eff.Y.bee is more than just a jewelry brand. Our mission through our platform, community, and product is to inspire girls and women of all ages to follow their bliss and confidently go after their dreams. In honor of Women's History Month, we're launching a new series called "Heart to Heart" where we'll be Q&A'ing women of all ages and stages, whether they are just starting out on their path or already along on their journey. We want to share their stories to celebrate them and inspire others. We're excited to share our first "Heart to Heart" featuring NYU student Rachel Lipkin of @plantbasedgeneration.
At the age of 20 she already has 15.5k followers on her instagram which features beautiful images of her plant based recipes... needless to say we are inspired, and drooling. We met up with Rachel to chat about what inspired her to start her insta, how she grew her following, and her favorite restos in NYC. Read on to hear her story!
What inspired the name?
I actually gave it a different name when I first made the account. I don’t even remember what it was. I think I tried making a pun but it wasn’t that obvious and definitely not as funny as I probably thought it was, so I spent some time stalking other accounts and figuring out what I liked, and a good amount of the people had either “plant-based” or “vegan” in their name, so I just started thinking out loud and generating different words and I liked how “plantbasedgeneration” flowed, so I just went with it.
How did you grow your following? What advice would you give someone trying to create a social media presences?
A majority of it is being super active and involved in the conversations on social media. I spent a lot of time following and commenting on people’s posts and just getting my name out there as much as possible. I also drew inspiration from other accounts. I never actively “tried” to gain followers. I was pretty honest and commented on people’s posts that I liked and, through that, I made friends with people through Instagram and wanted to support them as well, and so it became a trade off. Also part of it is posting pretty regularly. The more you put out there, the more inclined you are to get a response and gain traction. When you tag the accounts of brands you use, they’ll sometimes repost and credit you, so it all circulates back to just being in the loop and a part of the conversation.
What’s it like being 20 and living in New York?
It’s pretty wild honestly. I don’t really realize it because I’m constantly immersed in it and at this point I’m pretty comfortable with my surroundings, but I have these moments where I’m taken out of auto-pilot and I sit back and am just in complete awe of how absolutely lucky I am and just how crazy this entire experience is. There’s endless inspiration in the city and such incredible opportunity that I’m eternally grateful for. That wasn’t always my perspective though, especially when I first got to school / the city, but I have this theory that New York does a really fine job of breaking people down and then building them right back up, taller than they were previously.
What do you love the most about what you do?
Life is truly so unexpected. It really knows how to keep you on your toes, and that’s part of what is so exciting about it. You figure out what works best for you and then you just gotta roll with it, and enjoy it for what it is. When it comes to what I do with my food account, I just love how positive and celebratory the whole community for it is. It makes eating that much more fun because I have to push myself to be creative at the same time.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
Caring. I tend to put my heart and soul into things and people that I care about. But it goes both ways, if I don’t care much for something, it’s hard for me to be super invested.
What’s your personal motto?
I saw a post on Lululemon’s instagram one day that said “Less stress. More yes.” and it really stuck out to me for some reason. I think we’re often too quick to judge, so I use it to remind myself not to get ahead of myself either.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
You can’t please everyone and that’s okay. As long as you’re living up to your own standards of happiness, that’s all you can really do.
Name a girl boss past, or present, who inspires you or you look up to.
Oprah Winfrey is just so badass and truthful. She can do no wrong.
What are your go-to restos in NYC?
Omg there are so many, I can’t just pick one. Going to be honest with you, I live right above Bar Virage and I love it. People always think I’m just lazy whenever I suggest to eat there, but it’s genuinely so so good. I love Double Zero as every good New York vegan does. If you’re in Brooklyn, Lil Choc Apothecary in Williamsburg is incredible. I’m also such a bagel fiend! I can’t live without Tompkins Square Bagels, I absolutely love it.
Currently its my meze falafel bowl! Here's the recipe:
- Handful of @olivias_organics arugula
- @smartveggiefoods Broccoli Falafel
- Curry cauliflower (seasoned with curry powder, turmeric, garlic salt, black petter & steamed till soft)
- 1/2 avocado sprinkled with black sesame seeds
- Dressed with tahini dressing (raw tahini + lemon juice + olive oil) and @saysyafoods Spicy Cilantro Dip 'n Spread
What pieces are you loving from eff.Y.bee?
The Serena Shaker Necklace in Pyrite, the Gold Wish Choker, and the pineapple stud earrings!