Here at Vilda HQ, we’re hooked on ex-Texan Ashlee’s lovely blog, The Little Foxes – a gorgeous mix of food, fashion, beauty and all things cruelty-free. A holistic health coach, Ashlee creates recipes as delicious as her style collages are chic. So when we were thinking of a compassionista to feature in our first-ever Fabulous Five, it was a quick decision. Get to know Ashlee better and check out her can’t-live-without’em products.
Hi! Who are you? Hi! I’m Ashlee Piper, a holistic health coach, writer, chef, and vegan food and style blogger who resides in Chicago, Illinois. I spend my days showing people how to gorgeously and joyfully curate an elegant, accessible, fun lifestyle sans the cruelty. I’m also a rescue dog mom, a shameless lover of Morrissey (call me, Moz!), and a fan of infomericals, red lipstick, and the Marks & Spencer (I went to grad school at Oxford, so I spent a lot of time there).
Tell us the story of your blog. I left my ten-year career as a political strategist a year ago (which was quite an exercise in courage, let me tell you), thinking that I would work at an animal rights’ organization doing legislative affairs – what I’d always done. And then I started the blog in March 2013 as a hobby outlet, because I wanted my own little pretty, fun, and informative (hopefully, at least) corner of the Internet. I soon realized that I was happiest when I was writing articles about creating a happy vegan life and tending to the blog, and that (perhaps most shocking of all) other people liked what I was writing and wanted to occasionally pay me to do it. What?! So, now writing about veganism, creating recipes and style guides, coaching people is my career – one that I am incredibly thankful for.
What’s the most common misconception about vegan style? What style? Ha! That being vegan means that you have only a limited selection of shabby, poor quality, and out-of-touch styles to pull from. And that’s simply not true. Anyone who’s attended a Stella McCartney fashion show, or worn a heavenly pair of Cri de Coeur shoes, or held a Jill Milan clutch, or put on an Atelier Tammam gown knows that vegan fashion has entered the same realm as vegan food: The ingredients are slightly different, but the passionate craftsmanship, techniques, quality, artistry, and results are just as sumptuous.
What are your tips for transitioning into a cruelty-free life? I moderate an online community of about 1800 members worldwide who ask questions daily about transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, and the piece of advice I dole out time and again is this: Make it an adventure. When you approach veganism as an exercise in abundance, things become infinitely easier. I had a client who thought that cooking vegan would be such a challenge, and I told her: Go to the market each week and buy a vegetable you’ve never seen or eaten before, cook it and then tell me about the experience. At first, we both thought it was a bit of a silly exercise, but soon she started sending these crazy poetic emails where she’d lovingly describe the garlic kale or Chinese broccoli she had prepared, and you could tell she was starting to not only love this ritual and the lost art of cooking at home, but she was also starting to savor and appreciate the abundance that the plant kingdom has to offer. The same goes for fashion, home, cosmetics – anything, really. For heaven’s sake, make it a joyful endeavour. When you approach veganism as a lifestyle of abundance and discovery, everything seems to buzz with excitement, possibility, and joy, and the whole transition will stick because you feel just so damn good.
Five Products I’d Be Very Shabby and Sad Without
2. LUSH’s Karma Komba Solid Shampoo (I travel a lot and this is so convenient, smells amazing, and works as a shampoo, body soap, and shave cream. Love!)
4. LVX Nail Lacquer in Ecru (perfect for those polished, but not in-your-face manis)
5. Meow Meow Tweet Lipbalms (Rosemary Eucalyptus and Grapefruit Clove are my favorites, and the packaging is so lush)