We’re excited to bring you a special Muse feature in honor of Earth Day and Earth Month! Meet Evelynn Escobar—you may know her on Instagram as @evemeetswest, as the founder of non-profit Hike Clerb, or by way of her killer nail art she often posts online. Originally from Virginia, Evelynn now lives in Los Angeles and is expecting her first child soon. She spends most of her time working on her organization Hike Clerb, as its founder and Executive Director.
Founded in 2017, Evelynn was inspired to start Hike Clerb after witnessing a lack of diversity and homogenous nature of the outdoor recreation landscape during her own experiences in nature. Fast forward several years later, and Hike Clerb is equipping Black, Indigenous, women of color with the tools, resources and experiences they need to collectively heal in nature from Los Angeles and beyond. Inspired by their mission, Lisa Says Gah is partnering with Hike Clerb to give back 15% net proceeds from the sales of our GOTS-certified Organic Cotton Earth Day Tees + Tanks to support both their short term and long term goals. Keep reading for a brief interview with Evelynn Escobar to learn more about her, how to incorporate nature into your daily life, and what’s next for her and Hike Clerb! Photos by Franco Andrade.
LSG: Hi Evelynn! Please tell us a little bit about yourself, where you're from, and a little bit about the life you've built here in LA and what led you to found Hike Clerb.
EE: My name is Evelynn Escobar and I’m the Founder and Executive Director of Hike Clerb, a virgo, an expecting mother, a self taught nail artist to name a few! I’m originally from Woodbridge, VA (shout out to the DMV) and I still wake up every morning in awe of my life here in LA. I am living out loud fully and showing up for myself and others in ways that I could’ve only dreamed of. My experiences in the outdoors witnessing how homogenous the outdoor recreation landscape is and hiking solo more than I should have, led me to creating Hike Clerb.
LSG: Was there a moment during your childhood or earlier in life where you suddenly felt more connected to nature than you did before, that helped you begin your relationship with the outdoors?
EE: I always had a connection with nature as a kid whether it was playing outside in the woods, along creeks etc. or hiking with my aunt when visiting LA. I would say my first visit to Los Angeles is what really planted the seed for the life I live now.
LSG: In an extremely fast-moving world, it's easy to feel like there's no time to get outside, or in the case of the pandemic, it's kept us indoors for many months. What are some ways you still manage to incorporate nature and mindful healing into your day-to-day, and do you have recommendations for others to do so?
EE: Keeping plants in my space is always a big one! Just seeing them and being able to tend to them helps keep me grounded. I also love a neighborhood walk, a short close-distance hike, a bike ride and also just sitting outside in the sun!
LSG: Tell us a little bit about your world outside of Hike Clerb and your work with the outdoors. There are so many important parts of Evelynn and we would love to hear more about what makes you, you.
EE: I am a super passionate person, so I go all the way in on the things that peak my interest. Like nail art, social justice, wellness, sneakers etc! I have been doing community work since I was in middle school and it’s something that has been a theme in my life for as long as I can remember. At a young age I had a very clear sense of purpose and have continued to listen to that inner voice to get to where I am today. Culturally, nails have always played a big part in my life from my childhood until now, so using that art as a tool for self expression is very therapeutic for me. The biggest thing right now is my pregnancy journey and all the shifts and changes that happen when approaching motherhood. It’s truly the most insane and inspiring transformation I’ve ever embarked on. I feel immensely grateful for this experience.
LSG: We'd love for you to share a little bit more about what's next for Hike Clerb and the crucial work you are doing there.
EE: I always joke around and say world domination, but it’s truly what next! We will be expanding our monthly regular programming to different cities while also adding in new programming here in Los Angeles. Collaborating with more of our friends, making cool new products that we need to see on the trail and more!
LSG: Lastly, Hike Clerb is primarily based in Los Angeles—how can those not based in LA still participate in HC's mission and bring the message of HC to their communities?
EE: There are so many ways to be involved near or far. Whether that’s simply tagging us in a photo in your own adventures, sharing our posts and sparking conversations with friends and family about the current state of the outdoors -- our message and mission transcends what began as monthly hikes here in LA.
Dana is the true definition of a multi-hyphenate, constantly creating, no matter the medium. Dana is proudly of middle eastern descent, and is always looking to use her photography/film work to breakdown stereotypes, and depict a positive representation of middle-eastern/Muslim communities. Boulos Is also a fierce advocate for women's rights—she currently supports Free The Work, a non-profit initiative advocating on behalf of female directors for equal job opportunities.
Text: Madeline Sensible
Photos: Dana Boulos