VVC family

Vida Vegan Con’s Opening Day Vegan Bazaar is tomorrow!

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Welcome to Vida Vegan Con III weekend, everyone!!!!!

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It’s time for bed (or staying up all evening printing and pouring over logistics, you know how we do), so here are two quick notes:

1) If you’ve registered for our sold out conference, you rule! Do make sure you stop by our opening day Vegan Bazaar tomorrow at The Marchesa Hall & Theatre, and definitely make sure to arrive for YOUR exclusive Miyoko’s Kitchen Mixer from noon-1pm (the earlier the better!) This new Bazaar is where all of our vendors will be, for one day only! 

Vida Vegan Con presents Vegan Bazaar

2) You can see the full Bazaar schedule over here on Sched, where our entire weekend program is live. It’s also where you should totally activate your profile and explore what’s in store!

Oh, yeah..of course…COME HUNGRY! There will be loads of samples from 60+ vendors, tons of cultured vegan cheese goodness and 4 food trucks ready for ya!

Enjoy! And feel free to share with the official hashtags: #vidavegancon #vidaveganatx and #veganbazaar!

P.S. You’ll get your SWAG Bags of Wonder on Saturday morning at conference registration. Woohoo!

P.P.S. Advance ticket sales are now complete, but you can buy a ticket at the door for $15 cash or card when the doors open to the public around 1pm!

Interview with VVC Moderator Colleen Holland, VegNews

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ColleenHolland.VegNews2015Good evening, Austin!

One of the biggest supporters of our first-ever vegan conference that could (way back in 2011) was Colleen Holland of VegNews Magazine, who’s joining us this weekend as both a vendor (see her tomorrow at our opening day Vegan Bazaar!) and as moderator of our “Let’s Talk Marketing” panel on Saturday morning. Without further adieu— because we sure need some sleep before the weekend truly hits— we present the following Q & A to catch up with all things Colleen:

What’s new with all things VegNews?
Great things are happening at VegNews. My team and I are working on the Summer 2015 issue, which includes everything from plant-based food tech companies and a vegan tour of Paris to homemade vegan pantry staples (butter! whipped cream!) and our favorite books, films, blogs, and TV shows of the summer. Plus, we’ll be including our 15th annual vegan wedding feature, with menus and parties like we’ve never seen before.
Let’s talk marketing…really! You’re leading a panel at Vida Vegan Con III this upcoming week that folks are already buzzing about. What’s in store?
I’ll be talking marketing with three experts from the world of podcasting, e-commerce, and app development. Whatever your message or platform is, we’re going to share the best way to get your content out there—and to do so on a budget. With passion, creativity, and a plan, anything is possible!
How do you recommend new vegan businesses get the word out what they’re sharing with the world…or at the least, their own community?
Building an audience or customer base through a thoughtful, well-planned social media strategy is a great way to jumpstart your business. You want to provide quality content, be consistent, and be an extension of your brand so people feel connected to you and what you’re doing.
What vegan (or vegan-loving) brands are you digging these days?
Oh my gosh, there are so many! I love cheese by Miyoko’s Creamery, chocolate tarts by Hail Merry, coconut chai by Bhakti Chai, body butter by Ellovi (hello, Mint Chocolate!), and grapefruit lip balm by Hurraw. For a special treat, I am obsessed with the French raw artisan truffles from Hnina, and last week we received a shipment of a new line of cheese sauces from The Honest Stand that is going to rock the vegan world.
What do you think’s in store for the future of the vegan world?
I think we’ve reached a tipping point, and the vegan economy is about to explode. For years, we’ve operated in our insular community as the movement slowly grew, but now the world is ready for plant-based living. People everywhere want to eat well, feel good, and live compassionately, and our community has been building the framework for this to happen for decades. Now, our time has come.
What excites you about veganism going so dang (and beautifully!) mainstream?
Where do I begin? First and foremost, I hope this is the beginning of the end to animal suffering. I’ve always felt that building a parallel vegan economy is the way we are going to achieve this goal, and I think we are here. I am also thrilled that people are taking charge of their health and looking toward a plant-based lifestyle to get healthy. We know there is zero deprivation when going vegan, and now the world is discovering this as well.
What are you looking forward to at (the final! epic!) Vida Vegan Con III?
I can hardly wait to arrive in Austin! I am looking forward to connecting with friends and colleagues from around the country, checking out all the vendors at Friday’s Vegan Bazaar, eating my way through the conference buffets, and scoping out new and exciting blogs. It will be a whirlwind four days, but I’m ready for it!
Janessa displays our award, which quickly went onto the mantle above her sweet fireplace.
Janessa displays our award, which quickly went onto the mantle above her sweet fireplace.
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Thanks, Colleen! See the very latest of what she’s up to over at Healthy Vegan & stop by the VegNews table tomorrow!

Thursday = Launch of Red Hot Scavenger Hunt @ VVC Meet & Greet!

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The time has come! Y’all ready to get your vegan scavenger hunt on!?!?

Our dear pals the Red Hot Vegans are hosting a totally vegan and totally awesome sounding scavenger hunt during Vida Vegan Con weekend, and it starts 3pm during today’s Meet & Greet! And if you’re not in town yet, don’t worry, you don’t have to start today because there will be ways to make up the points and folks can join in at any time.

Prizes for the RHV VVC Weekend Scavenger Hunt include:

& more!

Image source: dfwstyledaily.com

See more details and sign up over on Red Hot Vegans.

Remember, today’s Meet & Greet is rain or shine and you can sit either outside (where we’ll def. be if it’s dry!) or inside Buzzmill Coffee! The all-vegan (and rather reclusive, so yay for this special early opening and menu!) Golden Spike will have the following offerings, just for us:

FYI, the tacos are gluten-free, as is the chickin’ salad on its own!

RSVP on Facebook here. Family & friends are certainly welcome, but this is for full weekend conference attendees to connect. Warning: There is a wee bit of taxidermy, so focus on the all-vegan food truck aspect and remember, this is Texas.

See you all SO DANG SOON!

 

Advance signup for Amey’s Zine Workshop at Vida Vegan Con III!

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Amey Mathews.VVC speakersHello, everyone! Here is the required advance sign-up for Amey Mathew’s  Zine Workshop at Vida Vegan Con.

This extended workshop will be held through a break and into a second session period on Saturday morning at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. This is the only class that politely asks for advance sign-up (although you’ll be able to RSVP to others on our upcoming app). Amey would like to connect with you all ahead of time. This will be an intimate workshop, with 11-15 attendees.

You can catch up with Amey with this VVC Speaker Series interview.

Reminder: Vida Vegan Con III is now sold out of full weekend tickets, but you can join us at Friday’s opening day Vegan Bazaar! See you all so soon!

Vida Vegan Con III adds Gene Baur and Ayinde Howell to lineup!

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As if you needed one more reason to join us at Vida Vegan Con later this month (and well, we’re talking about one more full weekend registration spot remaining as of this very afternoon!), you’ve now got two!

We’ve been keeping these amazing vegan fellas under wraps for quite some time now, as we finalized our action-packed, three-day schedule of events, and there’s no better time than now to announce the crazy big news:

Gene Baur and Ayinde Howell have joined to complete our Vida Vegan Con lineup!!!!

More about these vegan wonders:

Ayinde Howell is the co-author of 2014’s stellar cookbook, The Lusty Vegan: A Cookbook and Relationship Manifesto for Vegans and Those Who Love Them, and we bet you’ve heard of his long-running, eclectic vegan website, ieatgrass.com. In addition to serving as the website’s Editor in Chief, Ayinde is the owner and chef of acclaimed culinary-event focused company, Wildflower, and host of the new vegan cooking series “Like a Vegan” on Ulive.com. Ayinde’s hit recipes have appeared in The New York Times, VegNews Magazine and Essence, among others. This multi-talented vegan force joins our 2015 lineup for a very special class: talking energy, idea-growth, charisma and serious goals in Entrepreneuralim 2.0: Consistency.

Most recently featured on the one-and-only Daily Show discussing the purpose and benefits of eating mindfully, Gene Baur is a widely respected activist, author and the co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, America’s leading farm animal protection organization. Gene published his first book Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food, in 2008, and it’s much-anticipated follow-up, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, arrived just last month. Gene has been described as “the conscience of the food movement” by TIME magazine, and will be no doubt be inspiring both of our audiences in just over two weeks, with a Welcome Address during Friday’s Vegan Bazaar (which is open to the public and has plenty of room for more attendees!) and his solo presentation on Saturday morning during our early conference sessions, entitled The Paths to a Mindful Life.

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Don’t miss out!

Check out our:

 2015 Conference Agenda

Full Speaker Lineup

& grab your spot for our Vegan Bazaar or better yet — the final Vida Vegan Con Weekend!

Updated VVC Agenda + Speaker Series: Fran Costigan

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Fran Costigan VVC speakersOh, hello! There are FIVE MERE weeks ’til Vida Vegan Con III!

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In preparation (as we do), Team VVC spent this past Saturday holed up at jess’ coworking space giving our 2015 agenda a grand overhaul. It’s always bound to happen, and we are so happy with the results! There are quite a bit of new additions — including panels, new names and suggested breakouts — with more surprises to come! Now, earlier that day, we started things off with big mugs of coffee while we caught up with a certain wildly talented New Yorker, the Queen of Vegan Desserts herself…Fran Costigan!

Join all three Vida Vegan Con co-founders for an intriguing chat with this ground-breaking veteran of the vegan culinary scene. Hear about what Fran’s been up to, her upcoming fabulous trips, and what’s in store for her “decadent” Vegan Bazaar demo and the by-popular-demand return of  “Demo-ing the Demo“, during Saturday’s sessions.

To sum things up, we’re thrilled to have the “Queen” join us for a third Vida Vegan Con next month!

Vida Vegan Con Speaker Series: Fran Costigan, Queen of Vegan Desserts

This interview was recorded on Saturday, April 18th at Hatch Innovation in Portland, OR and via NYC.

You can catch entire VVC Speaker Series on Youtube.

Catch Fran at Vida Vegan Con May 29th-31st in Austin, TX! You can follow her on Instagram as @goodcakesfran.

LIMITED tickets to our final, three-day super vegan weekend are available hereSee you soon!

Event Announcement: Vida Vegan Con announces final conference

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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

janessa jess michele
Way back in the beginning…
…and circa 2013