Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmine Briones.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jasmine. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My partner Chris and I run a blog and brand called Sweet Simple Vegan. Our blog started in 2013 as a hobby blog but has since then transformed into our full-time careers. Through our blog and social media platforms, we share our passion for vegan food and living to hopefully inspire others to choose to live more consciously for themselves, the animals and our planet.
Blogging wasn’t always on my radar. In fact, I graduated high school with the intention of going into the medical field. My freshman year of college changed everything for me and at the time it seemed like it was for the worst, but as time progressed, I realized that the change it brought to me was for the better.
When I was having a tough time living on my own for the first time and eventually even developed an eating disorder. My ED took over my life, diminished my health, and eventually forced me to pack my things up and move back home to get everything back in order. At this point in my life, I was lost, and I felt like I had hit rock bottom. Returning home opened my eyes to the severity of the situation and is what helped me realize that I needed to take action and make a change if I wanted to get my life back on track. It didn’t matter how many people I consulted, or how much my friends and family tried to help get me through it if I myself wasn’t consciously choosing to make a change. I realized that the only thing that was in the way of my success, and of regaining my health, was myself.
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. I had played around with the idea prior, but it wasn’t something that I stuck with or was dedicated to. I knew it was something that I needed to do. Vegan just started off as a diet for me, but eventually after being vegan for a few months and continuing doing research on the topic, I realized that it was much more than just the food. I learned about the environmental impact of veganism as the ethical reasons why people go vegan and it was then that I decided that even after I restore my health, I still wanted to continue being vegan.
I began the Sweet Simple Vegan Instagram account shortly after I had gone vegan. At first, SSV was simply a platform for me to document my meals and share recipe ideas with my friends and family. They did not know what vegan even was and often thought I was just eating carrots and lettuce haha so I wanted to show them that vegan was still abundant and packed with flavor.
Some way or another, my account started to gain followers and more and more people started o become interested in my recipes. It was completely unexpected but so exciting that others were as excited about plant-based foods as I was.
I decided to create a website later than year to archive all of my recipes for easier access, and I continued to blog and post on social media as I went through college as my side hobby.
Once I graduated college, I decided to take a leap of faith and try to pursue SSV full time. I knew of other bloggers online who blogged for a living and I thought, how hard could this be right? I did get a job at a donut shop part-time to make a few bucks to help pay for my groceries and whatnot, but other than that, most of my time was dedicated to my content.
It was definitely a huge learning experience for me since I didn’t have any experience with professional blogging, SEO, social media or even photography, but it was during this time that I learned it all. I found free courses online, I read blog posts from other bloggers and I even began attending natural product expos and blogger expos to try and get my name out there.
Around 2017, my boyfriend Chris decided to join the SSV team (of two haha) and we have been blogging together on the platform ever since. He previously had a vegan blog of his own but after collaborating together a few times and trying to grow our own blogs and brands side by side, we realized that it made sense to join forces and put our efforts into one brand instead of two. SSV was the larger platform at the time so we migrated him over to it and, well, we have been blogging together ever since.
My goal with Sweet Simple Vegan will continue to be to inspire others to eat more plant and to live more compassionate and conscious lives. On the blog, we share not only just plant-based recipes but also recipes that are veganized versions of familiar foods. We hare recipes for cultural dishes, including my favorite Filipino and Ecudarian dishes that I grew up eating, dishes that my audience requests I veganize, or simply just recipes that I love! Our goal is to eventually have a recipe for anything that people could want to eat so that they have an abundance of options that will hopefully encourage them to eat more plant-based foods.
Sweet Simple Vegan has been such an important outlet for me since the start because it has really helped me find my voice. Although I was initially pursuing a degree in the medical field out of high school, I knew in my heart that medicine was never something that I really wanted to pursue. A lot of my life, I felt like I was trying to fit a certain mold/become what I was told was “successful”, but I don’t think that I would have ever felt the amount of fulfillment that I do now with SSV doing anything else. I would have never known that I could be this passionate about cooking and photography but here I am today— and I am so grateful that an event in my life that I at the time viewed as negative turned into such a positive thing.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. Coming from no experience in blogging, photography, SEO, etc., there was a lot of trial and error. I have learned SO much along the way and although there was some struggle, there was much more growth!
Sweet Simple Vegan – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Sweet Simple Vegan is a brand and blog that shares vegan recipes and lifestyle tips on how to live a more compassionate and conscious life.
I am proud of the impact that we have on the lives others in terms of inspiring them to eat more plant-based foods and live a healthier lifestyle, but I am also proud that our passion and brand is making a positive impact on the planet as it is helping to inspire others to reduce their environmental impact as well as the lives of animals.
SSV is a duo with myself and my boyfriend Chris. We both come from two completely different cultural backgrounds as well as perspectives, which I think is very special because when we come together to work on SSV we bring so much more to the table.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me has always been loving what I do and doing what I love while making a positive impact.
- Website: https://sweetsimplevegan.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/sweetsimplevegan
- Facebook: https://facebook.com/sweetsimplevegan
- Other: https://youtube.com/c/sweetsimplevegan
For the image that I used where we are cooking in the kitchen, the image credit goes to Joshua Day. The remaining images are all Jasmine Briones.