We’ve got a new series on the P.S. Blog where we introduce you to some of our favorite event partners (and just super cool people that make our lives better). Our first partner is Everlasting Vegan Events, a full-service vegan event planning company that will make your vegan vision a reality. We sat down with EVE’s owner and founder, Nicole Hay, to learn more about her and her amazing company!
Tell us what inspired you to start Everlasting Vegan Events.
I have always been an animal activist and animal lover. As I child, I studied hard and got straight A’s so I could get into veterinary school and live in Africa and save all the elephants... all while eating meat and wearing Uggs! *cringe.* Once I realized I wasn’t going to Africa, I got my degree at CSU Channel Islands and moved on to find a job in the animal rights community. I quickly learned that planning events was something I was very good at and passionate about. I wanted to become a wedding/event planner, but felt guilty about the excessiveness of the whole industry. That’s where EVE was born! I realized I could start a vegan event planning company that focused on vegan food and alcohol, animal-free clothing, and sustainability. I have gained a lot of experience in my past jobs with animal rights and now here I am building a company and planning events, all while saving animals, which is the most important thing!
How long have you been in the event industry?
I have been in the industry for about three years now. I started researching and studying the modern day event planning world about three years ago and I had my first Event Coordination gig with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). I learned a lot from what I previously studied and finally got the chance to work real world events!
What brought you to the event industry?
I have always been interested in event coordination, but couldn’t stand the greediness and waste of the entire industry. I started this company with the animals, planet, and humans in mind. I want EVE to educate the event planning world on how to become more sustainable and eco-friendly.
PINK SALT NOTE: Nicole shared her eco-friendly tips on our “Vegan, Veils and Vows” article for VegWorld Magazine, which you can view here.
What do you love the most about events?
The possibilities for veganism, of course! We don’t want our clients to lose their original vision for their event, but we also want to be as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible! We work with clients to make this transition easier. We recently had a bride who was hesitant about having vegan cupcakes for her dessert. She was under the impression they would be far more expensive and more difficult to track down. Turns out the price was really reasonable and there was a great vegan bakery nearby, we just had to find it!
What unique touch do you bring to your events?
We are very excited about the vegan community we are creating with our vendors and clients. We all have a real love for animals and that is what brings us together on a completely different level. We understand the needs of our clients and vendors and this is what sets us apart from other companies. Many event planners can obviously assist with vegan events, but they don’t specialize in it and they’re usually not vegans themselves. We’ve quickly realized that when we work alongside a team of people with a deeper understanding of veganism and sustainability, we are able to throw a more successful event.
Tell us about your favorite event thus far.
We are currently planning a Gala for the Ventura County Animal Services! I am ecstatic about this event because (like so many other animal shelters and rescues) they are not a vegan company, so this is an amazing opportunity for us to encourage this foundation to extend their compassion to all animals, not just pets! Their appetizers, desserts, and alcohol will all be vegan and there will be a delicious vegan option for the main course. We are even helping with their silent auction items to make sure everything is vegan-friendly and cruelty-free! Unfortunately, a lot of animal rescues and shelters often raise money by exploiting farm animals, and we’re doing all we can to change that! By throwing successful and inspired vegan events, we hope to keep spreading the message that ALL animals deserve love and compassion, not just the ones we keep as pets.
What industry trend are you most excited about?
I know this answer is too cliche, but honestly it is Veganism! We are so excited to see that being vegan or even trying something vegan is becoming the new “cool thing”. Chain restaurants are offering clearly marked vegan options on their menus, and new plant-based restaurants are opening up every day! The truth of animal agriculture is becoming more readily available, and people are making choices to help combat the negative effects of this with every meal and every purchase. The steps are small, but I am very eager to see it transform on a larger scale. I think having plant-based options at events is only going to get more popular, which is obviously great news for us, the planet and, most importantly, the animals.
What is your top planning tip for brides?
Get a coordinator! Many brides think they will have the time and energy to plan their own event and they are looking to save a few bucks, but in the end it is so much smoother to have someone who is assisting you that has experience! We’re not big advocators of “Day-of Coordinators,” as we prefer to work with our clients for at least a few months before-hand, so we can ensure that we have all the details to make the event successful! In place of “Day-of Coordination”, we offer a “Wedding Management” package, which ensures we will know your event inside and out before the date and we can better help to avoid any issues the day-of the event. Even if you’re a big planner and you prefer to do things yourself, we still recommend hiring someone to help you for the few months leading up to your wedding. With so much going on, you wont regret it!
When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your day?
I love the lake; it’s my favorite place to be! Get me a beer and play me a good song and that’s my best day ever (besides my own wedding of course)!
If you weren’t in events, what career path would you have chosen?
Professional Drag Racer! I raced a few times as a child and have hit the track a couple of times since then, with my own race car, but to make it big time would have been so cool!
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To learn more, please visit Everlasting Vegan Events online at www.everlastingveganevents.com. You can also reach Nicole directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.