How a Book Blogger Became a Vegan Social Media Influencer
Social media star Natasha Minoso is promoting books with a side of plant-based eats.
If there was a “How did you hear about us?” question after every new vegan restaurant I visit, product I buy, friend I make, or book I read, I would check “social media” nearly every time. And I’m not alone, which might explain why Natasha Minoso, the woman behind Instagram account Book Baristas, is experiencing a level of success she never could have imagined. As a social media influencer, Minoso—who’s vegan—uses online communication as a tool for connecting people with real-life ideas in a way that is more a stranger recommending books than someone blindly promoting things. Always authentic about her love of vegan ice cream and her career in the publishing industry, Minoso took time to speak with VegNews to explain her take on veganism and its role in the world of social media.
VegNews: You share so much on Book Baristas. Did you decide you wanted to share more about your life or did it come naturally?
Natasha Minoso: I had originally planned on remaining anonymous with my blog because the main idea was to promote great books, but after your personality and voice become a part of your brand, it just seemed fitting to add a face to the blog. A lot of people identify with my blog more now because there's a real human behind it and not just a voice recommending books.
VN: How has your platform been an important tool for you?
NM: My platform has been the greatest networking tool because it's allowed me to connect with people in every social sphere. To have the opportunity to create real-life connections because of this blog is mind-blowing to me. It's the greatest conversation starter I didn't realize I needed.
VN: What do you think social media’s role is in veganism?
NM: Social media is bringing awareness to veganism. It’s opening up a conversation and showing up on people's radars. It's allowing people the chance to become educated in a conversational way.
VN: Have you ever denied a collaboration with a brand because it wasn’t vegan?
NM: I’ve only been approached by one food brand (Naturebox), and they've got a ton of great vegan snacks. I’ve also collaborated with Things Remembered to give away faux-leather totes, which was awesome!
VN: Books about plant-based diets are everywhere today, and Penguin has published many of the top vegan sellers. How is veganism growing in the publishing industry?
NM: It's growing steadily, which is something I love seeing! Every time I have book meetings and a new vegan book is mentioned, I am usually the first to squeal—and immediately demand a copy! It's so great to see these books being published because it encourages readers of all ages to take control of their diets and see how accessible and life-changing plant-based diets can be.
VN: What’s the greatest reaction you get from your friends in the publishing industry to you being vegan?
NM: The greatest reaction is open-mindedness. The pure curiosity and willingness to learn about why and what it entails is what I love to hear from people who find out I'm vegan.
VN: Do you have a favorite book, documentary, or vegan social-media influencer?
NM: I love @melaniekaydavis_. She's got a gorgeous feed of her life and vegan recipes. As for documentaries, I'd have to say Cowspiracy, although calling it a favorite is a bit extreme—I'd say it was the most enlightening doc I've seen to date.
VN: What's the best advice you've gotten since becoming vegan?
NM: It’s important to remember why you started in the first place.
VN: What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done for a post?
NM: I've had to become pretty shameless when taking photos because sometimes you've just got to do it for the ‘gram. It's not atypical for me to stand on a chair in a busy New York café to take the perfect aerial shot of a coffee table. I think the closest I've been to being embarrassed was when I asked a woman next to me on a flight (who was also completely engrossed in whatever novel she was reading) if she wouldn't mind me taking a photo of both of our books on our laps. She laughed it off, and we ended up talking about books for almost half the flight, which was pretty amazing.
VN: If you were a book, what chapter are you on?
NM: I'd hope to be in the prologue because I feel like I've only just started truly living.
Julia Helms is a vegan whose favorite titles are vegan cookbooks.
10 Vegan Oatmeal Cups for the Person on the Go
Plant-based oatmeal cups let you begin your day in a quick and delicious manner.
Read More »
8 Vegan Etsy Stickers That Your Car, Laptop, and Water Bottle Need, Like, Yesterday
Affordable and long-lasting, stickers are a great way to help spread the vegan message.
Read More »
This 10-Minute Documentary Is Showing How Children Are Embracing Veganism
Eight-year-old Elias ran a lemonade stand to raise money for a rescued sheep.
Read More »
It's Time for Men to Get Over Their Fears of Being Vegan
Many men are reluctant to go vegan for irrational reasons. Were here to fix that problem.
Read More »
We're Giving 5 Classic Films a Vegan Makeover
Classics such as Jaws, Dumbo, and King Kong would be so much better if they were filmed through a vegan lens.
Read More »
- 8 Vegan Foods Making the 2018 Food-Trend List
- Fall in Love With Niagara's Vegan Scene
- If Trader Joe's Added These 11 Vegan Frozen Foods, We'd Never Have To Cook Again
- 8 Quirky Vegan Burritos To Make You Rethink Your Favorite Meal
- If You're a Broke Vegan Student, Read This
- It's Time Your Dog Went Vegan
- 6 Tips for Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet
- You're 8 Steps Away from Setting a Vegan Easter Table
- Did You Know César Chávez Was Also an Animal-Rights Activist?
- 10 Medical Reasons to Skip the Eggs on Easter
- 5 Startup Food Companies About to Revolutionize Veganism
- 10 Vegan Easter Candies We Want To Find in Our Easter Basket
- Rise Against Adds Veganism to Its Politically Charged Music
- 8 Reasons to Forget Keto and Go Vegan
- Meet the Vegan Anthropologist Changing Academia
- Vegan Food Will Be Served at the NFL Draft, Thanks to This Dallas Chef
- 5 Vegan Responses When Your Health Teacher Tells You to Eat Meat
- Vegan Self-Publishing in 4 Easy Steps
- Vegan St. Patricks Day 101
- It's Time You Talked to Your Parents About Your Veganism