KOCHI: “You're bigger than Vancouver. You're bigger than Venice. You're even bigger than Las Vegas," read the letter from YouTube that accompanied the gold play button Nisa received on hitting one million subscribers. And like the note goes on presume, Nisa Thomas, the woman behind the channel, Skinny Recipes had never dreamt of the day when her unsuspecting endeavor would put her in a league occupied only by a handful in the state.
A native of Kottayam, Nisa grew up in Thiruvananthapuram and now lives in Kozhikode with her family. The mom of two started her career as a cook by selling baked goodies from home. Her foray into the digital space happened in 2010 with a food blog. "Back then, I had no idea what blogging was. I didn't even know that people could view what I posted. I thought it would sort of be like a diary where I could record some of my successful recipes or a way to document them for my daughter to refer to in the future. But soon I started receiving comments from the readers thanking me for a recipe they had tired. I was pleasantly surprised, this motivated me to post regularly. I read up on the technical aspects of blogging. One day, I got a mail from Google advising me to monetise the blog, I did so. That is how everything took off," says Nisa.
She embarked on her YouTube journey in 2016 with a shift in lifestyle. "I decided to start eating healthy by cutting out all refined products from my diet. I roped my family also into doing so. Someone suggested that I should upload the recipe videos on YouTube. I found that working on the platform was easier than blogging but I never imagined that a niche healthy diet-focused channel would receive so much acclaim," quips Nisa.
Nisa, who was a lawyer in her previous avatar quit her practice to attend to her kids. Her penchant for cooking started once she became a stay-at-home mom. "I attended a few baking classes on the insistence of my mom before getting married but it was only after my husband's transfer to Coorg in 2000 that I began searching for new recipes and trying them out," she adds. Now a full-time YouTuber, Nisa has come a long way. She has lost count of the number of recipes she has vlogged. How does she come up with a new dish for every video? "Oh, it takes a lot of trial and error. Most attempts fail, I only upload successful ones. You need to be persistent. I am always on the lookout for new preparations and modify them to make them healthy. But it is sometimes a challenge to conceive dishes that are both tasty and wholesome." However, Nisa is in no mood to stop. Elated about her virtual milestone, she wants to continue what she refers to as a labour of love. "I enjoy making videos so I don't consider it as a task even though my channel takes up most of my time. I hope to keep going as long as I can."