First County Bank connected with Abby Knott and Lindsay Hurty, the co-founders behind the Darien based Community + Coworking company, Everwell, as they shared with us how they have changed their business models to withstand the pandemic, and advice they’d give to fellow female entrepreneurs.
FCB: What is your business specialty/focus?
AK & LH: Everwell is a membership-based multipurpose workspace and social community with highly curated programs and events that support and inspire all aspects of women’s lives—both personally and professionally. Our 3,000 square foot multipurpose workspace is located in Darien, CT and with our NEW virtual platform, members can now experience Everwell’s programs and events from anywhere.
FCB: Why do you trust your business to First County Bank?
AK & LH: Since our first meeting with First County Bank, we knew we had found our financial partner, a common-sense lender who works every day to support their customers and our community and a true ally who has our back as small business owners. We are so grateful for the relationship that we have built with our First County Banker, Singh, who has been a critical sounding board for us at such an uncertain time and has been instrumental in helping us navigate the financial aspect of owning a small business during a pandemic.
FCB: Who is your go to Banker on our Business Banking team?
AK & LH: Jagjiwan Singh
FCB: What is your Covid Comeback story or how did your business model adapt as a result of the pandemic?
AK & LH: We always dreamt of a space where women could gather to connect, work and grow in a meaningful way, so we created Everwell. As an annual membership-based community, our focus when we first launched in October 2019 was very much about our 3,000 square foot multipurpose Darien workspace and hosting in-person programs and events that spoke to women, regardless of where they were on their journey in life.
With the 10-week closure of our workspace due to COVID, at a time when connection was critical to our membership and the community at large, we were given the opportunity to think about why and how women gather to connect with each other. We had a unique opportunity to support and inspire our members in a new way at a time when they needed it most. While virtual programming and events were always part of our 3-year plan, we chose to fast track these efforts and launch our online virtual programming platform, which we launched just two weeks after our workspace closure. With this new virtual platform, members can now experience Everwell’s highly curated programs and events from anywhere, and it’s been a remarkable honor to experience the meaningful connection and growth that’s happening over ZOOM between our members, whether they are in CT or CA.
Additionally, as the landscape of work shifted in March and many professionals were working from home, we felt that it was critical to find a way to support those in our community who had a new need for a quiet, clean, distraction-free space outside of their homes to be productive and connect with others. So, for our June 1st workspace reopening, we expanded our annual membership model to include short-term memberships, which provide flexible options to use Everwell’s workspace without a long-term commitment. We are thrilled to welcome so many full-time career professionals who are looking for a community-grounded membership-based workspace just outside of NYC.
FCB: Tell us about a situation where First County Bank was able to help/assist the needs of your business?
AK & LH: First County Bank was instrumental in supporting our small business navigate the Paycheck Protection Program. Having a local and responsive partner assist us during this time was truly invaluable.
FCB: What advice if any, you would offer up to women who are interested in starting their own business?
AK & LH: If you’re starting a business, our advice would be to consider launching it with a business partner. We have each found that building our business together has not only been invaluable, but essential, for us. We recommend choosing a business partner whose greatest strengths compliment your greatest challenges or fears, and whose vision and work ethic align with yours. We also value that we are equally invested in the future.