Carlisa Thomas, Mother, Chef, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, lupus & domestic violence survivor, and advocate. After being diagnosed with lupus in the eighth grade Carlisa became a champion for the cause and began educating herself and others about the disease. Carlisa had an entrepreneurial spirit at a very young age and saved her summer job paychecks to open and run a candy store. She has always used a portion of her earnings to help people with Lupus and their families.
Carlisa went even further to make more of a difference in the lives of Lupus patients by starting her own organization, Loop-Us, in 2011. Loop-Us mission is to bring this mysterious disease and those who suffer with it to the forefront and thus provide lupus patients the support they need to stay healthy and maintain a positive outlook on life.
Carlisa followed in her mother’s footsteps and fell in love with cooking. Her passion for preparing delicious food led her to Johnson and Wales University in Miami, FL and Washburne Culinary Institute in Chicago, IL.
Carlisa courageously left her marriage where she had suffered years of domestic violence and joined all of her skills and passions to start her own catering company, Purple Ribbon Chef, in 2012. With purple being the awareness ribbon for lupus and domestic violence everything had come full circle.
Carlisa has used her voice and platform to give back to nonprofits throughout the Chicagoland area like The South Side Community Art Center, Chicago Defender, and CHA to name a few. She also decided to add small businesses to this list due to her knowing first hand how difficult it could be to be a small business owner. Hosting events where small businesses could gain exposure for their brands yearly through her tastings, hosting entrepreneur meet ups, as well as sponsoring catering services for two small business events each month.
In October 2018 Carlisa debuted her first book Purple Tears “A Domestic Violence Journey”. In Purple Tears A Domestic Violence Journey Carlisa takes you on a journey through her healing while allowing you to walk through yours. The book explores the raw truth about living through and coping with the aftermath of domestic violence. The importance of forgiveness for ones piece of mind. The need for proper mental health services and support. Owning up to the role you play in taking control of your life. As well as taking a good look at your past to see what it prepared and possible didn’t prepare you for.
Carlisa has dedicated her life to helping others get through this sometimes complicated thing called LIFE. She will push the envelope even further this year with the debut of her new blog and podcast “Doing It Single” this spring where she will focus on how herself and others tackle life head on “Doing It Single” whether that be motherhood, fatherhood, relationships or in business it’s okay and very possible to do it single and fabulously. Carlisa is the definition of a warrior; she has gone through a cocoon of pain to come out a beautiful butterfly.
“Carlisa is such a talented chef who takes great pride in her craft! Everything from the food to the presentation is executed to the highest of quality. We are so happy to have Purple Ribbon Chef as our Preferred Catering Service for all of our events.” Said CEO and Founder of The Look Chicago Nellisa Heath
Book and C. Nicole apparel can be found on Amazon!