Tom and Michelle Raub, the founders and owners of t.r. collection moved to Blacksburg in June 2015 to get closer to family. Tom is from Bluefield, WV and one of several family members to attend Virginia Tech. Tom earned his MBA from Virginia Tech in 1992. Michelle is a native of North Carolina and a graduate of Campbell University. She is now a proud “Spokie” (spouse of a Hokie).
As Virginia Tech football season ticket holders they routinely came back to Blacksburg for football games. Seeing a need for a gift shop in the area which offered a wider selection of product lines and services, they opened t.r. collection in September 2015.
They quickly realized t.r. collection could be much more than just a gift shop. Their business philosophy is summed up in this excerpt from Conscious Capitalism (John Mackey and Raj Sisodia, 2013):
"Imagine a business that is born out of a dream about how the world could be and should be. The founders are on fire to create something of relevance, resonance, and permanence -- a business that will far outlive them, that delivers real value of multiple kinds to everyone it touches. They want to create a business that their parents and children will be proud of, that aspires to so much more than making money -- a force for good that enhances the health and well-being of society. They dream of creating a business that enriches the world by its existence and brings joy, fulfillment, and a sense of meaning to all who are touched by it."
That's what they imagined for t.r. collection -- a business built around the idea of community -- community between t.r. collection and its customers, between t.r. collection and its suppliers, between t.r. collection and the locality in which it operates, and within the organization itself. Building community is their purpose and the gift shop is their instrument.
They believe there is a sense of beauty in the act of gift giving. It goes beyond a mere exchange of items and pleasantries. Giving a gift is an act of gratitude, love, awareness, celebration.
They understand at the core of the human experience are relationships; relationships with ourselves and others. Whether you are expressing love to a family member, reconnecting with an old friend, thanking a business colleague, or just doing something nice for yourself, they want to help you explore that emotional calling and to provide you with a selection of gifts to best express your intent.
In short… giving a gift is an emotional act that brings people together and builds relationships. Tom and Michelle want to be a part of that togetherness and use t.r. collection as a platform to build community.
Now you know why they do what they do. Come and join the movement.
Welcome to t.r. collection. Your neighborhood gift shop!