THE VURGER CO
IN CONVERSATION WITH.....
Damien & Judy
The passionate co-founders of Vevolution!
@VEVOLUTION_ | WWW.VEVOLUTION.CO
You are both extremely passionate about you are currently working on, so please introduce yourselves to our readers and give us a little insight into what you’re currently working on!
Our names are Damien and Judy and we are the founders of Vevolution - we create inspiring TED-style events for the plant-powered generation. We are a couple and business partners so consider ourselves really lucky people because we get to work together everyday.
We are currently preparing the second event in our Vevolution Topics series focused on entrepreneurship and just visited Romania to give a talk on the growth of the vegan movement in London.
Please share how you got into creating Vevolution and what was that lightbulb moment for you?
After attending lots of vegan events we both felt there was room for something different that was centered around an educational experience. We both loved TED talks and wanted to replicate that kind of dynamic community of people trying to come up with clever solutions to create a more positive vision of the future.
We both knew lots of amazing vegan people and we felt that this community deserved to be represented by professional events. A thing that was important to us was to always create free educational content to make available online which we do with our library of talks from our events available at www.vevolution.co/videos
What’s your go to vegan dinner when you’re both exhausted at the end of a busy day?
It has to be mexican food, loads of peppers, mushrooms and black beans. Simple wholesome and tasty. We love cooking together and are always discovering loads of delicious new flavours.
You are both dynamic, honest and extremely passionate, you support small businesses and are always looking for ways to empower others– what keeps you motivated in this tough industry?
We started this business because we wanted to create a movement that accelerates the growth of veganism around the world. Whenever we feel low we think about all the good things that have come from Vevolution events. We know so many people who have made amazing friends at our events or been inspired to go and create a new business or get more involved in campaigning. Ultimately we are a vegan owned company and every thing we do is to shift the world towards a plant-based diet which will save the lives of animals and help preserve nature for future generations - it is a great motivator for us.
What are your thoughts on the increase in visibility veganism has received in 2017/ 2018 compared to a few years ago?
Honestly it is crazy. Damien worked on the digital communications for the very first Veganuary campaign in 2014. It took until week 3 of the campaign until we got an article on one of the major newspapers. However that article on the Guardian was the most popular they published on that section of the Guardian website in that entire year.
We think Cowspiracy really was a game-changer, it tapped into the desire of the millennial generation to do something about climate change. We think so much of the growth has been driven by entrepreneurs making tasty vegan food and people working tirelessly across the country to make it accessible and widely available.
What angers you the most about London living and how would you change it for the better?
Lack of affordable housing - we’ve struggled for years with finding a nice environment to live in. If you’re an entrepreneur and don’t your own place it can be very tough. We need rent controls and tougher policing of rogue landlords. Banks should also take into account rental payments made by tenants when considering whether potential mortgage applicants can afford properties. Any entrepreneur will tell you that income can be variable month to month.
We talked recently about the trials and tribulations of being a start up company, what are your top tips for anyone starting in this industry?
Firstly you have to be passionate - because it is hard, we are still in the infancy of plant-based businesses being able to grow and flourish and there will be hard times. I think it is great to find a niche that you and grow and lead. But if you’re really passionate about a sector where there are dominant players already go for it! You just need to offer the customer value and create a products or services that are enthused with creativity and passion.
What drives you both to succeed? And what does success mean to you?
We are both optimists and love being part of the vegan movement which is a force of positive change in the world. Knowing that every day we are doing something that is helping to spread education and positivity and accelerate the growth of the vegan movement is hugely satisfying and drives us to succeed.
What’s next for Vevolution and how far do you want it to go?
We want to keep making people happy with highly educational and inspiring events. We want to grow our community of Vevolutioners who are passionate about creating a better world. We need to become a connected, global movement of people working hard to have a positive impact on the world. We feel Vevolution has a big role to play in making that happen.
What are your goals for 2018?
We are working hard to up the game with our events we’ve already announced the expansion of our Vevolution Topics series to six events and we’re planning an even bigger festival for November this year. We have a bunch of new events and training products in development which we will be launching later this year.
We really want to focus on growing library of filmed talks we have 40 TED style talks recorded from our events currently and this will reach 80-100 by the end of 2018.
Another goal of ours is to take Vevolution to new countries and we have already had expressions of interest from people in LA, Ireland and Germany. So watch this space...
Thank you Damien & Judy, we admire all you do for others, both small businesses, start ups and entrepreneurs in the UK, keep going and keep striving for change! We're with you 100%!
THANK YOU SO MUCH