VVC family

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

New Vida Vegan Con Badges, Baby!

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What do you get when you take custom artwork by Herbivore Clothing’s Josh Hooten and throw in some fierce app design skillz from our girl Janessa?!?

Why, our brand spankin’ new Vida Vegan Con badges!

We’ve got some for everybody, from attendees to Bazaar vendors, sponsorsspeakers and (coming soon*) for our weekend “volunteers“!

Share the love:

Please: Download, capture, right click or whatever floats your boat, and share on your social media channels, add them to your website and blog sidebars, or go old-school and print them out for your fridge and wallet. Do be a sweetheart and make sure you link your shiny new badge(s) right here: http://vidavegancon.com/

We heart all of ya in the Vida Vegan Con family & will see you next month!

Of course, make sure to grab your tickets to our full weekend or Friday’s Vegan Bazaar.

*”Volunteer” (aka our trusty assistants) needs are currently being finalized. These are primarily for Friday’s Vegan Bazaar, and not for the actual conference. Please have patience with this scheduling process, as we’re actively coordinating a three-day conference from across the country. Thanks!

Welcome Miyoko + Miyoko’s Kitchen Mixer Hour!

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Registered for Vida Vegan Con III? You’re invited to Miyoko’s Kitchen Mixer!

We’re living in new realm of vegan cheese these days, from culturing cashews and making your own, to stockpiles of rejuvelac and soirées with biodynamic wine pairings and fancypants, surreal assortments. The world of plant-based cheesy goodness  has undoubtedly grown leaps and bounds in the past three years alone, and that’s thanks to one extraordinary woman: Miyoko Schinner.

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With the release of Artisan Vegan Cheese in 2012, vegans all around the globe suddenly had the instructions to make their own aged, nondairy cheese wheels. And thanks to this woman, her test kitchens, insight, know-how and supporters (and the demand!), vegan cheese-curious & craving folks are now able to go directly to the source (and stop worrying as much about whether their quinoa is sprouting correctly, uh,  not that I can relate to that or anything) from Miyoko’s Kitchen!

Miyoko Schinner VVC speakers (1)

Let’s get to the point, we not only have Miyoko Schinner joining us on our 2015 VVC Speaker Lineup to share her expertise in the vegan business world in her presentation, “Exploits of a Veganpreneur –  Experiences and Lessons Learned through Growing Multiple Vegan Businesses”,  Miyoko’s Kitchen, her signature line of vegan cultured nut products is throwing a special party for all our attendees!

Okay, you know how we’re always saying, “make this a vegan vacation!“, or, this is a “3 day event!”. Well, that’s because it’s true! This year, Vida Vegan Con’s opening day is our debut Vegan Bazaar, which is where we’ll have way more vendors than ever before, all on one day. We’re talking sampling, live demos, special talks, panel discussions on Vegan Family and real talk on just how Austin got so “awesome”, raffles, two vegan taco trucks parked right outside, and for the first time ever, ANYONE can attend. Seriously. We’ve finally made a way to offer the one day ticket so many people have asked about in the past, basically.

The really important stuff:

As a Vida Vegan Con full weekend attendee, you’re already on the door list and you’re receiving this exclusive first hour to all our vendors and an amazing way to start the weekend off: Miyoko’s Kitchen Mixer!!

What’s happening: Miyoko’s Kitchen Mixer, Vegan Bazaar, day one of Vida Vegan Con
When: Friday, May 29th
Where: The Marchesa Hall & Theatre 6406 N I H 35 # 3100, Austin, TX
Facebook RSVP: Right here

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Info from our Facebook event:

All Vida Vegan Con full-weekend attendees are invited to an exclusive social mixer with Miyoko Schinner, her handcrafted cheeses, and all our other Bazaar vendors! This early access to Friday’s happenings takes place from noon to 1pm at The Marchesa.

The Vegan Bazaar then opens to the public for the day at 1pm. We’re thrilled to have Miyoko on our lineup for 2015! She’ll be sharing stories, lessons, and tips from the vegan business and culinary worlds on Sunday.

Note: This event is exclusively for Vida Vegan Con Weekend attendees. Tickets still available. The Bazaar opens to the public and all ticket holders at 1pm.

Mind-blowing vegan cheese party at a friend’s for Miyoko’s launch, October 2014

One more thing! 

As part of our ongoing Vida Vegan Con Speaker Series, we’ll be airing a live interview with Miyoko tomorrow, April 11th at 11am PST. You can tune in by RSVP’ing over on our Google Page. As always, we’ll make sure to share the video chat on a blog post next week.

See everyone next month! Miyoko’s new cookbook, The Homemade Vegan Pantry, arrives this June.

VVC Speaker Series #6: Joni Marie Newman, Just the Food

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Joni Marie Newman VVC speakersLook, it’s Joni!

Thanks to the capabilities of Google’s On Air Hangout, we sat down with this vegan cookbook superstar on Saturday morning to see just what she’s been up to lately (Hint: it’s a lot of amazing stuff! Vegan events! Podcasts! And tacos!) and what’s in store for her next cookbook, or two, or three.

Join all three Vida Vegan Con organizers for our latest VVC Speaker Series, as we catch up Joni Marie Newman, author of Going Vegan, Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen, Home-Cooked Vegan Comfort Food, Vegan Food Gifts, The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet and 500 Vegan Recipes ⸺ to name a quick few ⸺ and soon-to-be three-time Vida Vegan Con speaker.

This lady is easily one of our VVC attendee favorites, and returns to discuss the ins and outs of Cookbook Writing: From Concept to Proposal to Testing to Editing to Print.

Catch more of Joni and her “recipes, rants & raves” and  over at her blog, Just the Food. Peruse her extensive set of cookbook titles here.

Vida Vegan Con Speaker Series: 

Joni Marie Newman, Vegan Rockstar Cookbook Author

Super Serious Note: Hopefully, our request to change this for a slightly less odd thumbnail goes lives soon!

This interview was recorded on Saturday, March 14, 2015 Hatch Innovation in Portland, OR and Joni’s car in Long Beach, 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 Joni at Vida Vegan Con May 29-31st in Austin, TX! You can follow her on Instagram & Twitter as @jonimarienewman

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!

Vida Vegan Speaker Series #3: Whitney Lauritsen, Eco-Vegan Gal

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Whitney Lauritsen VVC speakers

Happy Monday! Vida Vegan Con’s week is off to an enthusiastic start after an inspiring edition of our new VVC Speaker Series yesterday with the ever-motivational Whitney Lauritsen of Eco-Vegan Gal.

This lovely lady is the founder and face of Eco-Vegan Gal, a leading resource and influential authority on all things online video and vegan lifestyle, which she launched in 2008.  Whitney is no stranger to VVC-land, having covered both conferences on her signature YouTube channel and attending in person in 2013,  and we’re delighted to have her join our 2015 speaker lineup!

Join Jess & Michele as Whitney discusses taking March’s Expo West by storm, what she’s digging in LA these days, various eco living tips and both the creativity and guidance she’s bringing to Vida Vegan Con this May with her “Kick Ass Vegan Videos Workshop”.

Vida Vegan Speaker Series: Whitney Lauritsen, Eco-Vegan Gal

The following interview was recorded on Sunday, February 22nd at Hatch Innovation in Portland, OR and Los Angeles, 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.

Bonus: All registered attendees can expect a survey in their inbox this week, to help Whitney customize her class to your interests even more!

Look for Whitney at Vida Vegan Con May 29-31st, where she’ll be presenting her Youtube workshop on Sunday, surely taping her own video or two, and joining in on the fun at Friday’s (open to the public!) Vegan Bazaar.

Tickets to both events during this three-day super vegan weekend are available here. See you in May!

Vida Vegan Con’s #VeganHolidays Roundup!

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Happy December Holidays + Cheers to the almost New Year!

We seriously dug checking out all of your celebrating and creativity for the #veganholidays these past few days! Here is just a handful of all the beautiful, memorable and tasty happenings that caught our eyes from such an inspiring collection. Personally, I went out to one of my favorite Thai spots on xmas to avoid cooking, so it was pretty dang fun to live so vicariously!

Check out all of these lovely folks’ feeds for more.

First up, some mini mince meat pies adorned with little stars, courtesy of Jojo, aka @veganinbrighton!

via @veganinbrighton

Next up, let’s head to Melbourne with @veganmiam for a slice of this lovely, raw christmas cheesecake from Pana Chocolate:

via @veganmiam

Here’s @astigvegan’s “Champorado”, a chocolate rice porridge with coconut milk and salty, seaweed-dredged tofu.

via @astigvegan

Sweet + salty? Count me in.

So much charm: Fresh mint & pineapple punch and cunningly *deviled potatoes* from @plantmunchers

via @plantmunchers

Here’s a gorgeous and rather jolly green smoothie from @chemese:

via @chemese

Ponder this: Is the best part of gingerbread cookies decorating them however the heck you want, or what?!?

What we mean is, @ameyfm‘s kitchen is quite inspired!

via @ameyfm

More sweets: @21stcenturyeden breaks out some fantastic vegan peanut butter twix:

via @21stcenturyeden

I’ll let the caption for this next one speak for itself, go figure…

“Christmas-ing our balls off. Spot the many vegan options, including my beloved @auntieloostreats’ Yule log!” via @lbennet3

via @lbennet3

George, always quite the star. via @pandawithcookie

via @pandawithcookie

The following cheeseball has been haunting my dreamssssss. via @vegancuts by @johnwiseman

via @vegancuts

Must. Make.

Give it up for @dimsimkitty and these surely tasty vegan ham & cheese croissants:

via @dimsimkitty

Lush love: @ethical_vegan received one heck of a sweet haul!

via @ethical_vegan

Yes, please! Traditional Vanille-Kipferl from @nathalie.claire:

via @nathalie.claire

@Plantenergy_ brightens up the party with her refreshing veggie sushi:

via @plantenergy_

Let’s be real, there’s always room for biscuits, especially when they look as comforting and savoury as @jlgoesvegan’s recent take:

via @jlgoesvegan

As if we’d close things down without a slice of buche de noel. This one is adorned with marzipan mushrooms, for peter’s sake! via @vegans_for_peace by @joaniebhansen

via @vegans_for_peace

‘Til next time! Happy New Year, everyone!

(21 weeks ’til Vida Vegan Con 2015! Register here.)

For more strolling, head to #veganholidays on Gramfeed

via @konikola8