One of the first tasks you are faced with when becoming a new vegan is learning your way around a kitchen. Basically, you’ve gotta learn how to cook beyond microwaved popcorn and opening a jar of salsa for your tortilla chips. Luckily this week’s MABBH Spotlight is Jasmine Briones, or better known as the Sweet Simple Vegan.
She’s an PDX/LA based Youtuber, food blogger, recipe creator, and self-love advocate who can give us a little taste into what it takes to have the life of a creator. Read on to hear more about her story.
1. Hi Jasmine, tell us a little about yourself!
Hi everyone! I’m Jasmine and I’m a vegan blogger and content creator living in the Pacific Northwest. I help run the blog and brand Sweet Simple Vegan alongside my partner Chris and through SSV, we share our passion for veganism and aim to inspire others, vegan or not, to choose to live more consciously for themselves, the animals and our planet.
2. Tell us a little about your vegan journey, what made you make the switch and how long ago?
When I was 18 and a freshman in college, I struggled with an eating disorder. It took over my life, diminished my health, and eventually I was forced to move back home to get everything back in order. I realized the only thing that was in the way of my success and health was myself. My eyes were opened, and it was then that I chose to dedicate myself to getting better. I started doing research to find a way to better my health and improve the nutrition of my diet, and that is when I came across veganism. It started as just diet for me; however, once I did more research, I soon realized it was so much more. Veganism is a lifestyle; a choice to do good for not only yourself, but the world around you. After learning how veganism has such a positive impact on our environment and the animals, I knew that I needed to adopt this lifestyle forward.
3. As a vegan food blogger on Sweet Simple Vegan and Youtuber, what has been the biggest challenges since getting started creating content in this niche?
I haven’t really seen much of a challenge in the vegan space specifically, but nowadays in general, it’s been a bit tough with the changing social media algorithms, trends, etc. I’ve learned that I constantly need to do research to know how to most efficiently produce and share content.
4. What has been your favorite video to film on your channel and why?
My favorite videos to film are definitely the challenge videos on the Sweet Simple Vegan youtube channel. In them, boyfriend Chris and I go head to head in the kitchen to see who can prepare the best dish pertaining to a certain topic and our audience votes for the winner.
Our most recent one was this vegan pasta challenge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5OzGobnQ9Y
5. You have an amazing Ebook on how to start a food blog from scratch, can you spill your best advice for people wanting to get into the vegan food blogging/Youtube space?
My best advice is just to start! It’s easy to get caught up in trying to perfect your videography and photography in the beginning (trust me, I did the same), and the best way to learn in this space is to do. I also think that people should not be afraid to reach out to their favorite bloggers and/or youtubers, more people are glad to help!
6. What would you say are the biggest career highlights so far that have come from creating content?
Last year Chris and I were able to work with Goldenvoice and Eat Drink Vegan to highlight all of the vegan options at Coachella and share with our audience where to eat if they were attending the festival. It was a fun time and it was flattering to be chosen and trusted to represent such a large brand. Secondly, Chris and I were able to put out an ebook in collaboration with our parents that brought our audience a bit more insight into our cultures and backgrounds. We had a great time making it and we were able to inspire others to veganize dishes from their cultures as well.
7. These days, it's tough to stay productive when it's just not your day, any motivation hacks to get people up and creating?
My top two tips are to stay organized and to make sure to give yourself a break! I’ve found it most beneficial to create a weekly and even daily schedule for myself to not only work most efficiently, but also to keep myself sane and not scrambling all over the place. Giving myself a day off was tough in the beginning because when I started working for myself and from home, it was sometimes hard for me to shut everything off and to stop thinking about work, social media, etc. I make sure to take at least one day every week to stay off of social media and the internet completely. It helps me recharge and I also think it has helped with my work ethic when I do get back to work the next day or week.
8. We all know where our clothing comes from is important. What is your usual routine when looking for vegan friendly and/or sustainable fashion?
My favorite way to shop is secondhand — it’s sustainable, affordable, and so much fun! I also make sure to still check the labels to ensure that the fabrics/materials are vegan as I prefer not to wear nonvegan materials, even when secondhand.
9. What are your favorite LA vegan spots to hit when you're in town?
10. Let's leave with this, what is your dream vegan meal that you never get sick of.
Vegan pizza with lots of vegan sausage and mozzarella cheese. Sounds simple but it always hits the spot!
Follow Jasmine on Instagram and let us know who you’d like to hear from next!