Vida Vegan Con

Month of Memories Presents: Some Foxy Q & A with Ashlee Piper of The Little Foxes

Posted on Updated on

Hey there! Welcome to the next post of our latest Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters. These special interviews give a glimpse into our past alumni’s upcoming projects, summer shenanigans and reveal what they really learned at VVC2013. They’re sharing which class sticks out in their minds so many months later, and just what they’d like to see more and less of in vegan blogging, a question that’s always on our minds. 

We’re now joined by the adorably sassy Ashlee Piper, author of the “compassionate fare and cunning vegan style” blog, The Little Foxes, and official Vegucator around town.  Let’s see what she had to say about her first foray into the land of Vida Vegan Con…

Ashlee Piper at VVC2013, via The Little Foxes

Why Ashlee, just what have you been up to this summer?

Doing cooking demos, conferences, reviewing bushels of badass products, cooking up a storm, and visiting the dog beach with my pups. I foresee some road trips and camping on the horizon, too.

Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II?

Because a gathering of vegan bloggers in a town that is a vegan mecca sounds like, and actually is, heaven.

Looking back, what was the most memorable class?

I loved Fran Costigan’s class on doing quality food demonstrations and workshops. I love her approach and warm vibe, and I learned so much. I also loved Hannah Kaminsky’s class on food styling! Gotta get an eye-dropper and mister, stat!

How has your blog [www.thelilfoxes.com] changed since the three-day conference?

I’ve become more dedicated to it, diligent in posting, and more collaborative. VVC gave me the opportunity to connect with other marvelous bloggers and I love the sense of community. I’ve also become more proud of my blog and bolder about advertising, promoting, monetizing, and growing it.

Blogging is totally a real career and I appreciate VVC for spotlighting that!

How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?

I am a much more dedicated and careful recipe tester now. I also take care to, with my limited camera phone resources, take better pictures of my meals. I’ve also found that simpler is better. Sometimes, as food bloggers, we get more caught up in impressing one another with molecular gastronomy and complicated ingredients and techniques than creating recipes that are attractive to people interested in making good vegan food. VVC helped me to focus on creating recipes that are fun, but approachable.

Who were you really excited to meet?

Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. But everybody, really. Everyone has so much to contribute to this movement.

Any nice surprises you’d like to share? Special memories of VVC2013?

Dancing to Melisser’s grooves, eating my weight in food, late-night karaoke with cool peeps, and MY GOD, all of the vendors and food at the conference. That swag bag ain’t no joke. Oh, and I loved the Vegan Game Show.

Vegan Battle Royale! (aka the VVC Game Show). Photo by J. Legume

So, have you started reading any new blogs?

Heck yes. So many that I cannot keep up.

What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?

More video blogs. I love ‘em and want to start doing more myself. I find text blogs to be amazing, but sometimes (especially mine), all that text can be very labor intensive and tough to read.

What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC?

Maybe a guided networking reception? I’m very outgoing, so meeting people isn’t a problem for me, but I noticed that other folks are very shy and not ready to self-promote. It might be cool to have a guided networking workshop or something where people can talk about their blogs, goals, and whatever they might need improvement or assistance with. (Noted! We’ve got some creative ice breakers up our sleeves…)

What other vegan events put together by VVHQ would you like to attend?

Are there other events (Why, yes!)? I’m always down to attend stuff in Chicago. And by golly, if VVC is in Chicago next year, you best hit me up. :)

(One more note: We‘ll keep that in mind and will certainly be there at some point!)

Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference? 

VEGGIE GRILL and Departure.

Veggie Grill feasting, image via The Little Foxes

Thanks for sharing, Ashlee! Our Month of Memories Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters will continue far into VeganMoFo, and we’ve got lots more in store.

Check out Ashlee’s spirited VVC2013 recap, appropriately titled Vida Vegan Con: Where Bloggers Eat Their Weight in Food

Besides her blog, you can also catch up with Ashlee on Instagram @ashleepiper and on Twitter @Thelilfoxes

More (Late) Summertime Q & A with Julia Legume

Posted on Updated on

Hey there! Welcome to the next edition of our latest Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters! These special interviews give a glimpse into our past alumni’s upcoming projects, seasonal shenanigans and reveal what they really learned at VVC2013. They’re sharing which class sticks out in their minds so many months later, and just what they’d like to see more and less of in vegan blogging, a question that’s always on our minds. 

We’re now joined by a devoted (and super appreciated!) member of the VVHQ support team and recent host of Portland’s Pop Up! Taco Shop!, Julia Legume 

Julia shows her support for Chimp Sanctuary NW.

So Julia, what have you been up to this summer?

Park Ranger-ing, watching Wheel of Fortune, petting every dog and cat I see in the streets of pdx.


Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II? 
I’m dating one of the organizers!

Looking back, what was the most memorable class?

Vegan Professionals in a Non-vegan World with Janessa, Fran, Julie, and Grant– good stuff dudes

 

How has your blog changed since the three-day conference? 

I think one more person reads it.

 

How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?

I tasted Upton’s bacon– and now I eat a lot of it at home!

How Julia brunches at home: hot biscuits & Upton’s seitan bacon.

 

Who were you really excited to meet? 

Heather Spork (who happened to be a vendor with Galaxy Foods), Madeleine.teacup and SweetT from the PPK forums, and Jojo!                 (veganinbrighton).

 

Any special memories of VVC2013 you’d like to share? 

The Chicago Vegan Foods Teese nacho machine!!!!

 

So, have you started reading any new blogs? 

Travel blogs, basically. The Gay Backpacker — I like his style.


What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?

Less recipes/ how to’s with packaged ingredients, more thoughtful and creative dishes that are inspiring

 

What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC? 

Team building exercises. Mandatory. (Noted!)

Here’s Julia, helping assemble the SWAG bags.

What other vegan events put together by VVHQ would you like to attend? 

Pool parties, pizza parties, slumber parties, hikes, campouts, dodgeball, Vegan Olympics.

 

Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference? (as if you could resist!) 

DUH EMAME’S ETHIOPIAN FOODCART DOWNTOWN.

Combo platter, Emame's Ethiopian
Combo platter, Emame’s Ethiopian

Thanks for sharing!


Our Month of Memories Q & A series will continue far into VeganMoFo.

Here’s Julia’s VVC2013 recap: Vida Vegan Con, I love you. For her latest & greatest, check her out on Instagram, @donna__noble.

 

Month of Memories: A Few of Janessa’s 2013 VVC Faves

Posted on Updated on

MY LOVES
MY LOVES

VVC2 was a wirlwind of a feel good vegan social media weekend, and even in the middle of the storm, I found a few things that I absolutely cannot live without ever again, if I had a choice in the matter.

From top left:

Wayfare Maple Ice Cream: Made from oats, this creamy and smooth non-dairy ice cream is now the benchmark for all other vegan ice cream brands and flavors. While I love me some So Delicious and Coconut Bliss, this oat-based dreamy creamy pint is my new jam.

Tofurky BBQ Chicken Hot Pockets: Growing up vegetarian, I never indulged in hot pockets as a kid, but as an adult, this hot, sweet and tangy with tofu in a convenient pocket of bread is sure to be a delightful occasional indulgence when I’m back in the States. I ate several of these throughout the VVC weekend.

Tatly Vegan Temporary Tattoos: This company donated veggie-themed temporary tattoos the the VIP ticket-holders of the Galarama. I seem to have ended up with one in the aftermath of VVC, so I stuck the booklet in my backpack with me to take on my travels. I love the idea of temporary tattoos that are vegan, and though of course the vegetables are my fave, all their other themed books are adorable and fun.

Myoko Schinner’s Vegan Cheese Platter: Seriously. Artisan vegan cheese is taking over the country, and Miyoko’s ground-breaking book Artisan Vegan Cheese seems to be leading the pack. She put together a GORGEOUS plate of her cheese for the Galarama, and I found myself eating as many crackers loaded with cheese as I could.

VVC on Stage: I just love working with Jess and Michele so much, and love getting to be in a whole  building/city filled with like-minded vegan bloggers, authors and social media users. The people involved are always my absolute all-time fave thing from the conferences!

A Simple Now & Then: Location is Everything

Posted on

Apparently I’m supposed to go off and celebrate aging tonight, so it’s time for a quick Now & Then glimpse into the VVC memory bank, looking back at the rooms where everything but the classes took place at both Vida Vegan Conferences.

We’re talking the main ballrooms, which housed meals, opening & closing talks, announcements, exhibitors and receptions. We had a lot of fun pulling off VVC2011 in its first year, and then absolutely fell in love with the Portland Art Museum once we quickly began location scouting and planning the next one, realizing that we had to fit a lot more folks & room for exhibitors in.

Do you remember both of them?

VVC2011 at University Place: roughly 150 attendees jam-packed into into this Portland State conference center 

VVC2013: quite grander inside the Kridel Ballroom at the Portland Art Museum with nearly 300 in attendance

As always, we like to get creative with our space — it’s a must!

What’s next? Why, you’ll have to wait and see…we’re always on the lookout for new event spaces, in Portland and beyond (and then some!)

Feel free to send suggestions our way!

The VVC Shop Is Now Open

Posted on Updated on

vvc-2013-mug

Did you forget to get yourself a special Vida Vegan Con water bottle or t-shirt at the conference? Sort of wish you had an extra mug? Or maybe you didn’t go to the conference this year but still want to pick up some new VVC gear.  We get it, and we’ve got it for you in the Vida Vegan Shop.

The truth is, we strive to keep our registration pricepoint low (free for some) and our sponsorships accessible, so more people have the chance to join us at our events. And we have lost sponsors for refusing to give them our mailing lists, send out sponsored emails, or allow them to present demos at the event—and we feel OK with that. We’re proud to stand up and say no to demands we feel would upset the positive, inspirational, creative vibe of the Con. (Obviously, our sponsors help make these things happen, and we truly do love the ones we work with—and hope you do too.)

That means it’s largely the three of us ladies doing as much of the work ourselves as possible to keep costs down. That also means when you buy a t-shirt, you help us put together a deposit toward the next event without us having to compromise the integrity of Vida Vegan organizers and attendees.

You have no idea how greatly we appreciate that. We’ll hug you all next time we see you, seriously.

Thank you, and enjoy!

THANK YOU #VVC2013!

Posted on Updated on

Thank you so much to the attendees, speakers, and sponsors of the second (sold-out! internationally attended!) Vida Vegan Bloggers Conference!

This event, the now three-day extravaganza (plus, another Galarama), has grown so much, and we thank you all so much, for making it even more than what we ever thought it could be. Your friendly organizers have spent the past two years pouring our hearts and minds into this event, and constantly get chills from the community that’s grown from our vegan bloggers conference—for writers and readers alike.

There’s so much more to say, and so much to reflect on, but we need some sleep (and kale), and we’re sure you do too.

We’re emailing our attendees for feedback (and a ticket giveaway to the next Con, what the hey?), so be on the lookout for that, and as always, stay tuned right here for updates on what and when and where our next shindig(s) will be.

In the meantime, go blog (better than ever!) and peruse all the #VVC2013 hashtags on Instagram and Twitter and all over. We’ve seen lots of folks live-blogging and recapping already, and remain in awe.

vvc2013 wideshot
VEGANS!
We can’t say it enough: THANK YOU!