We had the good fortune of connecting with Ria Foye and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ria, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started kindred twines (kindred for short) out of a desire for connection. Both with myself and with the people in my life, particularly the women who I considered to make up my circle. For a long time, I struggled to find that sense of community and sisterhood, especially in a city where everything and everyone moves at such a rapid pace. While I’ve worked in what most would call a creative space – from social strategist to freelance writer – I always felt the pull to create with my hands and turn that desire for connection around me into something physical. Something you could either have for yourself or give to a loved one as a gentle reminder of deeper connectivity. That they’re your kin and they deserve joy in the form of something like florals.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Like many twenty-somethings, I pursued a degree in a field that I don’t actively work in today. By day I’m a social marketing lead at Twitter, focusing on music & creators and round-the-clock curious florist. But years before working for the Bird App, I segued into healthcare communications and PR after obtaining my degree in Biology and Forensics. After working in a number of corporate and research environments that felt pretty devoid of creative energy, I knew I needed to pivot. It was scary dropping everything I was familiar with to turn a new corner.
I only knew two things: that I wanted to find ways to tap into cultural conversations and enjoyed how quickly social media was propelling such conversations. I took my first advertising agency job back in 2018 and had the opportunity to work on some really exciting projects for a number of well known brands like Crown Royal Apple, Reese’s, Johnnie Walker, etc. It felt like I had finally found a way to story-tell that wasn’t muddled in scientific jargon. During this time I was also freelancing for a sneaker collective, fashion magazine and a few beauty brands on the side – it felt exciting to extend my knowledge to spaces I loved and for entrepreneurs I rooted for.
When I think about how I was able to make that transition to a more creative space, I always tell people, bet on yourself. You never know what’s on the other-side unless you propel yourself towards it. With each opportunity I pursued, I had to find the inner courage to show up as myself in the spaces I occupied. Remember – there’s only one you and oftentimes you’re placed in certain rooms for a very specific reason. Don’t let your voice become small or your light dim as you step into your personal and professional greatness.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hands down Slutty Vegan! It’s a can’t miss not only because the food is so on point, but the vibes are everything. I’ve never had so much fun waiting in line for a burger.
Carroll Street Cafe is also another great option if you’re looking for a laid back brunch meets arts & crafts. The space is filled with artwork from local artists and has an overall cozy atmosphere that’s great for a midday reset
Whatever you do, please don’t skip out on Parlor for a drink! This intimate and moody cocktail den serves up one of my favorite whiskey-based bevs in the city (The Mr. Jones).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There’s definitely someone in my life who gave me the push I needed to birth kindred. During lockdown last year, I knew I wanted to explore florals, but found myself caught up in whether or not I should just go for it. Chris Lubin gifted me an online arrangement class through the New York Botanical Gardens. Looking back, I know that first arrangement was a bit of an eyesore (hello, disproportion), but the fact that I was able to make it and unearth my desire to continue perfecting the craft was a massive pivot toward actualizing this dream. So thank you Chris, for seeing that potential in me and nudging me past fear.
I’d also like to shoutout Dominique Loreau’s, “Làrt de la Simplicité” – I read this book back in 2016 and her section on suggested rituals pushed me to see the power of flowers as a nurturing practice. “Like fruit and fresh air, they are indispensable to our well-being.”