#IWD: Interview With A Vegan Queen: Judy Nadel, Vevolution
In collaboration with Badass Vegan Women, we are bringing you a fortnightly+ series of interviews with inspiring vegan women across the globe. Sign up to our newsletter so you don’t miss a single Interview With A Vegan Queen®.
Badass Vegan Women is a non-profit organisation with a mission to celebrate, promote and uplift vegan women and those who identify as female for the work they are doing in and out of the vegan community. We want to shine light on their achievements, empower them as Badass Vegan Women and work to inspire women worldwide.
To celebrate #internationalwomensday we are featuring some of London's most inspiring vegan women all week.
First up is Judy Nadel, a powerhouse in the vegan movement. With a background in events for music and the arts, she co-founded Vevolution - an events company curating the TED talks of veganism - with partner Damien Clarkson. The events have gone from strength to strength and the pair are now international speakers, taking their expertise overseas.
We asked Judy about her experience and advice she has for other young women.
1. What advice would you give to any young girls out there looking to start up something of their own?
I can only speak from experience that when you have a burning passion and desire to create or do something - just do it! It sounds easier than it feels. I wish I could have told my younger self to not overthink things and that yes it is scary putting yourself out there for fear of failure, being judged, things not going the way they planned - and when you do put these feelings aside and put yourself out there these feelings don’t disappear but they get less scary. And boy is it worth it! It may seem like taking a risk listening to that little voice inside your head or the ache in your heart but what it actually is is believing in yourself which is the most rewarding thing ever! Yes whatever you start might not go as planned but that’s absolutely fine - the main thing is that you started something and just because it might not have worked out doesn’t mean you can’t and won’t do something else. Try not see failure as a negative - I like to see it as a way of growing and finding out what works for me and what doesn’t. That has made taking risks and starting my own projects up far less scary. And my last bit of advice is to have fun with it!
2. Tell us something you’re proud of achieving.
I stayed in a job that I loved but that I became too comfortable in. Four years ago I decided to leave that comfort zone and take a huge risk that would leave me unstable both financially and not knowing what was next. I am so proud that I listened to that voice instead me and took that risk. I have had a very interesting four years which has led to me going vegan, meeting Damien my partner in love and business and starting Vevolution - our plant-powered event and media startup. Looking at what we have achieved with Vevolution since late 2016 is quite amazing and makes me so proud. It has been lots of hard work, living frugally, moments of ‘oh my gosh what are we doing?’ and some quite big challenges to overcome but when our events happen I get this overwhelming feeling of happiness that makes all the other bits fade away. When you start your own thing - be it a business, a project, a change - a feeling comes with that and for me, it is a feeling that I am proud of myself, that I listened and trusted myself which for many years didn’t happen. I would try to drown out or ignore my instincts and inner voice and be mean to myself if something did not go right. As I have got older and more comfortable in my own skin I have learnt to appreciate, love and trust myself so this something I am also mega proud of.
3. Who are some of your favourite inspiring females?
At the risk of sounding cheesy, my mum is number one - she is one of the toughest most amazing women I have the privilege of knowing. Also, all the women who have been fighting for equality throughout history. But there are so many I will try to keep it brief in my main four favourite areas:
Vegan: Carol J Adams, Melanie Joy, My amazing vegan queens the Bright Zine and Badass Vegan Women crew, Sarah Bentley (Made In Hackney), Laura Way (Votch), Meriel Armitage (Club Mexicana) & Phoebe Frampton, Jane Frampton + Phoenix Trelowyn (London Vegan Actions + The Earthlings Experience).
Literature: Margaret Atwood, Rupi Kaur, Angela Carter.
Music: Amanda Palmer, Grimes, Patti Smith, Bjork, CocoRosie, M.I.A.
Art: Frida Kahlo, Cindy Sherman, Diane Arbus, Ana Teresa Barboza.
4. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
With Vevolution we have so many exciting things coming up and ideas that will hopefully turn into new projects and events. The main ones that are coming up that I am most excited about is the business event that we are collaborating with you guys (Bright Zine) on! I admire you all so much and you have not only become women I look up to and admire but you’ve become good friends of mine too. To be able to join forces and work with you is a dream come true! The other amazing project is that me and Damien are taking Vevolution to LA! We are making our US debut at Seed Food & Wine Week LA where we are hosting a second stage at the SEED Summit. This is a huge achievement and milestone for us - we can’t wait to meet a whole new community and to see what is happening over the pond and to bring back lots of inspiration and new ideas to London.
Another project which I am so excited about is Badass Vegan Women which we are launching on International Women’s Day this Thursday. There is something really special about bringing amazing women together online and in person at events for inspiration, empowerment and to celebrate how badass they are. There are so many incredible plant-powered women doing meaningful work and this needs recognition and applause. We hope this platform will provide lots of opportunities for friendships, collaborations and most importantly empowerment.
Follow Judy on Instagram for more of what she's up to, and follow Vevolution for their latest events, collaborations and more. Their next event 'Vevolution Topics: Entrepreneurs' is on Tuesday 13th March, vevolution.co
Badass Vegan Women launches on Thursday 8th March, see more on their Instagram.
Check back for more interviews with inspiring vegan women every day this week.