What kind of work do you do/business do you run?
I run a consultancy which supports vegan businesses with their international expansion strategy. After conducting market studies, I put international sales and marketing strategies in place, helping companies to expand abroad, reach new customers and satisfy them.
What do you love about it?
I love that I get to contribute to vegan companies’ growth. I enjoy making vegan products and services more accessible worldwide, helping the vegan range to expand. I also love it because I meet likeminded people.
What’s your ‘why’ in life? What drives you?
What drives me is to be able to defend the voiceless and spread a message of compassion and equality. My ‘why’ is showing that there is a better way of living, that we can share this planet peacefully with other animals.
Unfortunately, not every country is vegan friendly. This is why I want to make the vegan offer more appealing and available at an international scale. This is why I created Vegan the World Consulting.
Why are you a member of the Vegan Women’s Leadership Network?
I see it as a great way of creating closer connections with likeminded women. We can help each other to grow faster than we would individually, therefore growing the vegan market.
What’s been the biggest highlight or ‘wow’ moment of your career/business/professional life?
My biggest highlight was at a conference organized by the Chilean Society of Cosmetics. This was a ‘wow’ moment for me because I proved to 150 key players in the cosmetics industry that vegan ingredients can be as effective as ingredients of animal origin.
It was also a great motivation boost as many sales resulted directly from that event.
How do you handle failures, fear and disappointment?
I remember that the only failure is not to try. You learn through every mistake and every failure. I always stay positive in these moments, whilst trying to understand what went wrong and how to go about it in the future.
What would you tell your 16-year-old self?
I would tell her: “You’re vegan yourself; that’s great. Now go out and spread the message! You can have a stronger impact on animals’ lives by doing so. Also, there are other people like you: go and find them!”
Which women inspire you and why?
The suffragettes really inspire me because they were incredibly brave woman who fought for women’s right to vote and for gender equality. They took great risks and conducted illegal actions because they valued their cause over their lives. They were very progressive for their time.
Just like these women, I try to fight for equality and for what I believe to be just.
What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve faced and how has it helped mould who you are now?
Being fired from a company for unethical reasons and the search for the job that followed. It was a tough time where I ended up doubting myself and rethinking some life choices.
It was overall a positive experience as I realized that I needed to do more anyway then selling one company’s vegan products.
I wanted to help as many companies as possible to promote the vegan lifestyle and message, so I founded Vegan the World Consulting.
What’s your super-power? What are you amazing at?
My super-power is my ability to put myself in others’ shoes. It helps me to understand people and to connect with them. This ability is aided by my listening skills and desire to help others.
What brings you joy?
Traveling brings me plenty of joy because it combines so many things that I love: discovering new incredible places, being in nature, meeting new people and discovering their culture.
How do you define success, and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?
In a professional context, success to me is when you’ve achieved client satisfaction.
What’s your vision for yourself and your business/career for the future?
For myself, I dream of buying a large parcel of land to save abandoned and abused animals, giving them a loving home.
For my business, I want to be the reference point for vegan companies who want to expand abroad.
Anything else you want to tell us?
Let’s work together to make vegan offers available worldwide!
Elena Frangeul Baron is the founder of Vegan the World Consulting, a consultancy which helps vegan brands with their export strategy. Elena has a Master’s degree in International Trade and has had the opportunity to help many vegan companies to expand into new markets before creating VTWC.