About 19 Oaks

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn”. Ralph Waldo Emerson

We chose the number 19 because it is a prime number and a combination of 1 and 9. Number 1 is significant because it’s the first of the counting numbers, the beginning. Number 9 is the last of the single numbers, representing intuition, problem-solving, and completion — an ending that leads to a new beginning.

We chose the oak because it’s a tree that withstands incredibly strong storms, including tornadoes and hurricanes. Even when they’re stripped of their leaves, oak trees survive because of their strength, their curvy branches, and their deep roots.

Where we started from

Shay Bellas

After leaving law school in 2000 Shay Bellas decided to start her family and buy Maine’s first professional women’s football team, the Maine Freeze. This landed her in Portland Magazine’s Top Ten Most Intriguing People in 2001, although the team had a shutout first season. It was the team that taught her about sales and marketing and the importance of strategy, relationships, and storytelling to reach an audience. It’s also where she learned about goal setting and (while she didn’t know it at the time) OKRs and KPIs. She went on to sell the football team twice



Jeff Ryan

While working on the South Portland Land Trust trails committee and building the Clark’s Pond Trail, she met co-Founder Jeff Ryan.  Jeff, whose early career included writing LL Beans catalogs for 13 years, was freelancing for companies like Mosher, Hubbardton Forge when he and Shay met.  A few years into the company it was agreed that he should fulfill his lifelong dream to write his first book and he sold his share of 19 Oaks to Shay. He still write creative for many clients. But is now a published author of four books.



Your Team

We have amazing talent for writing, design, web development and SEO when your team isn’t available or we need the expertise outside of their skill set.

We like to incorporate your team into the strategy, process, implementation, and analytics. They understand your company better than our writers and designers ever could. So we teach them the systems and process, and they bring the expertise. This adds value to the market, provides your team with a great sense of engagement and satisfaction, and lowers your cost. But when you don’t have someone with the necessary skills — maybe SEO, design, or technical writing no worries, we help find the right expert for your brand, industry, and goals.  They contract directly with you and your team so you can use them on projects in the future.