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Interview with Rawgaia Superfood Skincare owner Jessica Michael

Interview with Rawgaia Superfood Skincare owner Jessica Michael

2019-02-26 
| by Editor | Posted in VegfestUK Brighton 2019

In this blog, we interview Rawgaia Superfood Skincare owner Jessica Michael (a.k.a. Miss Superfood), an ethical-influencer in the development of superfood skincare and nutrition. Jessica has formulated a huge number of multi-award winning raw, organic, vegan, superfood; skin, hair and body care products, which have been sold worldwide.

 

Jessica will be speaking at the upcoming VegfestUK Brighton on March 23-24 at the Brighton Centre, and in this interview, we ask her about her vegan journey and activism as well as her own skincare brand, and the sessions that she’ll be hosting at the event of course.

 

Hi Jessica! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hey, so I'm from Brighton most of the time, and I spend some of the year in Thailand. I live with my two vegan children in Woodingdean, near central Brighton. In the summer we go off on tropical travel adventures in search of amazing fruit, beautiful beaches and tofu curry :) 

 

When & why did you become vegan?

I went vegan 18 years ago when I was trying to cure Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was really ill and pretty much bed bound for a period of time in my late teens. I used a raw food, vegan diet to get my energy back and went on to run the London Marathon in just over 4 hours to celebrate my recovery. 

I was then approached by a celebrity who wanted me to coach her on becoming vegan. That then lead to me starting a consultancy practice and signing a book deal to publish vegan recipe books. Jessica's Raw Chocolate Recipes (Leaping Hare Press) and Raw Chocolate Treats (North Atlantic Books) came along, and a whole host of instant downloads such as Superfoods for Beauty, How to Make a Slab of Raw Chocolate and Raw for 24, which is a free ebook that can be downloaded from the Miss Superfood website. 

 

Were you 'active' with your veganism from day one, or had you been vegan for a while before dipping your toes into activism?

Well in my early days of being vegan I was a passionate health advocate, I set up a vegan superfood brand and travelled the world speaking at events and wellness retreats. I would speak a bit about the animal rights issues but my motivation came largely from a wellness perspective initially, due to my own personal health transformation. It wasn't until many, many years later that I started to speak out for full animal liberation in the way that I do today. I have always loved animals and performed open rescue out in Greece. In my early days of being vegan, I found that people would come to me for help with health issues, but now I actively look for people who want to align love, kindness and compassion with their physical actions and daily habits; by becoming vegan. 

 

What activism do you engage in and what groups do you work with?

I love all different types of activism, in terms of physical activism, I attend Save Movement vigils with Sussex Animal Save, Down with Dairy events with Brighton Vegan Activists and Cubes of Truth with Anonymous for the Voiceless. I do as much as I can around my children, but because I am a single mum I have found at some points that it can be a struggle to fit everything in. So that's why I do a fair amount of online activism too. 

I recently set up a YouTube channel to publish my weekly Vegan Vlogs which I film and edit from home when my kids are asleep or at school. People say these are helpful as they cover a lot of the questions that I am regularly asked. I also designed a website, which I add to when I can. I create sharable content on my Facebook page to help give other active vegans posts to share with their followers too. I also have designed a vegan activist organic clothing line, called Miss Superfood Clothing, where I create fun, controversial certified organic clothes for vegans to walk their talk in style! All the profit goes back into my activism projects.  

 

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of becoming more 'active' in their community? 

I think the easiest place to start is by joining a local activist group, if you're in Brighton then Brighton Vegan Activists is a great one. London also has one too along with most other cities. Start by searching "vegan activist groups in (your area)" on Facebook. Once you start to attend events with other active vegans you naturally start forming friendships and expanding the community. Friendships with active, animal rights vegans have been some of my fastest forming friendships with some wonderful like-minded people. If you find out that you don't have much going on in your area then why not start a group?

 

Are there any types of activism that you consider to be particularly ineffective, or a hindrance to the movement as a whole? 

I am against all forms of violence, whether that be towards animals or people. I don't support any acts of violence, I promote peace. That said, I have never seen any acts of violence committed by a vegan activist. All of the activists I know support this position and come together to create a peaceful movement for full animal liberation. I believe that we all have our own unique space to fill within the planet, and we do so in unique ways. In terms of activism, I'm supportive of people getting their animal rights messages across in the best way they feel they can. It's such an individual thing and we all have a different perspective on what we feel is acceptable. My views are that even if I wouldn't personally choose to advocate in a particular way, I refrain from judging others for doing what they feel is right for their animal liberation campaigning.

 

You're going to be appearing on the schedule twice at VegfestUK Brighton this year - what can visitors expect from your workshops this time around?

Yes, I can't wait!! So I'm doing a workshop called Everyday Activism For All Vegans - How To Go From Armchair Vegan To Overnight Activist it's a bit of a jokey title so I hope people don't think I'm being serious! :)  I want to delve deeper into ways in which we can be more active as vegans, regardless of our circumstances or current lifestyle. I want to help vegans realise that there doesn't have to be a stigma attached to activism, and we can be active in our own unique and beautiful ways, each and every day. 

And the other workshop I'll be facilitating is a Rawgaia Superfood Skincare Pamper Party! I ran one last year at VegFest London and at a few other conscious festivals. They are a lot of fun, basically, we bring along my full range of raw, organic, vegan, cruelty-free superfood skincare products and do a guided organic, vegan facial together using my natural, toxic-free products. It can be really nice to take a step away from the busy festival and do some nourishing self-care. By the way, men are really welcome too, it's not just for women. You'll leave the session glowing like a goddess (or god!) and feeling really relaxed.

 

Tell us a bit about your company Rawgaia Superfood Skincare - will you have a stall at VegfestUK Brighton? 

Yes we will!! We are going to be on the first floor, at stall number G2A. 

So I believe passionately in the power of plants, and for us to be ultimately healthy we need to be conscious of what we put on our skin as well as in our mouths. In 2015 I launched three unique Rawgaia Superfood Skincare ritual collections that I had either newly invented or reformulated for optimised benefit. Each ritual is filled with nourishing superfoods uniquely designed for each skin type. We hand make the skincare in Brighton in a lovely vegan workshop and sell online shipping Rawgaia all over the world. Stores such as Infinity Foods in Brighton and Whole Foods Market in London also stock our collection. We've had some great press and publicity and have won many wonderful industry awards, and now export to 12 different countries. Products from our Hemp Glow and MSM Organic Beauty collections have been featured quite a few times recently in Vogue magazine which has been lovely to see.

 

I see you were on the front page of the Brighton & Hove Independent recently. How did that come to be? / What was the article about?

Yes, that was a nice surprise, I didn't realise it was going to be on the front page. I was just walking down the street one day with one of my kids and he pointed at a pile of newspapers. I saw an image of someone holding a turkey, then realised it was me! It was about how I cured my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with a vegan diet. I thought it was just going to be a small piece, I was surprised to see it span 3 pages and be featured online too. 

 

Thanks Jessica! It will be lovely to see you at Brighton again - I hope you have a fabulous 2019 and enjoy the show!

 

Advance tickets to the event are available at www.brighton.vegfest.co.uk/tickets, with a BUY ONE GET ONE FREE special offer running until the end of February

Follow VegfestUK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @VegfestUK for the latest updates, and join the Facebook event for the show and invite your friends at: https://www.facebook.com/events/537303716732172/ 

Get Involved! If you have a great Vegan news feed, blog, podcast or video channel that you’d like us to include your focus on in the site, then please just contact us at info@vegfest.co.uk with details!






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