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Meet Lateefah Smith of The Veggie Connection in Southern California

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lateefah Smith.

Lateefah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am the Founder of The Veggie Connection. The Veggie Connection is an event where attendees are exposed to a host of plant-based vendors, speakers, entertainment, and more in 2nd tier cities. The Veggie Connection aims to not only create awareness regarding the plant-based lifestyle but to ensure that it is accessible, enjoyable and sustainable for all who are on this journey towards wellness and abundance.

I establish The Veggie Connection to fill the space where these sorts of events are not occurring (2nd tier cities). I feel that people shouldn’t have to travel far just to experience an event of this nature that usually occurs in a major city. I also wanted to create an environment based on an intimate typesetting. I like for attendees to be able to take their time to talk and interact with each vendor, speaker, entertainer, and not be overcrowded. At The Veggie Connection Events, attendees can relax and enjoy themselves in an air condition facility or in a park setting with their blankets and tents.

This was something I was experiencing firsthand living in Georgia and having to go into the city (Atlanta) for Veggie Events hence birthed the first installment of The Veggie Connection Events, in Smyrna GA 2015! Now with me being a Southern California native, I saw the same pattern occurring in my hometown. So I took The Veggie Connection on the road for the 2nd installment of The Veggie Connection Events “The Inland Empire Edition” July 2016!

The Veggie Connection has flowered into something so wonderful! We will have our 6th Annual Veggie Connection Event this summer in Smyrna GA. And our 5th Annual Veggie Connection in our usual location of Rancho Cucamonga CA. For details on these events and others please visit www.theveggieconnection.com.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As in any business, you will have your obstacles/challenges. I embrace the obstacles and strive to overcome the challenges.

One of the major obstacles/challenges is acquiring sponsorship. It has been rough to obtain sponsors, being that we are not like your major established events. I had to knock on a lot of doors for sponsorship. Eventually, they started to come in. I give thanks to my team and volunteers who help make the events successful indeed!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Veggie Connection – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
As a company, I am most proud of how The Veggie Connection is able to host these events and spread plant-based knowledge. What sets us apart from others is that at our events our attendees, are able to take their time to talk and interact with each vendor, speaker, entertainer, and not be overcrowded. Attendees can relax and enjoy themselves in an air condition facility or in a park setting where you can bring chairs, umbrellas, blankets, and tents. Attendees are also able to interact with individuals who are either plant-based already, veggie curious or a seasoned veggie vet.

Attendees obtain knowledgeable information from the guest speakers who are engaged with the audience. Either you are sitting in a circle with the speaker or you are up close and personal. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or veggie-curious The Veggie Connection Events will provide you with helpful information through plant-based wellness options. The Veggie Connection strives to make our events fun and inclusive, with all the diverse reasons in which people choose a plant-based lifestyle.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Plans for the future include our brick and mortar opening up in Rancho Cucamonga. Along with some other things happening that we would like to keep mum about… 🙂

To stay in the know about our upcoming events please follow us on social media at theveggieconnection and join our mailing list at www.theveggieconnection.com.

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