Today I’m sharing an interview with the gorgeous Valeria Hinojosa from WaterThruSkin; a vegan fashion and lifestyle blog. I discovered Valeria’s blog through Instagram and was immediately enamored with her style. From boho skirts to chic ankle boots, Valeria’s stylish wardrobe is completely vegan and almost always eco-friendly. I’m always finding myself so inspired by the looks she comes up with and I’ve discovered so many amazing vegan brands by reading her blog. I knew I had to find out her secret to building the perfect vegan wardrobe and being stylish all the while. Read on to find out more about Valeria’s vegan lifestyle!
KB: What was your inspiration to start WaterThruSkin and what’s the meaning behind the name?
VH: Animals, nature and giving back have been a big part of my essence since I was a little but I honestly never imagined making something out of this passion other than just connecting with it and enjoying it myself. That all changed exactly a year ago while I was still working in the Private Banking industry and looking for ways to find a balance in my life. I felt I had so much I wanted to share with the world- from experiences to thoughts and emotions- that the best solution was to put everything in writing and use the things that make my soul shine as a tool to inspire others. Without hesitating, WaterThruSkin came alive with the sole purpose of showing and inspiring the readers by example that living consciously, no matter your work-life situation, is very much possible.
I chose the name WaterThruSkin because I wanted to create a blog that was as purifying as water yet have the strength and power to penetrate through skin.
KB: Was your journey to a vegan lifestyle smooth or were there some bumps in the road? Do you have any tips for new vegans who are still transitioning to a cruelty-free life?
VH: Before becoming vegan I was vegetarian/pescatarian for 3 years. To be 100% honest with you, the first 2 months were extremely tough for me. I come from a Latin American background, which means that I was pretty much so raised eating meat, chicken, and bacon on a daily basis. Not only that but I LOVED eating them too. So much, a homemade hamburger was part of my weekly meals. Of course, that all changed the day I watched Paul McCartney’s PETA video, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls we would all be vegetarian.” That short video changed my life completely. I gave up all meats, eggs, and dairy but in order to avoid going to extremes in such a short period I decided to stick to seafood only. That made my transition a little easier until I began reading more about the devastating consequences of including sea animals in your diet. I also scuba dive often and swimming next to beautiful Nemo to then later see him on my plate did not make much sense to me. I’ve been vegan for almost two years now.
Tip 1. When you eat at restaurants, don’t be afraid to ask the waiter/chef to modify your meal. (this also serves as an eye-opening suggestion to the restaurant). I’ve always received positive responses. If not, look at the side dishes menu. Tons of delicious veggies and grains there.
Tip 2. Being vegan or loving animals goes far beyond your diet choices. It’s about what you wear and use too. Learn more about the cruelty behind the fashion and beauty industries and look for alternatives. You’ll be amazed by the products eco-friendly and vegan brands are coming up with nowadays.
KB: What is your favorite vegan brand and why?
VH: Every day I learn about new vegan and sustainable brands that manage to put a huge smile on my face but two brands that have exceeded my expectations and keep doing so with each design are Harveys and Melissa shoes.
Harveys is a brand that takes something no fashion designer ever considered as fabric, car seatbelts and turns it into the most beautiful bag designs I’ve seen in a while. The bags’ interior linings are made from recycled plastic bottles too.
Melissa is a Brazilian shoe line that creates unique shoes made from recycled plastic that smells like candy. They are taking fashion to a whole new level and proving the world that gorgeous and comfortable shoes can be made without the use of leather.
KB: Many of your posts are done while you travel, what are your essentials for each trip? Also, where is your favorite place to visit?
VH: Something I’m incredibly thankful for is the amount of traveling I’ve been doing for the blog during the past year. I’ve had the opportunity to visit breathtaking eco-hotels around the world most people, including me years ago, don’t pay too much attention too. My favorite destination so far is Guatemala. From its soul-enriching nature views to its humble people to the hotel I reviewed for the blog “Laguna Lodge Eco Resort”. One of a kind!
Every trip I take is different so my travel essentials vary accordingly but the ones I can’t live without are my LSTN headphones (for each pair purchased, they help give hearing to people in need), my TOMS sunglasses (for each pair purchased, they provide eye care to people in need), a good book or two (right now I’m reading “The World Peace Diet” by Will Tuttle), tons of raw vegan bars and supplements, and my passport holder which is made of recycled paper.
KB: You have some great vegan brands in your wardrobe, what’s your trick to finding new vegan and/or sustainable brands?
VH: Finding vegan brands is not as difficult as most of us imagine it to be. It does take a little more time because we have to research the brands to make sure they are ethical and sustainable but every second spent is making a huge difference in our world already. Some tricks I would recommend are the following: RESEARCH (make Google your bff), attend and participate in vegan events, and lose the fear of visiting new ethical boutique shops. You’ll be surprised by what they carry.
KB: What are your go-to pieces in your wardrobe?
VH: My vegan Free People gladiators (obsessed!) and boho maxi dresses.
KB: Since Vegan À La Mode is all about combining food and fashion I must know, what’s your favorite food?
VH: I know this might sound hard to believe but I don’t have a favorite dish. If you had asked me 2 years ago, I would’ve probably answered “Seafood Linguini” but now the way I see food has changed completely. I feel as if veganism has opened my mind to a world of unlimited exotic flavors, aromas, and options. I never say no to trying new plates, veggies and fruits even if they don’t look too appealing. I”ve sort of lost that fear and, to my surprise, I’ve enjoyed every dish and keep discovering new favorites on a daily basis. Something I do crave once in a while is a delicious homemade vegan burger with sweet potato fries.
KB: What quote motivates or inspires you?
VH: I LOVE quotes. Live by them fully! So much I kind of created one of my own and made it WaterThruSkin’s and my motto.