We had the good fortune of connecting with Lateefah Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lateefah, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I knew in the 6th grade I wanted to own my own business. Back then the business I wanted to own was a clothing line. So I figured after high school I would go to college and major in Business Administration Emphasis in Management. This way I would learn how to manage/operate my business instead of going to school to be a fashion designer. Since I already had good fashion sense and I knew what I wanted my clothing line to look like I could just hire a team to make it happen. Along my journey to entrepreneurship, I would work for 3 major companies in which I would open up new stores for them from the ground up. All of this equipment me with the know-how on how a business should run logistically and give me exposure to the administration side as well. Even though I ended up going a different route and opening up a plant-based event service I applied what I learned along the way to my current business The Veggie Connection.
What should our readers know about your business?
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. 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! 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. The Veggie Connection has flowered into something so wonderful! We will have our 6th Annual Veggie Connection Event on 09.05.20 in Smyrna GA, and our 5th Annual Veggie Connection on 11.07.20 in Rancho Cucamonga CA. For details on these events and others please visit www.theveggieconnection.com.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
When my friends come from California and it is summertime in the ATL we go to all the outdoor spots that we possibly can. LOL. They would usually fly in on a Thursday. After landing we would go to dinner at “Lovn it Live” then drinks at a speakeasy lounge and met up with the rest of the team. Then make our way to a lounge for some dancing. This is usually anywhere that Dj Kemit, Dj Jamad, Dj Salah, and Dj Eclass are on the 1s and 2s. Friday we are headed to brunch at Thumbs up Diner as we are waiting there in line we lineup what we are doing next which is going to Sevananda in Lil 5 points for water and snacks lol. While at Sevananda we stop and hang out for a while until we move on to Crystal Blue and down to Moods Music for more socializing. By now the time has slipped us and its time for dinner knowing that we are headed out later to a concert we opt for vegan pizza slices at Mellow Mushroom and Kombucha. We head back to the house to change and get ready for the Dj Jazzy Jeff show. Now if you ever been to a Dj Jazzy Jeff show you know you are going to dance the night away and you are going to be hungry afterward! After the show, we head over to R Thomas for some food and more socializing! Saturday the goal would be to get up by noon so we can go to the Salt cave for relaxation. Before going we would go to Whole Foods for smoothies and grab some lunch after the salt cave on our way to an outdoor music festival. When the music festival is over, of course, we will be hungry so off to Yeah Burger, it is! After Yeah Burger, we head over to a lounge for more socializing with friends. Sunday we stay in late lay around until we feel like getting up around noon or so. We are then headed to the Westend to Tassil’s for raw vegan wraps and fun. The weekend would come to a close as we sit around at Tassil’s talking and building with the elders and of course eating good food!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Extra special shout out to my mom and dad they have supported me in all of my endeavors! I would like to shout out my family and friends who have been there since day one love you all and thanks for your continuous support.