“Sometimes when you stand alone, it can be hard.”
Fashion blogger Sruti Sethuraman uprooted her life in India and moved to the other side of the world at a young age of 13.
A vegan with a free spirit, she soon thrives on the wonderful quirks and vibes of London Town.
Sruti says: “I can travel where I want, I can wear the clothes I want. I have no boundaries or restrictions on how I live my life.”
DESIblitz catches up with the 2016 winner of PETA’s Best Dressed Vegan in the UK about looking good and eating well.
Congratulations on winning UK’s Best Dressed Vegan of 2016! What is your first reaction, and how does it motivate you?
“I had just finished my workout at the gym when I checked my email. My first reaction was to re-read the email to make sure that what I had read was real.
“I was so happy and it was a proud moment! Winning UK’s Best-Dressed Vegan has made me want to work harder on my blog and launching my own clothing label.
“I have so much to look forward to and I’m willing to put in all the work it takes. It is also something that is very close to my heart because I adore all animals!”
For those who may not be familiar with the vegan lifestyle, can you describe it in your own words?
“Being vegan means you do not eat any animals or animal products such as cheese, milk, or anything that has eggs or dairy in it.
“Also most vegans refrain from wearing any animal skins like leather, suede, wool and fur.
“It’s about caring for all animals on the planet and causing no harm or pain to them, which I think is a really beautiful thing to live by.”
What is the idea behind the name of your blog ‘Love and Blossoms’?
“The name of my blog is something very personal to me. I believe ‘Love’ brings all things and people together and it is such a powerful force, when you do something with love it is always going to be something special.
“The word ‘Blossoms’ defines how beautiful nature is because blossoms on trees are so gorgeous! I love flowers and the simplicity and uniqueness each one represents.”
How long have you been blogging, and what has been the biggest lesson learned?
“I have been blogging for just over a year now. The biggest thing I have learnt is to be yourself and have your own unique style.
“When I started my blog, I had some negativity because I was vegan. People made fun of me because I did not want to hurt animals in any way! I continued to focus on the positive and my blog grew very fast.
“So I would say sometimes when you stand alone it can be hard, but you have to follow your heart and passion no matter what.”
It’s not always sunshine and rainbows in the UK! How do you make your photos look so amazing?
“I’m not going to lie – the weather can be a challenge! I meet up with my photographer on the days when the weather is good. I always check the weather before shooting my looks for that week.
“The best thing is to be natural in the photos. I never wear too much make-up. I leave my hair natural, and the camera does the rest!”
How do your family and friends feel about what you do, since blogging is often perceived as an unconventional career choice in the Asian community?
“I have been blessed with an amazing family. My parents have been so open-minded since I was younger.
“My dad passed away a few years ago and I miss him so much, but he made me travel the world and always told me to follow my dreams.
“My mum and sister are both very supportive and proud of what I do. I also have a small but very close circle of friends who are always there for me!
“I am surrounded by positive, lovely people which makes me very happy.”
What is a typical day in your life?
“It’s funny you asked me this question because I was planning to do a video of what I get up to in a day!
“I always start my day with a green juice, breakfast and a workout!
“After that I start working. Most of my work is on my laptop – emails, writing my blog posts, planning new blog posts.
“There is always work to be done, every single day. If I am not working on my laptop, I will be doing a photoshoot of my outfits for that week!
“To make a blog visually beautiful takes a lot of planning. I love Notting Hill, and Kensington Gardens – just walking around there makes me feel inspired.
“If I want a change of scenery from my home office, I will take my laptop to Farmacy in Westbourne Grove, or Nama in Notting Hill and spend a few hours working. So that would be a typical day – gym, work, and food!”
What are your hobbies? How do you relax?
“I walk my dogs to relax! I love spending time in nature. The fresh air helps clear my head and relaxes me instantly.
“My hobbies are going to farmers’ markets to buy fresh organic fruit and vegetable! I also love flower shops and always fill my office and room with flowers.
“I love to travel, which I will be doing a lot more of as soon as my online shop is up and running!
“Cooking is also something I love and when I get time I love to make delicious vegan food. I enjoy the simple things in life with some shopping every now and then!”
Tell us about your passion for fitness and healthy food, and how you bring that alive in your blog?
“I have loved fitness forever! Growing up in India, my dad played tennis with me and taught me to swim.
“When I moved to London, the weather prompted me join a gym, as I was not able to play outdoor sports anymore. I was about 16 then, so fitness is something I have loved since I was much younger.
“Now I go to the gym four times a week and do weights, cardio, plyometrics, TRX, and kettlebells. Keeping my routine different every few weeks helps keep me motivated and inspired.
“On my blog, I do fitness posts from time to time. I share my tips and healthy-eating habits with my readers. I would love to do workout videos for my blog soon!
“I grew up as a vegetarian so I have always loved vegetables and fruits. Being vegan now just makes my diet the healthiest it has ever been.”
Your favourite recipe is…
“The sweet potato falafels! They are so easy to make, full of healthy carbs and the perfect post-workout lunch.”
If you have to choose two of your favourite looks…
“One of them would be where I am wearing a pink coat, white top and jeans, with red tie-up flats.
“The other look has to be the pink co-ord and white blazer look which is a more dressed-up style.”
Who is your fashion icon?
“Audrey Hepburn – I love her simplicity and how elegant she was.”
What are your favourite brands for…
- Clothes ~ Faithfull, Stella McCartney, Keepsake, ASOS , Self Portrait, Zara, Iris and Ink, and J Brand.
- Shoes ~ Public Desire, Missguided, Zara and New Look
- Make-up ~ Organic Pharmacy
- Underwear ~ Boux Avenue
- Beauty ~ “I buy all my bath products from Planet Organic as they have a huge variety or organic products and they do not test on animals.”
Can you tell us about your own vegan fashion label?
“My fashion label is called ‘The Cherry Blossom Closet’ and it will be a mix of trends and my own personal minimalist style.
“I want to make vegan clothes more accessible and create an online shop that has accessories and fashion for vegans all over the world.
“The vision is similar to my own style, clothes that are effortless, simple and sophisticated. The idea is to have clothes that will always be fashionable every season, and I want the quality to be perfect.”
Where do you see vegan fashion in the UK heading in the next five years?
“I think vegan fashion will be very popular in the next five years. More and more people are becoming vegan and they are also more aware of the cruelty in the leather and fur industries.
“I love that people have it in them to stop and think about the pain these animals feel, and I believe vegan fashion is growing every day.
“I hope there will be more vegan fashion brands, and that veganism will be even more accepted.”
In 2017, she looks forward to creating more momentum for her blog which includes starting a YouTube channel.
From a spark of passion to a blossoming career, Sruti Sethuraman has proven living the dream is not impossible.