Lacing up: Ties bring Virginia native Marc Rigsby (’12) to West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. –These two endeavors might not match up to some, but to Marc Rigsby (’12), they’re the perfect pair.

Both a practicing lawyer and an entrepreneur, Rigsby said the Mountain State has offered him opportunity in all facets of his interests.

After meeting his future wife in law school at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., Rigsby said he knew he’d be living in West Virginia if he wanted to be with her, a native of Ripley.

After working as a practicing lawyer for two years in Charleston, Rigsby said he also enjoys being an entrepreneur and doesn’t think he would’ve been able to accomplish those two goals anywhere else. He started a shoelace business, Crayon Lacing.

“From being a part of different organizations, I already feel like I know a lot of people in town,” Rigsby said. “I feel like I have a pretty solid network and even the people I don’t know I feel like they are probably just a phone call away.

“In some ways, it’s hard for me to imagine launching a business anywhere else at this point.”

Rigsby, a Virginia native, received an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville before attending law school. As a result of a school program, Rigsby met his wife Shayla Miller (’13) for the first time when he was assigned to mentor her as a first-year law school student. The two hit it off and started dating before eventually getting married at the University of Charleston.

Rigsby said he has become accustomed to meeting new people and delving into every activity he can. He moved to West Virginia right behind his wife in May 2012. He started practicing law full time in 2012 at Pullin Fowler Flanagan Brown and Poe PLLC on Quarrier Street in Charleston. Last month, he joined Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso on Capitol Street.

Rigsby said he has goals of hanging up his laces here in the Mountain State for a while. Currently, his colored shoelaces can be purchased online at crayonlacing.com or by visiting several locations across the state including Coni & Franc in Morgantown, Hornor & Harrison in Parkersburg, Tony the Tailor in Charleston and Serendypity in Parkersburg.

Rigsby said lists that rank Charleston as the most depressing city to live in, or West Virginia as the most depressing state, just aren’t true.

“I like getting to know everyone … (it’s) nice to have a neighborhood atmosphere, both personally and professionally,” he said. “I think it’s good to be here as a young person or entrepreneur.”

While Rigsby said he is realistic about what Charleston does offer, saying he would rather have a few more options for restaurants, he sees a lot of opportunity in the metropolis as well.

“On the other hand, there’s a big opportunity for young people and entrepreneurs to come here and have a significant impact right away to change that,” Rigsby said.

In a large city, Rigsby said, residents might feel like a small fish in a big pond; in Charleston the opposite might be true.

“Now is a good time to come to Charleston,” he said. “People (need) to get involved with changing the city, helping it to continue to progress.

“I see it as an attractive destination. I’ve met a lot of people, have great connections; I feel like if I wanted to start a program, host an event, I’d already have the ability to do that.”

Read the original story in The State Journal.