“I think my business helps people learn about places and people in the food industry that don’t get as much attention or recognition as others. I want to help give them a platform. And yes, I’m mainly talking about black businesses and chefs. We don’t hear enough about them and I feel like it’s my job to make sure they’re heard.”- Dalila Thomas
Dalila Thomas is the founder of Starving on a Budget, a blog geared mainly towards chefs and culinary art. In 2013 Dalila moved to Dallas from St. Louis after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Corp. Communications and Broadcast Media. Aside from her blog, Dalila is also a Food Writer, Host and News Producer at CW33 and in her free time, she freelances for world renown publication, Essence Magazine.
As a child, Dalila loved school, basketball and poetry. When she would get bored with school assignments she would turn them into poems and present them in rhymes which ended up sparking her interests in becoming a writer. As she evolved, she experimented with different topics and interests to find what she was most passionate about and knew she wanted to take writing further. Though getting a foot in the door was the hardest struggle, she made sure persistence stayed key throughout her progression because she says, “once you’re in, you’re in”.
In December of 2015,Dalila took to social media and “slid in the LinkedIn DM’s of several editors” and ended up receiving a response from Essence Magazine the summer following. They were so impressed with the uniqueness of her work and offered her a freelance opportunity. Coincidentally she was heading to New York to visit a friend for a birthday party so she asked to formally meet her new boss at the Essence Office. This has been one of her greatest accomplishments to date.
Dalila is currently working on expanding her brand, Starving on a Budget, and making it a full-time profession. Her blog consists of everything food: from recipes to interviews to events and more. Her brand shares her secretes and methods she’s learned over the years from eating out at places that weren’t too heavy on her wallet and creating her own recipes. With the integration of social media, she is able to reach people all over the world, show them where she’s eating and link to pieces on her blog where her viewers are able to get to know her on a deeper level. With online feedback, she’s been able to find new restaurants and motivate individuals which helps her create more content on her site.
When we asked Dalila who inspired her most in the industry she said, “Black women. It’s inspiring to see people like me, having an interest in the same things that I do. It’s beautiful.” Her goal is to be known for providing a platform for people like her to share and tell good stories. She is tackling her definition of success: honing in on a project, executing it, presenting it, celebrating it, then tackling the next goal.
We #COSIGN Dalila because her platform is mounting awareness for others like her in her industry.
Who does Dalila #COSIGN?
Nic Brent @slck_fx
Rashida Thomas @rashida.thomas
Raquel Gonzalez @rock_elle
Channing Beumer @callherchanlo
Leah Frazier @theleahfrazier
Vicki Oh! @onairwithvicki
Brandon Ayala @brandon_epocha
Desmond Blair @d_blair
Sydney Chandler @stefonique
Valerie Jean Bart @valscheesecakes