Readers of Richmond magazine have voted Car Pool Car Wash the Best Car Washing/Detailing business in the city multiple times over the last decade. Stepping into one of its facilities, it?s easy to see why. In addition to making autos look and feel like royalty, Car Pool Car Wash also cultivates a stress-free environment with sleek waiting rooms that resemble modern hotel lobbies and emit free WiFi. After grabbing a complimentary cup of coffee and receding into plush leather chairs, visitors are served a visual feast that may include floor-to-ceiling windows or a stone fireplace. Rocking chairs outside of the car wash enable car owners to wait under the open sky while flipping through a book or magazine.
Locally owned and operated since 1977, the automotive salon company has focused on advanced car-cleaning methods while expanding its outreach to include six full-service wash facilities, two exterior-only wash facilities, and a full-service detail shop. Many of the car wash's specialty packages cater to specific vehicle needs such as comprehensive interior cleaning or professional exterior waxing, services that enlist products from Simoniz and Rain-X to safeguard paint jobs.
Car Pool Car Wash strengthens its bond with repeat customers through its frequency rewards program, which makes participants eligible for future discounts after they sign up online or in person. The shop also carries Duck Bucks gift cards that allow recipients to prepay for regular car washes. In their efforts to foster a tightly knit community, the owners of Car Pool Car Wash regularly support local charities and organizations in their initiatives.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
The streets and buildings of Richmond breathe with history. Patrick Henry’s famous words, “Give me liberty or give me death,” echo in St. John’s Church, where the statesman gave his infamous speech; the ghost of Poe wanders the streets of the Church Hill district, where he lived and wrote; and the bones of presidents James Monroe and John Tyler lie peacefully under the lush grass of the Hollywood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark. These are just a few of the locations that segway riders glide through during educational tours organized by Segway of Richmond.
The company’s most popular jaunt, the two-hour Landmark Tour, takes groups to nearly 20 historic buildings, churches, and museums, whereas other ventures focus on specific aspects of the city’s past, such as the Black History Tour or the Edgar Allan Poe Tour. In addition to learning about the men and women who shaped the culture of Richmond and practicing their preferred mode of transportation, tour-goers can explore the architecture of Victorian and Edwardian homes during a Fan District Tour or think about murals, mosaics, and sculptures during a Public Art Tour.
Shattered glass broken across a sidewalk is often the last witness to an act of destruction. But for Jenni Kirby, the founder of Tile One On Mosaics, these pieces of glass are the building blocks of mosaic art. She uses colorful chunks and chips of tile, stone, or glass to transform mundane, everyday surfaces. A simple table pops with the kaleidoscopic texture of marbles or shells. A fireplace is more than just a place to dispose of unpaid parking tickets when it’s framed with intricate, geometric patterns laid with coarse rocks or bottle caps.
A working mosaic artist herself, she has taught at the University of Richmond, among other institutions. In the decade since she co-founded the Crossroads Art Center, the 20,000-square-foot space has showcased work from emerging and established Mid-Atlantic artists. Ranked as one of the top independent galleries in Richmond by Style Weekly magazine, the venue hosts special exhibitions and displays pieces from more than 225 artists. Showcases are coupled with classes for students aged 5 through adult, and span painting, drawing, and jewelry-making along with less-common crafts such as calligraphy, shell art, and house carving.
Richmond magazine's pages glisten with stories and images of the River City's most intriguing dining, entertainment, shopping, and travel options. Each issue captures an exciting cover story in its glossy grip, detailing notable goings-on and spotlighting local movers and shakers. The monthly's reporters and editors highlight area restaurants in the dining section, and they fill the arts-and-entertainment section with news on upcoming concerts, gallery openings, back-alley dance offs, and theatrical performances. Meanwhile, news features keep locals abreast of politics and regional issues, a health section offers overviews of top doctors and facilities, and the life-and-style section details the ins and outs of fashion, along with articles on which travel hotspots are currently not overrun by gophers. Sister publication R Home arrives every other month with plenty of hints and tricks for home decor, gardening, and organizing.
Melanie "The Bead Empress" Bentley established her commonwealth of creativity after years teaching aspiring artists how to work with metal clays. Within her 3,000-square-foot embellishment emporium, Murano glass from Italy, hill tribe silver from Thailand, and Swarovski crystals fill shelves from floor to ceiling. Polymer clays, sterling silver, stringing materials, and Czech fancy glass that Melanie handpicked on a recent trip to the Czech Republic round out the store's stock and arm patrons with the materials necessary to line their family's treasure chest.
But Melanie goes beyond filling the supply boxes of local jewelry makers. She also aims to expand the crafting community by welcoming beading newcomers and showing those who don't believe in their creativity that there's an artisan inside everyone. Along with her fellow specialized jewelrysmiths, Melanie leads more than 45 classes per quarter, providing her customers with a means of acquiring jewelry that’s guaranteed to be free of curses.