Evelynn Escobar and Ryan Norville’s friendship was born on the internet. In a recent conversation between the two during a live chat on Squarespace’s Instagram, they shared the story of how they first met. Evelynn, who has always prioritized inclusion in her work was working in a social media role, and as a result, collaborated with Ryan on a social feature. The two formed an organic connection, finding parallels in their personal and entrepreneurial journeys, and have remained friends ever since.
Since the birth of their friendship, both Evelynn and Ryan have carved out their own spaces on the Internet in their own unique ways. Based in Los Angeles, Evelynn is the founder of Hike Clerb, an intersectional women’s hiking club aimed towards creating safe spaces in the outdoors. Ryan, who formerly worked in the corporate world as a designer, is now the founder of Oat Cinnamon, an online floral shop based in Brooklyn that made her dream of becoming a florist a reality.
Like most small business owners, the past year has pushed Evelynn and Ryan to pivot their businesses to meet the needs of their customers and communities. “I just listened to what people wanted, and people needed flowers,” says Ryan, whose work was primarily events-based prior to the pandemic. During the pandemic, Ryan has pivoted Oat Cinnamon to supply customers with beautiful floral arrangements to brighten up their spaces.
Similarly, Evelynn shared that while Hike Clerb was no longer able to meet up in person for community hikes, the pandemic gave them the opportunity to educate their audience on the importance of equity in outdoor spaces. “We’ve been able to do some really great projects and work with some really great people,” Evelynn says, “That’s only going to continue to strengthen us, especially when we can get outside again.”
On top of it all, both Evelynn and Ryan have become new mothers during the pandemic, adding on to what was already a life-altering year. Ryan, who had her son last year, shares just how eye-opening becoming a mom has been as a business owner. “Mom’s who were enduring the pandemic and running a business do not get enough credit,” she says, “It’s truly insane and wild and amazing at the same time.”
It’s obvious from Evelynn and Ryan’s conversation that finding community plays an essential role when it comes to running a successful business. From exchanging business advice and rooting each other on as they both embark on their journeys with motherhood, Evelynn and Ryan have built the kind of community that makes being an entrepreneur incredibly meaningful. “I definitely couldn’t have made Oat Cinnamon without community,” says Ryan, “Having people who are doing their own thing but are still supporting you and still uplifting you are big helps and pillars to your success as well.”
To hear more from Evelynn and Ryan on business ownership, adapting during the pandemic and how they’re navigating business ownership as new mothers, head over to our Instagram page to check out the full conversation.