Hi y’all. Janessa here. We’ve got some news to share. The three of us founders came together recently and had some big talks. As we’ve always aimed to be transparent, honest and loving, as hard as this is to write, we made a decision that we want to share with you.
Jess, Michele and I started Vida Vegan Con in 2009, when Blogspot wasn’t yet owned by Google and Instagram wasn’t a glimpse in the collective blogger’s smartphone’s eyes. It was started with the goal to bring vegans together, to build community and increase knowledge. To learn more about the nuts and bolts of blogging on new platforms, as well as vegan lifestyle issues: activism, mating and dating, fashion, privacy and sharing on social media, photography and cookbook writing… And most importantly, to us, to bring together people who perhaps had never met another vegan, to bridge the gap that vegans felt. To introduce them to their favorite bloggers, authors and celebrities (hello, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Colleen Patrick Goudreau). To make the vegans all over the world feel less alone, more connected and more inspired.
It was the world’s first international vegan conference. Wow. And we succeeded. Because of you. And we went on to organize a second Vida Vegan Con in Portland, where we’re based, and what happened to be the “vegan mecca” at the time. Which also sold out. And a Tech Seminar in Seattle. And an Exquisite Vegan Dinner and Beer Pairing at Portland’s oldest brewpub. And a Holiday How-To party. And now here we are gearing up for Vida Vegan Con III, this time in Austin, Texas, and we couldn’t be more excited. This is a sincere labor of love for all three of us. Throughout the past six years, Jess, Michele and I have poured everything we have into this. And it’s always been a passion project we’ve hoped to turn into a career—as many of you who’ve attended and followed us over the years no doubt understand. We’ve done this while working long hour day jobs, freelancing and changing jobs (and jobs). In so many ways, we’ve put put our lives on hold to give ourselves to all things Vida Vegan Con. And it’s been so, so worth it. The people we’ve met and connected with over the years are some of our favorite people. The people who’ve attended and launched businesses, brands, started blogs & websites and began their companies after Vida Vegan events truly humble us.
This has been an amazing, uplifting, enriching rewarding experience for us, and we hope for all of you, too.
That is why it is with a heavy but clear heart that we want to share with you that this is the last Vida Vegan Con. We all still love each other dearly, and love the niche we fill doing it, but it’s time to move on.
It’s hard work. It’s a full-time job done around our other full-time hours. We’ve all grown and changed a lot in the years since we concepted Vida Vegan Con, and even with the most recent two-year break while we planned the next one, there’s never enough time. The truth of the matter is that it’s turned into a full-time job for the workload, but without the salary. We have always been very intentional about keeping the conference as affordable as possible while giving the most value we can. We never wanted big brand logos to overtake and dilute the feeling of the event; we wouldn’t feel right taking a paycheck from a company we couldn’t all get behind. We always aimed to work with socially conscious brands and companies, and we’re proud to say that we succeeded. Our intentions of a socially responsible conference with integrity and community have been accomplished. And now we leave the folks who’ve been inspired by what they’ve learned or who they’ve met at Vida Vegan Con to continue the trajectory.
We’re not saying goodbye forever; we all still love planning worthwhile vegan events and working for the animals and the communities that support and speak for the animals, the planet and each other. There may be some project down the road, in which case you can expect the same care, attention to detail and time spent planning it. But until then, if you’ve always been wanting to attend, or have been wavering about attending or sponsoring. we feel we owe it to you to be transparent. If you’ve been wanting to come, please do. This is going to be an incredible one, and the first ever in our adopted city of Austin, Texas. This is the first one to include the debut Vegan Bazaar, which is Day One of our three-day Conference and for the first time, open to the public. We’d love for to come and be part of vegan history. Join us.
We love doing this, but life rolls on and it’s time to make some changes and get our lives back. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love, encouragement and support. We couldn’t have made Vida Vegan Con what it was without all of you.
Thank you, and we hope to see you in Austin,
Janessa, Jess & Michele
Co-founders, Vida Vegan
Let’s give a warm welcome to our dear friend Amey Mathews!
Amey joins us for the third Vida Vegan Con next month to host an intimate Zine Making Workshop. Stay tuned for advance sign up!
Check out our recorded video interview with Amey below, guest starring more furry friends than any VVC Speaker Series to date!!
Vida Vegan Con Speaker Series: Amey Mathews, Vegan Eats & Treats
This interview was recorded on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at Hatch Innovation in Portland, OR and Santa Cruz, CA.
Afterwards, head over to Google Plus, where you can add Vida Vegan to your circles, and make sure you hear first about the upcoming exclusive talks in our ongoing Vida Vegan Speaker Series. And for goodness sake, make sure you turn notifications off so you don’t get emailed every day.
Catch Amey at Vida Vegan Con May 29th-31st in Austin, TX! You can follow her on Instagram as @ameyfm
Looking for our full 2015 VVC Speaker Lineup? You got it.
Tickets to both events during this three-day super vegan weekend are available here. See you in May!
DEEP BREATH, FOLKS: The Vida Vegan Con III Agenda is LIIIIIVE!
NEXT UP, the big unveiling of our brand-spanking new Vegan Bazaar poster:
In further proof that Portland vegans are officially sweet on Austin, thanks to the amazing Josh Hooten of Herbivore Clothing for designing our lovely new poster for Friday’s debut + public Vegan Bazaar! It’s moments like this you just may find yourself hugging your tablet, or smartphone, or semi-functioning laptop, what have you.
Everyone is invited to join us on Friday! Come check out the Earth Balance photo booth and spend some time (& sample some eats!) from: Capital City Bakery, The Vegan Nom, Cool Beans, Herbivore Clothing, Chicago Vegan Foods, We Eat Foods, Strongest Hearts, Sweet Ritual Ice Cream, Treeline Cheese, Golden Spike Rail Cart, V Apparel, Beanfields Snacks, Vegan Cuts, Red Hot Vegans, Compassion Co, Fair Winds Press, Driftwood magazine, Kick Butt Boots, Friends of Animals, Natural Vitality, Primarily Primates Sanctuary, Vida Green Consulting,Texas VegFest, Silverleaf Resorts & so many more to come!
Email us today to reserve your own vendor table — discounted rates are available! Remember, all registered Vida Vegan Con attendees and speakers get an exclusive first hour access at noon.
We can’t say goodbye just yet…
ANNOUNCING THE VIDA VEGAN CON THURSDAY NIGHT MEET & GREET:
Whether you’re based in the area or making a bit of a vegan vacation out of your VVCIII plans (Yessssssss), we invite you all to join us for a casual meet & greet from 3pm-6pm at Buzzmill Coffee. This rad coffee shop may be cozy inside, but has a huge outdoor patio with a fire pit and a vegan food cart, Golden Spike Rail Cart. Both Buzzmill and Golden Spike have promised to offer VVC food and drink specials for everybody, so get excited! Plus, we’re easily big fans of a coffee shop that offers coffee, tea and an intriguing assortment of house-infused liquor.
DID SOMEONE SAY VEGAN SCAVENGER HUNT?!?
OH, THERE’S ALWAYS MORE:
That’s right, there are even more classes and panels coming as we super duper finalize the schedule and coordinate with all those fab, hand-selected speakers, so stay tuned for that, and more surprises for both Vida Vegan Con and our opening day Vegan Bazaar.
SEE YOU THEN!
❤ Janessa, Jess & Michele
Co-Founders, Vida Vegan Con
Join us for a winter wonderland of a Google Hangout this Sunday with VVC2015 Speaker Eco-Vegan Gal!
When: Sunday, December 7, 2014 starting at 11amPST/1pmCST/2pmEST for one hour
What: Join Vida Vegan Con founders Janessa, Jess and Michele to discuss winter holiday recipes, memories, entertaining tips and hear some big announcements about what’s in store at Vida Vegan Con III in May. We’ll be joined by a special guest, Whitney Lauritsen aka Eco-Vegan Gal, who’ll be sharing her own holiday tips in a live Q & A, what she’s been up to and what this self-made YouTube star has planned for her own special class at VVC2015.
Hold up! Bonus! Well, Jess is pretty sure she clicked all the correct buttons to make this broadcast (and record!) live! This means you don’t have to “join” in on the chat to witness our shenanigans, but if you do, you’re a part of the fun!
Whether you’re attending, thinking about grabbing a ticket or just super wish you could be there, this is a chance to ask us all your questions about Vida Vegan Con.
Where: Google Hangout! Here’s the event page: Vida Vegan Con December Hangout. You don’t have to have the silly world of Google Plus all figured out by any means: just click on the link and check the event out! We do recommend that you turn off the event notifications (Boooooring).
RSVP & we’ll see you there!
P.S. Looking for more vegan holiday entertaining ideas? Download our 2013 Holiday E-Zine for a mere $3 bucks! Created for last December’s Holiday Hors D’oeuvres & How-Tos event, this e-zine is filled with wintry recipes as well as craft instructions, decorating tips, and gift ideas. Recipes include Cauliflower “Goat Cheese” and Baked Maple Whiskey Popcorn!
Team Vida Vegan HQ has a dream (okay, and at least 107 projects in the works), and that dream is to one day attend Expo West. From the looks of the Internet and all the jealousy-inducing photos we’ve seen, this year was bigger, better and more vegan-friendly than ever. I mean, it had its own vegan-specific hashtag, #VegansAtExpo. That’s really saying something. Like I said, one day, the sampling will be ours, because it looked like a blogger-hopping blast!
To tide ourselves over until we bring on the exhibitors at the next Vida Vegan Con, we put together this hashtag roundup from the tradeshow.
Hint, hint, we’d love to see all these folks and products at VVC2015*! Right?! Let’s make it happen.
*Dude, the much-anticipated VVC2015 city & dates are seriously, seriously coming your way early Spring, which means oh, so, soon. I hope you subscribe to our official Vida Vegan HQ newsletter! (because it’s an infrequent, imperative source for these things).
Enjoy these highlights via Instagram & Twitter, some thoughts from Michele and myself, and prepare to contemplate: Is 2014 the year of the vegan fish stick, or what?
Michele says: I am so G-to-the-D excited about these, and I can’t tell you why. Fish sticks were always the grossest, but I loved fish & chips—which now seem just as gross. So why do I want a vegan fakey fish? Whyyyy?
…because who can ever get enough of JJ’s Cocomels?
Fan favorite! (And we’re talking about the bacon and our friend Jared)
Speaking of bacon, we sure are A-OK with another nifty vegan seitan bacon hitting the market. Anyone seen this in Portland yet? Or better yet, we’ll come to you!
Clearly a necessity with the non-stop sampling going on.
Everyone (okay, at least three people in Jess’ Instagram feed last week) are raving about these new Field Roast burgers! And breakfast sausages! For that matter, I must admit, I’m a little disappointed when I visit Seattle and every other restaurant doesn’t offer *something* Field Roast. Come on, home town pride!
Cue freakouts. People have seriously been waiting for this. The year of the soy yogurt shortage even saw me breaking out my slow cooker and making my own. I’ve got Artisan Vegan Cheeses to make, people. Fortunately, the WholeSoy factory is up and going and I can report that it’s recently been spotted at the Hawthorne New Seasons (again, here in Portland. Have you seen it your way yet? Do tell! People are depending on you. I had no idea this many people I knew ate so much nondairy yogurt).
Looks like 2014 is gonna bring us even more vegan cheese. No issues here. Let’s push things forward and get some standards.
Okay, you know team VVC takes ferocious pride in the VVC Swag bags, but even we’re a little jealous here!
What would you love to have from this pile of goodies? Personally, I want to get my eager little hands on this and plan on stalking the roaming SD truck later today:
Michele says: So Delicious, I knew you were listening in on my dreams.
Also ongoing: The Vegan Ice Cream Revolution! I’m partial to coconut and soy, but keep the options coming. More for everyone!
Hello, Spork sisters (and hairstyling inspiration for the day)!
Who’s down for some faux tuna? (Karla, I’m talking to you)
And ah yes, having tried Beyond Beef myself, I could EASILY see this fooling nearly anyone eating at Taco Bowl. I’m normally one for black beans, but if this is the future, let’s get started.
Michele says: Personally, creamy foods like mayo creep me out, but I love that there’s a gourmet/upscale vegan market. It’s products like this that help us broaden the perception of “vegan.”
There you have it! Expect new cheeses, fishy stuff, crumbles and even more vegan bacon heading your way (or order it online through nice folks like Austin’s Rabbit Food Grocery and Portland’s Food Fight!).
And don’t worry, we’ll take one of everything for Janessa.
Some roundups for additional swooning:
- Meshell in your city: Awesome Stuff we saw at Expo West, Parts 1, 2 & 3
- Field Roast: Expo West 2014
- Veggietorials: Natural Products Expo West: Vegan Favorites
- HealthyVoyager: Top Picks of Natural Products Expo West 2014
- Vegan Gourmand: The Vegan Zombie Tour at Natural Products Expo West
- The Veracious Vegan: Natural Products Expo West Days 1, 2 & 3
- Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth: Natural Products Expo West 2014
And John, we are eagerly awaiting The Laziest Vegans recap!
Did you attend? Did you have a favorite? We’d love to hear about it!
It’s almost here! This Saturday evening (December 7, 5–7pm) is Vida Vegan’s holiday event, Holiday Hors D’oeuvres & How-Tos—hosted by Janessa Philemon-Kerp, Jess Sconé, and Michele Truty. We’re down to the fun stuff: final recipe testing and crafting and practicing our demos.
If this is the first you’re hearing about it, then yipes stripes, grab one of the few remaining tickets now so you can hang out and eat and drink and craft with us this weekend! If you’re in the Portland area, we’d love to see you there! And keep an eye on our Instagram feed, where we’ll continue posting photos of our testing and behind the scenes prep sessions.
We’re having a great time playing with wintery flavors. Just check out our menu!
Savory spiced popcorn
Red curry carrot dip
Cauliflower goat cheese
Speakeasy smoked Yukon Gouda
Coconut vinegar quick pickles
Cheese Plate fromage fort & crackers
Baked maple bourbon popcorn
Depression-era chocolate cake with chocolate ganache
Italian olive oil citrus cake
Candy cane chocolate–chocolate chip cookies
Spiced apple-red wine punch
Sparkling cranberry orange punch (non-alcoholic)
Hands-on papercraft table (gift tags and menu/place cards)
Décor ideas, tablescaping
Homemade gift-giving ideas
So yeah, loads of food and fun, and a special gazillion tips throughout the evening.
And we’re putting a bunch of the recipes together in a little booklet for attendees, with a little homemade present, too! And who knows, you may win one of our door prizes. Now you can see why we’re so excited.
Remember, this private event is 21+, so bring ID. Hope to see you there!