Deskside With: Cheney Edmunds, Editor of The Scout Guide Richmond
TSG Richmond editor Cheney Edmunds. Photography by Alston Thompson Photography.
Born in Richmond but raised in Norfolk, Virginia, Cheney Edmunds spent her early years in Virginia, graduating from Norfolk Academy and Randolph Macon College in Ashland. After a brief stint in Lake Tahoe post-graduation, she took a job in finance in Richmond, where she met her husband, an institutional equity sales trader. Both went on to jobs in Baltimore with Wachovia Securities, and they spent thirteen wonderful years living in Annapolis. In 2013, as their three children reached school age, Cheney and her husband decided to move back to Richmond to raise their family. Soon after, the opportunity to take on the job as editor of The Scout Guide Richmond presented itself. Even though her life was busy, she knew the role would be rewarding. “I have always supported local shops and businesses in any town I have lived in, so having a career doing just that seemed like a natural fit for me,” she says. Thirteen years later, she has zero regrets. The dynamic editor, jam band fanatic, and recent pickleball player will launch the 10th volume of The Scout Guide Richmond in February.
TSG: Tell us about your background and what brought you to Richmond.
CE: I received my degree from Randolph Macon College with a double major in business/economics and German and moved out to Lake Tahoe with my best friends from high school. I got a job in finance, but quickly realized that left no time to ski, so I ended up greeting people at Squaw Valley when they got off the gondola. As it turns out, I’ve had people skills, essential for sales, my whole life.
When it came time to get serious about my career, I went back to finance working for First Union Securities, which became Wachovia Securities. Throughout the late 90s and early 2000s I worked on the syndicate desk bringing IPOs public. After my husband and I started our family, I took off 10 years to raise my children.
While still living in Annapolis, Maryland, I worked with the brother of Susie Matheson, one of The Scout Guide’s co-founders. He thought I would make a great editor and he put me in touch with Susie. We were discussing me taking on a role to assist the new editor of Annapolis in launching her first guide when my husband and I decided to move to Richmond.
While things in my life were quite crazy then, with three small children and my husband who was in Baltimore for work during the week, the allure to be a part of The Scout Guide kept tugging on me. The current Richmond editor was departing and the time was right for me to take the helm.
Even though nothing I had done professionally really prepared me for the role of editor, as they always say, if you are doing what you love, the rest will fall into place. Thankfully, that was the case for me. Early on, I discovered that I absolutely loved sales. I was terrified at first, so this came as a big surprise. Going on sales calls enables me to really get to know potential clients, which in turn helps me promote and support them better. I also found that I really enjoyed the photo shoots and the whole process of designing the book. Finally, I delved right into Instagram, finding that it is a great—and fun—way to show my love for my clients and their businesses. Many of my lifelong friends remark that this is the perfect job for me, and they’re right. It’s been such a rewarding part of my life, having a job where all the things I am really good at came to light.
Cheney visiting TSG Richmond client Nellie George. Photography by Brittany Daniel Studio.
TSG: What is a typical day like for you?
CE: Every day is different. Some days I will sit at my computer emailing clients and scheduling shoots and planning meetings, while other days I am in the field scouting locations, visiting clients, or attending photo shoots. Today, I popped by one of my favorite boutiques, scouted a location on the train tracks for a client, and also had lunch with a potential associate who can help me with blogging.
Cheney at the TSG Richmond launch party. Photography by Brittany Daniel Studio.
TSG: Tell us a little bit about your work/life balance.
CE: Work/life balance as an editor and a very busy mom with two middle schoolers and a high schooler is interesting. It is a bit cyclical. There’s definitely a crunch time for about four months when I am in photo shoots and then in design, but it is much more manageable the rest of the year after the guide is launched. I love it all. The down times, the busy times, and all the times in between.
TSG: How are you enjoying downtime right now?
CE: I unwind by reading interior design magazines. It is a guilty, guilty pleasure. My current stack consists of Elle Décor, Veranda, House Beautiful, Domino, Garden and Gun, Milieu and Galerie. I am definitely doing my part to keep the magazine industry afloat. But I believe in the power of print, which is another reason why The Scout Guide is such a perfect fit for me.
Cheney at Quirk Gallery in Richmond, VA. Photography by Brittany Daniel Studio.
TSG: What do you love most about your city?
CE: Richmond is amazing right now. Our food scene is exciting especially in Church Hill and Jackson Ward and we have plenty of retail shopping to make everyone happy. Our museums and art galleries are top notch as well. I am a live music lover and we get enough great music to keep me happy at least once a week. But after the pandemic, I think we are all very proud of our public spaces. We have a thriving park system on the James River offering kayaking, swimming, and great hikes as well. I am really enjoying the low line downtown for walking, biking, and getting fresh air. From there the Capital Trail, which heads out of town through Varina and to Charles City, offers bikers a safe path with a nice long ride.
The Hit List: Cheney’s Favorites
Music genre: Jam bands
Meal: Picking crabs
Cocktail: My husband’s banana daiquiri.
Book: Pride and Prejudice
Movie: Almost Famous
TV series: House of Cards
Vacation spot: St. Barths
Accessory: A serious pair of statement earrings
Piece of clothing: A Jean Paul Gaultier bathing suit I bought for my honeymoon 20 years ago
Time of day: Coffee time before the kids wake up
Personal motto: There are no strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet!
To learn more about Cheney and The Scout Guide in her area, follow The Scout Guide Richmond on Instagram. Learn more about starting The Scout Guide in your city here.