One of the unique pleasures of living and working in Floyd, VA is that I am continually being exposed to people with unconventional ideas and boundless enthusiasm.
One of the most stimulating people I know in this regard is Woody Crenshaw, owner of the Floyd Country Store, driving force behind ‘Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network, and among other things, president of Crenshaw Lighting, in Floyd, Virginia.
Unlike many visionaries who radiate energy and charisma like a Klieg light, Woody’s low key approach is more like the quiet and irresistable force of nature that enables blades of grass to break through cement pavement.
He seems to accomplish whatever he sets his mind to, and that may be a result of his efforts on behalf of the greater good. When a person’s actions are designed to improve conditions for those living and working around him, it is hard to resist those actions.
It is almost as though a sympathetic magic exists which favors the bold and those who work to improve conditions in life.
Woody’s most visible project in Floyd at the moment is the expansion of the Floyd Country Store,
home of the Friday Night Jamboree. I understand that the plans may call
for re-creation of a real country store in addition to an expanded
venue for Bluegrass and country music. Whatever its will be, I intend
to be there when it is unveiled.
Woody’s most ambitious project, on the other hand, is the creation of ‘Round the Mountain
(RTM) which is working to establish a network of driving trails
throughout the region which will connect artisan studios, craft venues,
agricultural tourism related venues and other creative points of
interest with the general public (visitors & customers).
These trails will be promoted by RTM to bring visitors into the
region to experience the culture and traditions of Southwest Virginia.
This project has vast implications for the economy of Southwest
Virginia. As a network, it requires contributions from the bottom up to
realize its full potential. It is a logical vehicle for grassroots
economic development efforts to join and align forces with.
If you have a business of the type described in the earlier
paragraph, you might do well to connect up with RTM and contribute to
the network. If you look at the website for ‘Round the Mountain, you
may also see how other business opportunities will be created as this
network grows. In my opinion, this is a win-win situation.
I am curious to see what Woody comes up with next. There is no telling where it will lead.