Christy Morgan is inspired by images. This source of inspiration has led her in some interesting directions. Initially, it was to photography as a hobby, and pursuing a degree in fashion design. Seven years ago, the images of suffering animals in PETA’s Meet Your Meat video inspired her to go vegan overnight. And, when she started teaching herself to cook, it was the images of her friends’ delighted faces that inspired her to leave photography and fashion design behind and go to culinary school.
Christy founded her business, Viva la Greens, three years ago, when she moved to Los Angeles. Through Viva la Greens, Christy offers vegan macrobiotic personal chef services, personal consulting for individuals and restaurants, private cooking instruction, public cooking classes and cooking parties. Her blog, The Blissful Chef, is a new addition to Viva la Greens.
Christy recently shared her experiences with blogging and reaching out to the non-vegan community, and gave some advice for other vegan business owners wanting to step into the blogosphere.
Vegan Mainstream (VM): Why did you create your blog, The Blissful Chef?
Christy Morgan (CM): It’s a way for me to brand myself and create a name that people will remember. It will also be the name of my cookbook. The Blissful Chef fits me well, because to feel bliss is to experience true happiness and spiritual joy. That is what my life and business is about: spreading happiness and joy to others through food, and helping them access their bliss.
VM: Has The Blissful Chef become a large part of Viva la Green?
CM: The blog is a new thing, but I find it very important so I can spread my message and delicious food to a wider audience. Writing and keeping up with a blog is a full-time job in itself! I don’t know yet how many people it draws to my business because it reaches a wider market than Los Angeles. But I think my blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc., are all connected and each play a vital role in reaching readers and clients.
VM: Do you believe that connecting with the non-macrobiotic or non-vegan community is an essential part of your business?
CM: Yes. I would say at least half my clients and students are not vegetarian, vegan or macrobiotic. With the state of health in this country, more non-vegetarians are looking for healthy cooking classes and information on diet through the Internet.
VM: How have you been so successful in reaching the non-macrobiotic or non-vegan community?
CM: With my blog and through Twitter I’ve inspired many people to go vegan or give the macrobiotic diet a try. Twitter I find is the best way to reach anyone who is interested in health and food. Everyone wants to feel alive, vibrant, and free from disease and suffering. So anyone could be a potential reader or client.
VM: Once you make the connection with the non-macrobiotic or non-vegan community, what have you found is the best way to make an impact?
CM: If someone doesn’t live in LA, I think the cooking videos have a strong impact because they are fun and people would rather watch something than read. Those that have come to my cooking classes are always telling me of their success stories, changing their health and influencing their families to eat better. That makes me very happy!
VM: Given all your experiences and successes, what advice would you give to other vegan business owners or aspiring business owners?
CM: Just know that times can be tough when running your own business. But, the fact that I get to do what I love and help change peoples’ lives in profound ways makes it all worthwhile.
VM: Do you have any advice for would-be bloggers?
CM: I’m still figuring that all out. What I’ve realized is it’s important to help promote other bloggers that you enjoy and leave comments on their blog posts that you like. The blogging world is a community and everyone needs to help each other out. We don’t need to be competitive. The more vegan blogs that are available with quality information will reach a larger audience of people.
photo by Chris Black