Penny Kraft

For those of us looking to incorporate more plant-based recipes into our lives and have fun doing it, Penny Kraft is a true inspiration. Diagnosed with Lupus of the skin in 2020, her lifelong passion for health, wellness and taste led her to adopt an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. 

Penny shares the ups and downs of her journey to health on her site HEY, try this! With her lively videos of cooking with real foods that fight inflammation, Penny helps others find their own path to wellness – and looks amazing while doing it! We wanted to know more about how Penny stocks her plant-based kitchen, her thoughts on being an entrepreneur, and how she achieves her fun sense of style. 

As a plant-based cook, we were curious what staple items Penny makes sure to always have on hand. 

I always get asked this question. A few of the main items I have in my kitchen are always frozen rice cauliflower, quinoa, coconut milk, onions, beans, and vegan cheese. I can always whip up some amazing dishes if I have these items around. They provide many health benefits, protein, vitamins and minerals. 

Penny’s Instagram feed is a treasure trove of vegan recipes and recommendations. We asked about her best green tricks and habits. 

I always start my grocery shopping at the farmers market, looking around and seeing what is freshest and what is in season. I rarely go to the market with a list of what I'm getting. I look around and see what looks good. I start my planning from there. Everything fresh that I bring home I try to clean and store in the fridge. I always have many different types of lettuces in the fridge. I clean them and then put them in a ziploc with a damp paper towel to keep them fresh. I destem and wash my kale and tear it up into bite size pieces and store in a ziploc. I clean all my veggies and then mix some of them up in different containers so they are ready to go for different recipes and salads.   

I always try and make enough for the next day and then I try and figure out what I can add to give it a different flavor profile. I love leftovers and being able to create something different. 

If you follow Penny’s Instagram (@pennywithheytrythis) you’ve probably fallen in love with her bright, bold style. (We know we have!) We asked her to describe a typical outfit and to tell us how her Nini Mebuke loafers elevate her looks. 

Normally my outfits are fun, interesting mixes. I love to put different colors, textures and prints together. If I can add  some pink and a hint of sparkle it's even better.   

My Nini Mebuke shoes are amazing. Not only are they comfy but they bring in my idea of "comfy chic" which is what I love. The  wonderful blue snakeskin print always brings in a different element. I now call it my new neutral. I can pretty much slip this on with anything. 

I like to look in the mirror and know that my outfit looks great from head to toe. My Nini shoes elevate my feet and my look. And they make me smile!

We love the colorful accents Penny always adds to her outfits. We were curious how that extends to her footwear choices. 

Shoes can bring a whole different look or feel to any outfit. I love to go with the less obvious choice of shoe. I love color because color just makes everyone smile; it brings joy. I will sometimes plan my outfit around my shoes. I love fashion and love to see the different ways my shoes and clothes can come together. I love to shake it up a little. Throw in color,  texture, print and maybe some sparkle and you have a perfect outfit! Shoes can really make the look. 

As a brand builder, Penny is no stranger to the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey. We wanted to know what she hopes to achieve with this new adventure. 

I have been and always will be a huge supporter of female-owned businesses. I always try to support and be an advocate for what their passion is. I think we can always learn from others and cheer them on. No matter what the business is, if you watch, listen and are open to learning, it will make you a better business person yourself.   

This new venture helps me to learn what obstacles others may have. I love to see the passion that Nini has for her shoes and designs and how she is always looking into the future to see what is next. She is always elevating that "next step.”  

We’re so proud to have Penny as a member of the Step Up Collective. So we had to ask what being a member means to her.

It is an honor to be working with Nini. To watch her with her designs and to see how she puts it all together to come up  with the perfect shoe is amazing. The biggest gift we can give to ourselves is to learn from others. To see Nini’s vision and to share it with others is wonderful. We all need people in our lives that will raise us up to take that next step. Nini gives us all that and more with her shoes. 

Hopefully other women and girls will realize that they can reach for their dreams and succeed with hard work, love and  passion.