by Sarad Davenport Photos by Doughman
When the pandemic hit last spring and everything shut down, many people to include business owners were left with uncertainty. Nobody knew when it would end. Nobody knew when and if the financial pain would ever stop. But the go-getters knew that moves had to be made. Such was the case with Ronnie Meggison, also known as ‘King Ron’. You see Ronnie had an extremely successful trucking company with a small fleet that was doing import deliveries from the ports down in Hampton Roads or the ‘7-5-7’ as it is affectionately known. “COVID shook my trucking company and hauling imports from overseas came to a stop,” said Ronnie.
But this proved to be a minor setback for a major comeback. Ronnie said, “I’m self-motivated. I’m a grinder.” At age 34, Ronnie isn’t someone who has to be pushed to get going. From the looks of it, he’s always ahead of the game. When he realized that COVID was going to be a major disruption in the trucking industry, he began to be open to other possibilities.
“When I got into trucking, I did it because it was good money and a stable income,” said King Ron. But the thing is, trucking was never his dream. “My dream has always been to own my own clothing store,” he said.
It all started for Ronnie when he was finishing up his senior year at Louisa County High School and taking a business class. “I was intrigued by business and how it worked. I was always interested in the concepts of supply and demand,” he emphasized. Ronnie takes me back to that year when they took a class field trip to Virginia Center Commons Mall in Richmond. There, he encountered the DTLR store and was forever changed. For those who don’t know, DTLR is one of the premier urban fashion retailers with locations up and down the interstate 95 with most of them in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
“When COVID slowed down the trucking business, I had to have a long conversation with God.” Throughout the interview, Ronnie comes across as deeply spiritual and unashamed to talk about things in spiritual terms. He went on, “I was walking out of my apartment one day and I looked up, and a storefront across the street had a big ‘For Rent’ sign on it.” At this moment, Ronnie not only saw a ‘For Rent’ sign, but he wondered if this was a sign from God.
Discerning that this might be his opportunity to walk into his dream, he called the number on the sign, just to see what would happen. “A lady answered the phone and I gave her all my business info. I told God, if this goes through, I’m going to invest everything I have into this.”
See, I said before that Ronnie had a successful trucking business. So much so, that he was able to not only hire several of his friends but also make sure that his team had healthcare benefits and those things needed to take care of themselves and their families. The point is, he had a proven track record in business and it wasn’t really a question if he was going to get the green light on the property and inevitably open Kulture Vibez.
Ron said he named the store Kulture Vibez because ‘every culture has an urban side to it.’ Injecting a cool laugh into the conversation, he said. ‘It’s a vibe. It’s a whole vibe at Kulture Vibez.’
Ronnie discussed how he wants the store to be a community attraction of sorts. He is creating a platform for hip-hop and other musical acts to have their music videos featured on the monitors in the store. He is opening his store up to local brands who want to be featured alongside the more national and international brands. “The designers put a lot into their work, and I want to put them beside Addidas and others.” He went on to share how a brand that got its start in Charlottesville, ‘Be Great’ has already sold out. “I push their stuff like the others,” said Ron.
Ronnie is the second oldest of four kids originally from Louisa but raised in Charlottesville and said that he has moved around a lot growing up in the area. He said, “I’ve been to every school system in the Jefferson District and made friends everywhere.” Ronnie gives credit to his mom for his grind and let me know that she was the one that he gets his inspiration from.
Like many young men, black men, in particular, he has a strained relationship with his father. Even though their relationship has its ups and downs, Ronnie did indicate that his father has a successful logging company and they were able to do some business together in the past. As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and success was inevitable for Ronnie and he was destined to do great things.
In his own words, King Ron said, “I am a son. I am a brother, and I am a solid individual. I am a hard worker. I am a visionary.” The truth is, with Ronnie it’s about vibes and he is putting out some strong positive vibes in the Charlottesville region and showing how we all can turn a minor setback into something even greater. Go check out Ronnie and the Kulture Vibez team at 2114 Angus Road, Suite 103, Charlottesville, VA 22901.