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!
Thanks, Colleen! See the very latest of what she’s up to over at Healthy Vegan & stop by the VegNews table tomorrow!