SoFlo Vegans Timeline
My name is Sean Russell and I’m the founder of SoFlo Vegans. I began developing the concept for SoFlo Vegans back in 2014 with the goal of building a community in South Florida.
April 2008 – May 2017
After giving up in 2009 after going vegan for a year, I decided to give it one more try in 2013. In December of 2016, I met a person that would set me on a path to grow SoFlo Vegans into what it is today. Susan Hargreaves is the founder of Animal Hero Kids and an Animal Rights activist since 1980. I attended the Fort Lauderdale Vegfest as press and saw someone standing on the stage that looked like they were in charge. She immediately asked me if I wanted to dress up as a cow for 30 minutes and three years later, I’m still supporting her nonprofit organization.
June 2017 – Dec 2017
We launched a potluck event called SoFlo Vegans Unite held monthly at ArtServe in Fort Lauderdale. The second event was a happy hour called SoFlo Vegans Drink. This year also marked our first involvement with Seed Food and Wine as I captained their marketing committee. We held our first vendor’s table at the Fort Lauderdale Vegfest where we met two people that would prove instrumental in our future success. These two individuals were Emilia Lujan and Alba Chang. I would also meet Jacque Tarlton at a leadership event that same month.
Jan 2018 – Dec 2018
With Emilia as our Events Manager, we stepped up our events by working with other organizations. This included co-producing an event with EarthSave Miami and Dr. Will Tuttle at Vegan Fine Foods. We partnered with YoSoy Workspaces to launch the YoSoy Festival and kicked off our first SoFlo Vegans Speak event at Nutrition Smart in Pembroke Pines. Other collaborations include Vegan Block Party, Heal the Planet, Fort Lauderdale VegFest, Palm Beach VegFest, and Seed Food and Wine. It also marked the launch of our first podcast with Earthling Ed. Alba would join the team around the same time Emilia stepped away to run MindBody Expo.
Jan 2019 – Dec 2019
We kicked our podcast into full swing and began handling marketing for a vegan retreat in Deerfield Beach called Balance for Life. This gave us first-hand experience to produce a series of large scale events for our community. We continued our partnerships with Heal the Planet, Vegan Block Party, Nutrition Smart, and Seed Food and Wine. Our podcast moved into its second and third season. Another major spotlight was our first Party event celebrating our two year anniversary.
Jan 2020 – Present
The New Year started off with a bang as we secured a partnership with the Miami Marlins for an event in May. This would fall through due to Covid-19. Also dashed were plans to host a Tri-County Film Festival in conjunction with the International Film Festival in July. We did manage to launch the first season of SoFlo Vegans Experience, showcasing an animated side to our organization. Inspired by the quarantine, we launched our first SoFlo Vegans EXPO in April. Currently, we are in the process of launching memberships for both our community and businesses. This will help us continue to grow and support our mission of making South Florida a global hotspot for veganism.
Become a SoFlo Vegans Business Member
Join forces with our movement of making South Florida a global hotspot for veganism. Memberships start at $25 per month.