The festive holiday season is such a wonderful time to experience, enjoy, and support all the truly fantastic retail businesses Richmond has to offer. As you’re out shopping for those special gifts for family, friends—and you!—here’s a look at what’s new and exciting this year with suggestions recommended by some area retail merchants associations:
This beautifully elegant, bridge-luxury women’s clothing store, located in Richmond’s prestigious Stony Point Fashion Park, is owned by entrepreneur Ashley Jefferson, who is also the Co-Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of River City Magazine!
“The concept of Very Ashley is to provide clothing for the entrepreneurial woman where she can find clothing for both work and play,” says Jefferson. “The busy woman can come into the store or go online and get something for the boardroom for her meetings; then she can also get something for brunch or for her cruise, or for going out in the evening.”
A fashion model in New York during her college years, Jefferson always dreamed of having her own clothing store since she was a girl.
“I’m a millennial. We went shopping in malls teenagers. Window shopping was a thing, so I really appreciate that,” Jefferson says of the in-store experience. Her own store, which is highly acclaimed by customers for exceptional excellence and stylish selection, is also thriving online as well.
Richmond professional Anne Biedrycki, who is an Employee Benefits and HR Consultant for BeneFinder, enjoys shopping at Very Ashley and is pleased with her purchases. “Very Ashley has a wide variety of fashionable clothing ranging from t-shirts to elegant dresses,” says Biedrycki. “Great for work, play, and formal wear! Plus sizes are available as well. Amazing quality and customer service!”
If you shop at Very Ashley, there is a good chance you’ll meet Jefferson.
She leads the store, engages with clients on the internet (including live-streaming fashion shows held at Very Ashley, featuring the exquisite clothing in the store), and also organizes special events such as this season’s holiday & networking party.
“I wanted a place for people to be able to come and have an experience of talking to me and talking to my associates who are stylists,” says Jefferson, of her newly-opened store which has received much acclaim since officially welcoming customers on July 8. Other reasons to visit:
- Stony Point Fashion Park is dog-friendly, so you can shop with your pet and meet Jefferson’s sweet dog Asha who comes to work with her every day.
- Popular with shoppers at Very Ashley are the store’s fashionable sunglasses which are always only $10!
- The Designer Exclusive Program featuring local designers, who actually live in the Richmond area, showcasing their wares in the store.
- 20% off most clothing during special events throughout the year, including seasonal celebrations and networking events.
Very Ashley’s website has all the details, gorgeous photography of the clothing, and looks forward to seeing you: https://veryashley.com
Also located at the Stony Point Fashion Park, the award-winning SoulShine Studios, offers joy and serenity to nourish and replenish body, mind, and spirit, through the movement and mindfulness of Nia and Yoga.
Owners/friends Jessica Forsythe, Marybeth Grinnan, and Niki Schemmel are renowned, trusted teachers who create a welcoming environment for all students in the positively energizing classes, educational workshops, and immersive retreats.
“We’re the only dedicated space that is specifically for Nia and Yoga, that are mind/body practices,” says Schemmel, “So it’s a sacred space for people to come and not only work out their bodies, but to have a place to express their spirit and connect with their minds and hearts as well. Nia is a practice that includes dance arts, martial arts, and healing arts,” Schemmel explains.
“I love the balance between yoga and Nia,” Forsythe adds. “Because Nia offers a lot of freedom— freedom in movement, freedom from self-judgment, and a lot of connection and community, which also helps our well-being. And then yoga offers strength and stability and some personal reflection and connection with inner breath, so there’s some inner work as well. The combination of Nia and Yoga is such a nice balance for well-being to manage the chaos that life can become,” Forsythe says. “We all need connection and community and a safe place to be ourselves.”
Newly-opened earlier this year, SoulShine Studios has received tremendous praise by grateful participants who say the experience is truly uplifting.
“Giving this to someone as a gift is a nice act of love and really encourages them to be their best self,” says Grinnan. “Nia is for Every Body (with capital letters). What we mean by that is the class is adaptable for everybody. We have a woman here who is 89 and comes to our classes—she loves it! We welcome children who want to come and pay attention and be in class. We have Niki’s daughter— she loves taking class. It’s really a wide range of people, which I think is different and special,” says Grinnan.
“We deserve to be the best versions of ourselves,” encourages Forsythe. “This is an opportunity to experience that—and to focus on our own growth and our own potential and our own empowerment—with the support of very kind, non-judgmental and helpful community.”
SoulShine Studios invites you to experience this firsthand.
The joy-filled website offers a depth of helpful information to keep you in-the-know about upcoming retreats and all class offerings: https://www.soulshinestudios.com
Under new ownership since last year—and with a recent brand new name change, the former Greenhouse Glass CBD Wellness on 3451 W Cary Street in Carytown, is now called Cary Wellness.
Offering CBD products, COO Morgan Howard says,
“We are focused on the medical users and people trying to manage their pain. We’re seeing folks that have been dealing with pain for a very long time who are looking for relief. We are focused on having medical users be comfortable in this space and asking all the questions they need to ask,” says Howard about customers seeking to find relief from ailments through cannabidiol therapy.
“It’s anyone from a young person looking to help with sports injuries/recovery process or older people looking for alternative medicine or holistic medicine they aren’t getting from their prescribed doctor, so it’s a range,” says Howard. “Where we specialize is that person-to-person, that face-to-face interaction because we’re an education-based store,” she explains. “We have a chain of custody for all of the CBD products we carry. Everything in our store is lab tested rigorously and has a chain of custody. We do care about the products that go into your body, on top of your body, that are healthy, that are safe for you, and that have the testing that back them up,” Howard emphasizes.
Kristen Spain and her children walked into Cary Wellness, seeking hope. “I’m buying this for my husband who is about to start going through chemotherapy,” she explains. “I’m new to the CBD world. I can’t really tell you at this point my experiences from it, but I’ve heard about it. I’m helping to help him with anxiety and pain management,” says Spain. “There’s been research that suggests CBD may help slow tumor growth, and that’s why I’m here.”
Cary Wellness customers say they appreciate the attention and knowledge of the staff.
Howard shares the experience of a first-time visitor to Cary Wellness. “When you first walk in, especially as a novice buyer, you’re greeted by the CBD portion, so what we have here— is CBD that comes in a range of applications. We have our inhalation application, we have our topical, our sublingual— we have different modes through which it can get in your body. The thing we advocate for people, is that you talk to your physician— you talk to your doctor, about wanting this application and seeing how it fits into what you’re already doing,” says Howard.
During this season, she says, “as part of their holiday shopping, customers want to give the gift of relief to someone they care about.”
For more information, you can visit the store or call Cary Wellness at: