.

Be Inkandescent: Guys, tell us when it first hit you that you absolutely had to do something to get some of those 450,000 people into your stores.

BJ Kocen: I think it was the minute we heard about the race coming to Richmond. We knew that the only thing that could top this event was if Richmond secured a bid for the Olympics. So this is huge! We talked to a lot of people who said they plan to stay home to avoid the chaos. They are worried about traffic, and they think this race is just going to be a huge nuisance.

But the three of us felt differently. That’s why we came up with this idea of embracing the race, because we see it as an opportunity for all of the business owners in the neighborhood to come together and work on something big that is certain to be a ton of fun.

The world really is coming to Richmond, and we want to welcome all these people from different nations to our great city. We want to be ambassadors. We want them to have a good time, be comfortable, and we want to show the world what RVA has to offer.

Be Inkandescent: Do you also hope that West Main Village will be a group that does other events in the future?

BJ Kocen: Absolutely. We see it as a great way to pull together the folks who have businesses near ours, and while having it continue past the race may take a little effort, we are up for the challenge!

Be Inkandescent: Your two shops are right next to one another on West Main Street. Tell us how this big idea to host a street fair was set into motion.

Tammy Rostov: It started last May 2014, on a Thursday. I remember it clearly because a group of kids was handing out information packets explaining that the road would be closed all weekend long because the collegiate bike races were coming through town. They wanted to let us know there would be a slight inconvenience.

I was intrigued, so I went down to watch the race and see how it would impact the neighborhood. It dawned on me then that in September, we would have the world race in town — and it would be a huge event. We knew from Richmond city officials that the road in front of our stores would be blocked to traffic, so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity.

BJ, Jennifer, and I went to City Hall to get a closure for the road so we could create a village during the last three days of the race. The first step was to invite all the neighbors to come hear about what was happening, and think about what we could do to maximize our visibility. We also talked at length to Monica Callaghan from the Richmond 2015 organizing committee. We had about 20 people at the first meeting. We all sat down and heard the numbers and what it was going to look like, and it created this excitement about how we could embrace it and what we could do to welcome these people into our community.

Be Inkandescent: Tell us about the master plan for West Main Village. What exactly are you doing on Sept. 25-27?

BJ Kocen: The biggest thing is attracting the fans who will be following the racers down the race course along Lombardy Street. It’s one of the big bends in the course, and they are going to be racing through this portion of the course every 20 minutes. So fans who stand on our piece of Main Street will get to see the racers fly by — but what are they going to do for the next 20 minutes?

Our plan is to create a family-friendly area, where people can hang out and wait for the next heat to come through, but not be bored. We are literally completely changing the block. My gallery space is being rented out to a pop-up bike expo and shop. Shram bikes is also coming in and renting another gallery across the street.

Along the street we’ll have vendors renting tents — everything from arts and crafts to sports vendors and jewelry stores, too — and we will have a children’s activity center. So there will be plenty of places to sit and hang out. Plus, all of the restaurants in the area are going to have to-go food ready. It’ll be one-stop-shopping that is fun and easy for visitors. The vendors will be on the 1600 block of West Main between Lombardy and Vine. That is the only area that will be blocked off to traffic.

Tammy Rostov: And, there will be bike valets so people can ride their bikes to Main Street and leave them there. The bikes will be safe, they can walk the course and they can always come back and get the bikes.

Be Inkandescent: What’s also interesting is that when racers turn from Lombardy onto West Main Street, the curve is tight.

BJ Kocen: That’s right. It’s a really fun spot of the race, and we are thinking of calling it the Main Squeeze because they’re going to have to really cut to make it without crashing. So people are going to be able to stand there, morbidly maybe, waiting for these guys to wipe out. It’s going to be an interesting alternative spot to watch the race.

Be Inkandescent: Are you guys doing anything special? Is there going to be special bike coffee?

Tammy Rostov: There is! We’ve come up with a Too Tired blend, which we will be serving and selling. That was top secret — until now.

Be Inkandescent: This plan has evolved over the last year. What have some of the challenges been?

BJ Kocen: It has all been challenging. But as my father said to me, if it’s easy it’s probably not worth doing. The first challenge was to get all the business owners together because they are all very busy. And I wouldn’t necessarily say we had any push-back from the Richmond 2015 group, but they were working out so many details that they didn’t have all the information we needed when we wanted it. I think we assumed maybe this organization would be a conduit between the race and the business owners, and that ended up not being the case pretty quickly. We learned early on that we were sort of on our own.

Tammy Rostov: The good news is that we’ve had a nice response from our City Council person who has been very helpful. Ditto for the Richmond City Police Department, which has worked with us to ensure that the Main Street Village area will be safe and that we do a good job.

Be Inkandescent: What I really love about your story is that you have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit by embracing the race.

BJ Kocen: Indeed! There are plenty of people who want to try to put something in place and buck a system or get some sort of leverage to get an advantage. But our goal is to establish relationships and build something that will be great during the race — and continue afterward. We are on a mission to maintain the integrity with what we wanted to do with this village. I think that’s one of the reasons we were have been successful, because we were very charming about it.

Tammy Rostov: I have a funny story. I’ve gone to every single meeting Richmond 2015 has had for the community and when they open up to questions they first thing they say is, “Tammy do you have a question?” And because there are always so many people in attendance, there is a rule that you can only ask one question — but now they say, “Okay Tammy, you can ask two, just make it quick.” And then they chuckle. Now when the organizers see me walk in the door, there’s a little camaraderie. They know I’m full of questions; I want to know everything.

I have been here since I was 11, and I’m really proud of Richmond. I know the race — and our West Main Village initiative — will be a huge success. I know my business will do fine, and we expect to generate three times the sales that we normally do in a day. But I hope other people in the block are successful, too. I think we have awakened a spirit in all the business owners on the block to think outside the box — not just keep their regular hours and do business as usual — but instead create a special, welcoming area for the guests to hang out and have fun.

Be Inkandescent: Here’s to embracing Richmond 2015!

For More Information

Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities.”

– W.E.B. Du Bois

Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”

– Annie Dillard

The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen.”

– August Rush

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

– Lao Tzu

Destiny is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

– William Jennings Bryan

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity.”

– Ray Bradbury

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

– John F. Kennedy

The world I believed in, back in my most innocent, uninformed, childish mind—is real.”

– Martha Beck

The dove descending breaks the air / With flame of inkandescent terror.”

– T.S. Eliott

Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”

– Carlos Castaneda

There is little success where there is little laughter.”

– Andrew Carnegie

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

– Seneca

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.”

– Jalaluddin Rumi

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

– Helen Keller

That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

– William Butler Yeats

Whosoever knows how to fight well is not angry. Whosoever knows how to conquer enemies does not fight them.”

– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.”

– Andrew Carnegie

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

My task is really not to change myself but to become familiar with who I am.”

– Maureen Cook

Don’t follow, lead. Don’t copy, create. Don’t start, finish. Don’t sit still, move. Don’t fit in, stand out. Don’t sit quietly, speak up. (Not all the time, sure, but more often.)”

– Seth Godin

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito in your room.”

– A wisdomism

Confidence is the most important thing you can teach someone… if you can teach them confidence, you don’t have to teach them anything else.”

– Vin Diesel

You must have chaos within you, to create a dancing star.”

– Frederic Nietzsche

You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough.”

– Mae West

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

– Bruce Lee

Entrepreneurs are willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise.”

– Victor Kiam

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”

– Jesse Jackson

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it”

– Andrew Carnegie

‎That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

Do not be afraid of mistakes, providing you do not make the same one twice.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?”

– Jim Butcher, White Night

Traveling is one way of lengthening life, at least in appearance.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

– Robert Frost

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”

– Robert Fritz

We are all of us born with a letter inside us, and that only if we are true to ourselves, may we be allowed to read it before we die.”

– Douglas Coupland

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

– Bill Cosby

Everyone is a mirror image of yourself—your own thinking coming back at you.”

– Byron Katie

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

Treat the attainment of happiness in the same way an entrepreneur would approach building a business — with a vision, plan, goals, and a systematic approach.”

– Ted Leonsis

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.”

– Thomas Dunn

A man without a smiling face
 should not open a shop.”

– Chinese Proverb

Books

3 Great Books About Bikes

There’s no shortage of books about biking. So we chose our favorite three to get your wheels turning. Happy reading about riding!

Read more...

Fine Art

It's All About Love and Art at Richmond's Glave Kocen Gallery

When Jennifer Glave and BJ Kocen established the glave kocen gallery in 2007, their goal was simple: To create a prominent contemporary gallery, and fill their 3,200 square feet of exhibition space with exquisite art by dozens of local and national artists. Mission accomplished.

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Fine Art

Explore "Perseverance" — Japanese Tattoo Tradition in the Modern World — Through Sept. 27 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The tattoo exhibit “Perseverance,” now on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which is located in the third-most-tattooed city in the United States, features the work of seven internationally acclaimed artists who take body paint to new heights.

Read more...

Food

Coffee, Anyone? Rostov's Has Your Favorite Blend

Founded by Jay Rostov in 1979, Rostov’s Coffee & Tea has been roasting coffee in Richmond, VA, for decades. In 1999, Jay’s daughter Tammy Rostov took over the store and gave it the family name. Why do many consider this the best coffee in town?

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Futurists

E-Sports: The Rise of Professional Gaming

If getting on a bike and racing at breakneck speed isn’t your idea of fun when it comes to sports — perhaps you’ll be interested in e-sports, aka: competitive gaming, which features professional players vying for million-dollar prize purses and a global viewing audience projected to surpass 140 million by 2017.

Read more...

Happiness

Happiness: Pursue a Passion

“Happiness research predicts that making time for a passion will bring a tremendous happiness boost,” explains author Gretchen Rubin.

Read more...

History

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Brings Art History to Life

Director of the VMFA, Alex Nyerges, gives us a tour and explains the deep connection between art history and American history, 1790-1865.

Read more...

Hotels

You'll Be Charmed by Richmond's Linden Row Inn

If you are traveling to Richmond for the big bike race of 2015, you are going to need a great place to stay. While there are plenty of hotels to choose from, none has the charm of the Linden Row Inn, which blends old-world charm with updated amenities.

Read more...

Networking

Meet the Women of Richmond's Sassiest Networking Group — N.E.W.

Dee Dee Schurman, the incoming 2015 president of Richmond’s Network of Enterprising Women, explains why she loves the social aspect of NEW and how the nonprofit helps its members build their businesses.

Read more...

Publisher
Hope Katz Gibbs
Art Director
Michael Glenwood Gibbs
Website developer
Max Kukoy
Managing Editor
Kathleen McCarthy
Associate Editor
Mary Tostanoski
Editorial Interns
Meet our 2015 team

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PR Rules

What Makes Richmond Such a Great Town for PR?

Inkandescent Public Relations has opened its second office in Richmond, VA. What did InkandescentPR founder Hope Katz Gibbs see in this fine city that made it such a good fit?

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Quotes

The Zen of Biking, and Other Ideas to Cycle Through

“Life is like riding a bicycle: You don’t fall off unless you stop pedaling.” — US Sen. Claude Pepper.

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Inkandescent Radio

Why Did the Leaders of Stone Brewing Choose to Open a HQ in Richmond?

Stone’s COO Pat Tiernan and CFO Craig Spitz explain.

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Restaurants

For the Best Burger in Richmond, and a Superb Selection of Belgian Beer — Try Brux'l Cafe

If beer is your passion, belly up to the bar at Brux’l Cafe, where you can choose from a selection of 14 bottles, six drafts — and a menu that’s full of creative, authentic Belgian dishes.

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Restaurants

If Pho Is Your Passion, Stop Into Carytown's Newest Hot Spot — Spiral Noodle

The next time you have a hankering for a hot bowl of noodles and soup, be sure to check out Richmond’s new build-it-yourself, noodle-and-rice-bowl bistro.

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Retirement

Why Are Asset Allocation and Investor Behavior at Odds — Again?

Are you a risk-taker? Data from the financial services market-research firm DALBAR, Inc. explains that investor behavior is the largest contributing factor to investor underperformance. CFP® Bryan Beatty explains why.

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Speakers Bureau

Are You Ready to Be Bodacious? Mary Foley Will Show You the Way

Bodacious Mary Foley believes that successful careers don’t just happen — they are engineered. That’s how she helps women create the careers they really want.

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Inkandescent TV

If You Love Craft Beer, You'll Love Richmond's Newest Resident — Stone Brewing

How did Jane Ferrara help bring Stone Brewing to Richmond?* The COO of the city’s Economic and Community Development office says “transformational change” was the key.

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Truly Amazing Women™

Businesswomen Find Inspiration at the Richmond Chamber's Extraordinary Women's Exchange

What are some of the programs EWX offers? “What don’t we offer!” says incoming president Cassandra Naville.

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To learn more about becoming a client of Inkandescent Public Relations, or becoming a Be Inkandescent Magazine columnist. send an email to publisher and founder Hope Katz Gibbs at hope@inkandescentpr.com.

Here’s to your incredible, indelible, Inkandescent success!