Evan Feenstra moved to Portland, Oregon from Southern California. Hearing that Portland loves music, he intended to set the place afire with instant notoriety and success. But Evan’s plans faltered. He needed a Plan B. Let’s step back to take a look at this tall, gaunt, young-at-heart guy who knows how to work hard and enjoy life.
Evan graduated from Pitzer College in Davis, California with a B.S. in Psychology. The stated values of the college include:
- Social Responsibility
- Intercultural Understanding
- Interdisciplinary Learning
- Student Engagement
- Environmental Sustainability
He espoused the principles, but what would he do with a Psych major? Of course! He’d visit Nepal with a good friend of his, Hailey Flanigan, a native of Portland, Oregon. His parents, hippies from the 70’s with a small organic farm in California, proudly congratulated his decision. Hailey found a fascinating job in Nepal, writing and teaching people how to write grants. Evan took a volunteer job where he helped people learn about science while watering plants or nurtured orphans in the commune where they lived. What an experience!
Hailey knew Roshan Gurung from a prior trip to Nepal. She fell in love with him on this trip, starting the visa process for him to come to the US as soon as possible. Evan met Stephanie Ray-Hatten, who migrated from Odessa, Texas.
About five minutes after meeting Stephanie, he was smitten with her beauty and sweet West Texas drawl. She enjoyed camping, same as him. She loved biking, same as him. They remain a couple today.
The foursome decided to live in Portland. The two couples made a little money here and there while Evan played small gigs. One night they cooked Nepalese dumplings for Hailey’s parents. Her mom, off-handed, while devouring a dozen dumplings, suggested he needed a second income. Shauna Flanigan offered a little monetary incentive for supplies. Why not nurture his cooking habit? Why not start a traveling business, similar to a food truck only smaller, which he could carry around on his bike. Maybe he could sell Himalayan Steamed Dumplings.
The dawn of a new business arrived with the clink of the beer cans. Everyone recognized the synergy at the table. They formed a business partnership.
Building the Business
Evan is mechanically and technically gifted, plus he loves biking. With a small investment from his friend’s mom, he built a “business-on-a-bike.” He attends festivals, parades, and has two usual hangouts where people come from miles around for his tempting dumplings…chicken, vegan and vegetarian. He designed a food cart, purchased the pans, makes the dumplings beforehand and sells them regularly in the Hawthorne area at 3423 Belmont SE, Portland, Oregon. Steph organizes music at this venue.
They secured a second location in downtown Portland at Shemanski Square Park through Kickstarter, where they use the business-in-a-bike cart. The professionals downtown crave his spicy food as readily as the funky folks in the Hawthorne area. His cash flow is decent. He rides his bike, meets new people and makes a little money.
At the Portland Summer Parkways, an event where streets are closed for bikes, Evan sold me six dumplings for six bucks. I loved them! I fully expected him to sing or play the flute for customers once I heard his story. Stephanie helps by arranging pods for musicians, similar to the food cart craze, where both food and starving musicians can find a path to stardom.
Rolling into Plan B
Evan remains involved in music, providing two more streams of income. He creates music for advertising videos, and he plays in small venues and bars, when he can. I love his ability to juggle three small businesses.
I asked Evan what advice he’d suggest to my readers. His response, “If you follow your dreams, it won’t turn out the way you think, but is will turn out. Be open-minded!”
Meanwhile, check Evan’s three colorful websites for additional information.