We had the good fortune of connecting with Ariel Levin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ariel, how does your business help the community?
VEGAN BLOCK PARTY was founded on the principle of creating a welcoming, inclusive festival for the community and beyond.
When it comes to making a social impact, there are typically three main driving forces behind veganism that make a major impact in the world; the animals, the environment, and the health of humanity.
Reducing or eliminating your meat and dairy consumption significantly decreases your environmental footprint and massively decreases an individual’s resource usage.
Going vegan for the animals translates into leading with compassion and empathy when making consumer decisions. Choosing cruelty-free, meat-free, and dairy-free options means that innocent beings were not harmed in the making of the food and products you’re purchasing.
Choosing an ethical lifestyle results is having no “guilt” on your conscious for contributing to the unnecessary torture, mutilation, and murder that occurs in the modern day Animal Agriculture Industry.
An outspoken factor of going vegan is the positive benefits it can have on a person’s health.
Eating a plant based diet that is rich in whole, unprocessed foods can assist with healing and reversing a multitude of diseases, getting off prescription medications, weight loss, and so much more.
VEGAN BLOCK PARTY provides a fun and exciting environment for the community to experience all of the benefits of this lifestyle.
Our mission is the movement – we keep the animals, the earth, and the environment in mind when planning each festival, and attendees will find various forms of activism, education, and sustainable measures in place at our events.
Part of our local social impact is supporting and showcasing small businesses.
With the real estate market being at an all time high, it has been incredibly sad seeing many of our favorite vegan spots either closing entirely or being pushed out due to rental increases.
At VEGAN BLOCK PARTY, we welcome businesses and brands that offer vegan or vegan friendly products and give them the space to sample, sell, and serve the community.
It is the perfect setting to market their brand, connect with fellow small business owners, and make a lasting impact on the customers they serve.
The VEGAN BLOCK PARTY team hopes to continue expanding and reaching new communities across the USA in the coming years. For now, local South Florida residents can check out our upcoming festival schedule at veganblockparty.com.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
VEGAN BLOCK PARTY was a passion project that turned into a career.
In 2018, I was attending college at Florida International University in Miami with no direction or idea on what I actually wanted to do with my life.
I was Majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics knowing that I never wanted to be a Nutritionist or a Dietician.
I felt lost, and like I was going through the motions that are deemed “acceptable” and “normal” by society.
When I finished my first semester, I attended a life changing self-help Retreat and went on a Spring Break trip trip to California to attend a massive food festival in Los Angeles called “Eat Drink Vegan”, which was basically SoBe Food + Wine Festival, but for vegans.
It wasn’t until then that I saw the extent to which the vegan movement has grown in other parts of the country. On the flight home, I kept thinking about how amazing the festival was, and couldn’t comprehend why we didn’t have something on that scale in Miami/South Florida.
This sounds cliché, but that very night, I had a dream where I envisioned the name “VEGAN BLOCK PARTY”, pictured the exact logo, and saw a festival that featured not only food + drinks, but also animal rights, music, wellness activities, and more.
With my parent’s consent, I dropped out of my next semester of college thinking it would be a temporary break while I tried to pursue this crazy idea. (Side note: I never went back to college.)
Over the next six months, I would plan my first festival with absolutely zero background knowledge or experience in event planning.
When October 2018 came around, the first VEGAN BLOCK PARTY commenced with over 2,200 people in attendance.
This gave me the reassurance that I was on the right path, despite the minor mistakes and hiccups I made along the way.
Since that first event, I have continued learning, educating myself, and growing into an actual business woman in order to produce festivals that are in alignment with my morals and mission to make the world a more vegan friendly place.
I have learned that there will be mess ups and that times are guaranteed to get tough, but the differentiating factor between people who quit and people who succeed is the “why” or the reason behind their mission. I have had to remind myself (constantly) of WHY I do what I do, and WHY this festival is for a cause much, much greater than myself.
My main goal is to see this festival succeed, watch it continue to evolve, and grow it into something that leaves lasting positive impacts while never straying away from my “why”.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As a vegan of nine years, I have done my fair share of research into this way of living in order to truly educate myself on the decisions I choose to make on a daily basis. With no moral backbone, it would be difficult to maintain this lifestyle, so having a fundamental understanding of the ethics behind veganism is essential.
Over the years, I have found many mentors and motivators:
1) Rich Roll (Host of the Rich Roll Podcast and Ultra Endurance Athlete)
2) Robin Arzon (VP of Fitness Programming at Peloton, former Lawyer, and a total Girl Boss)
3) Jess King (Peloton Instructor and Mentor)
4) Dr. Michael Greger (Physician, Speaker, and Educator)
5) Mom (my #1 Fan)
Rich Roll’s Podcast features experts in health, athletics, world issues, and so much more. The episodes contain an unbelievable amount of education and wisdom that is FREE and accessible for everyone (and Rich Roll is an incredible host)!
I discovered Robin Arzon through an interview she did on Rich Roll’s Podcast, which ultimately lead to me finding Peloton. As someone who works long hours, taking time to exercise is super important for my mental health. Peloton provides a platform that makes working out from home easy, and they happen to have an A-list selection of instructors that double as life coaches, mentors, and motivators.
Robin constantly drops words of wisdom, crucial reminders for remembering your self worth, and has motivated me in more ways that I could have ever imagined.
Jess King is also part of Peloton’s instructor roster, and she has been the hidden gem I have looked for my whole life. Back in 2018, Jess announced she would be hosting a retreat in Miami that focused on self love and rediscovering your inner fire.
I was attending college in Miami at the time and decided to go to the retreat… I had no idea that it would change my life forever.
Jess singlehandedly gave me the inspiration I needed to take risks in order to accomplish the “larger” things I desired in my life.
I felt stuck in school with no purpose, but Jess gave me the reassurance that I could change my path (even if it meant taking the road less traveled).
Shortly after that Retreat, the idea of VEGAN BLOCK PARTY sparked in my mind, I dropped out of college, and the rest has been history.
Dr. Greger provides endless amounts of credible information pertaining to a plant based lifestyle.
His studies are backed by research and are accessible for FREE at nutritionfacts.org.
If you are new to a plant based diet or have any questions regarding health and nutrition, his website is an amazing source to reference.
My Mom has been my mentor and inspiration for as long as I can remember.
She is a hard working entrepreneur that runs a family operated business, and has taught me the ins-and-outs of what it takes to be a boss and a leader.
When the going gets tough, she reminds me to keep going… keep working… and to keep striving for greatness in order to achieve my goals.