Richard's story has been well-documented by Google, Entrepreneur Magazine, Internet Retailer, the Charlotte Observer, Furniture Today, and other industry media....he walked away from a high-paying but unsatisfying career and embarked on a one-year journey across Asia with his future wife, Cheryl. Together, they were inspired by stunning landscapes, fascinating strangers, and cultures that changed their thinking, their perspective towards the world and to each other (they were engaged by the voyage's end).
Upon their return, Richard began his first brick-and-mortar business in Charlotte while Cheryl began her medical residency. What started as a funky crafts store selling Tibetan imports and furniture grew into a much bigger business when it went online in 2000. This business eventually became Carolina Rustica, which is now a nationally-recognized omni-channel retailer of high end furniture. In addition to its highly-visible website, the company maintains a large showroom in Concord, NC, a few miles from home and still close to the traditional home of the furniture industry. In 2012, the company was sold to Mattress USA, based in Brighton, MI, and Richard continued in his role as President until early 2015.
Later that year, he started OmniMarketing2020, in addition to accepting a role at AAA Carolinas first as Digital Strategist and then becoming promoted to their first Vice-President of Member Engagement. There, Richard pioneered some internal changes in organization as well selecting new technology partners for their digital footprint, and helping to pioneer their venture into customer journeys.
Richard was also Chief Product Officer for MicroD for nearly three years, developing their digital marketing program, building a nationwide furniture marketplace concept, taking a leadership role in all dealer and enterprise sales, and developing significant technical enhancements to the core platform. Richard's mission was to enable home furnishings retailer to become more competitive in the arena of digital lead generation, onsite engagement, and e-commerce. He was responsible for crafting their digital marketing offerings, as well as development of the platform-based 3D program, third-party partnerships, and creation of a marketplace concept.
In 2021, during the height of the pandemic, Richard created the Carolinas Can Ruck for Autism (CCRFA) to benefit Champion Autism Network (you can also visit the home page on the CCRFA link in this site). In May 2021, he rucked 750 miles across the Carolinas, carrying a 25-lb “slamball” on his back, running a marathon a day for 30 days. The event raised over $50,000 for autism awareness and in support of families living with autism. This epic event was the culmination of other fundraising events done for Champion Autism Network such as the Myrtle Beach Marathon.
Most recently, Richard was the Senior Director of Sales for the Aperture Platform, created by Outward Inc. Outward is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma and the producer of the Aperture Platform, the industry’s first “photo studio in a box”. Aperture makes it possible to photograph, style, and publish home furnishings product visuals on demand, for a fraction of the cost and time of traditional product photo shoots and production. At Outward, Richard revitalized the sales process from initial outreach to product demonstration and negotiating deals with new tactics, procedures, analytical tools and mindset.. He grew company sales to 80 accounts total in six months, doubling the Monthly Recurring Revenue. He also initiated a data-driven culture with measurable goals, benchmarks, and performance metrics using information pulled from sales reports, existing CRM, and marketing data.
For some really early history, check out the official Google AdWords Success Story on Richard and his company. Google did a case study on Richard's success in 2008 using their suite of products when he was building Carolina Rustica. Although its a little dated, this Google-produced video has now received 100,000 views!