Rave is a full service design-build firm located in Gloucester, Virginia. Founded and operated by husband and wife team, Ray and Melisa Wamsley, Rave offers a variety of design and construction services. Melisa holds a Bachelor's of Environmental Design in Architecture and provides our clients with more than 20 years of design experience. Ray is a Virginia licensed, Class A Contractor with more than 35 years of hands-on construction experience.
Through our honor of working with hundreds of clients over the last 20 years we have built a reputation for providing creative design solutions and exceptionally crafted spaces.
Long after the sawdust settles and plans are tucked away, you will be living, working and playing in the spaces created for you. If it can be imagined, we have the expertise, tools and network of resources to see your project to fruition. If you are seeking a team who will not only listen to your goals but translate them into the unimaginable, we invite you to consider our firm for your project needs.
THE FAMILY BEHIND THE BUSINESS
Ray Wamsley III
CLASS A CONTRACTOR - VA LICENSURE
With more than 30 years in the construction industry, Ray has seen and done just about everything. From replicating historic millwork to masterfully constructing custom homes to refinishing and building furniture to providing construction consulting and project management services, he has the knowledge and expertise to take your project from conception to reality with uncompromising quality.
Ray is responsible for overseeing all aspects of construction services from meeting with clients to hands-on construction work, crafting custom built-ins and refinishing furniture. He estimates our jobs, performs project management and provides consulting and PM services to those who wish to be their own GC.
Ray's passion for building and remodeling comes from a childhood built around helping his DIY dad renovate various homes they lived in. Their last collective major undertaking was a 200+ year old farm house in King & Queen. At 14 he gained his first carpentry apprenticeship with a Gloucester based contractor, at 19 he gained employment as a lead carpenter for a second local contractor and by the age of 23 had launched his first construction company.
After 5 years in business and despite much success, he selflessly dissolved his company to relocate to North Carolina with Melisa while she pursued a degree in architecture. While in Raleigh, Ray served as a Project Manager for RMA, a subsidiary of Home Depot which specialized in window and siding installations in several states. His past expertise, excellent customer service and unparalleled work ethic quickly earned him a promotion to Regional Installation Manager overseeing installations in North Carolina and Virginia territories. Six months into his new position, he was promoted to Executive Assistant to the VP of Operations and was slated to relocate to Pittsburg. Although honored by the offer, Ray declined and founded Rave. He simply longed for the hands-on craftsmanship and art of bringing a client's project to life.
Melisa Weaver Wamsley
OWNER, DESIGN PROFESSIONAL
BACHELORS OF ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN
Melisa was bit by the design+build bug after she and Ray built their first home together in '96. That bite took a deeper hold following a family trip to Greece and upon their return, she set off to earn a degree in Architecture. Her first year was completed at Hampton University where she received an award for "Outstanding Design" in first year studio. In 1999 she transferred to NC State's School of Design in Raleigh where she would earn her Bachelor's of Environmental Design in Architecture in 2003.
During her college education she interned for two firms, Bull City Architect in Durham and Edwards & Associates in Raleigh and provided freelance drafting services for a small contractor out of Apex. Upon graduation she and Ray relocated back to Gloucester where she landed a position as Project Manager for ARC Studio, formerly ADG in Newport News. While employed with these architectural firms she not only collaborated and provided support to senior architects, she gained deeper experience by serving as lead designer for an Air National Guard project in Richmond, a private waterfront residence in Sandbridge and NASA Langley's Cafeteria renovation.
Over the course of the past 12 years she has assisted our clients by creating designs that exceed their expectations. Her fresh perspective has lent itself to creating one of a kind spaces that leave our clients unable to imagine their projects built any other way. She is passionate about creating thoughtful, thermally delightful spaces that pay homage to their built and natural environments.
Melisa is responsible for working closely with our clients, providing complete design services which include determining their project program, creating schematic designs, performing design development and preparing construction documents. She writes and negotiates most of our contracts, performs job cost tracking and leads all of Rave's administrative and marketing efforts.
Ray and Melisa are the proud parents of two children whom they consider their absolute greatest blessings along with one adopted, lumbering, yellow lab and one lovable but slightly spastic chocolate lab. When they are not working, they can be found cheering on their kids in school and sports related activities, enjoying time with their family and friends and supporting various causes. The Wamsleys strongly believe in being stewards of their community - life is about what we may contribute to others more than what we may take from it.
Melisa is one of the co-founders of the Giving Garden Foundation and served on the Board from 2008-2014 as President and Vice-President. The Giving Garden provides financial assistance to cancer patients residing in Gloucester & Mathews who are struggling to make ends meet. She co-founded the organization in honor of her father, a 2 time cancer survivor.
Ray has donated much of his time over the years to assist the Giving Garden with various endeavors from building "Can Cottages" to installing pavers, framed a home for Habitat for Humanity and in 2015 he was invited to serve on the Board of Baystars FC as their Construction Manager. Baystars is a 501C3, youth, travel soccer club which their son became a member of in 2013. Presently Ray is chairing their Capital Campaign to develop a sports complex in Gloucester. Melisa (one of many individuals) is serving on the campaign committee. She also served in 2016 and 2017 as the Tournament Director for Baystars FC's Surf & Turf Soccer Fest, their largest annual fundraising event.