The Girl Behind @MissNewFoodie on Why Food Is Always Better Than Boys
Forget working at the university book store or in the admissions department: creating a successful Instagram account is officially the coolest college side hustle. Back in July, we talked with the trio of friends behind @NewForkCity about how they grew their food porn Insta to more than 600 thousand hungry followers. But they’re not the only ones getting Internet famous inside their college dorm room. Enter Emily Carlo, the NYU undergrad behind @MissNewFoodie. Her recipe? Hilarious and painfully relatable captions (“Reminder that peanut butter will never forget to text you back” is one of our faves) paired with mouthwatering snaps of ice cream, donuts, bagels...and the occasional acai bowl. Just in time for the launch her new YouTube channel, we quizzed Emily about the secret to a flattering food pic and why dessert is better than dudes any day.
Tell us about the moment you decided to start @MissNewFoodie.
I started it randomly one afternoon in my freshman door room, three years ago! I figured it would just be a fun hobby; I never imagined it would grow into what it is today.
How did you get all of your followers?
To get my first few hundred followers, what I did was search a hashtag, like #nycfood for example, and I commented and liked all of the photos in the hashtag. I found that by engaging with other people’s accounts, they were more likely to look back at my profile and maybe give me a follow. I also tag all of my photos with hashtags so that if people search, my photos will come up in the results. Once I started to gain a few thousand followers, I think it just grew from word of mouth. Most of my followers are people living in NYC and are college-age girls. Additionally, anytime I get mentioned in an interview or an article, I’ll gain a considerable amount of followers. I was mentioned in a BuzzFeed article a few months ago and gained about 10 thousand followers from that. I feel like Instagram growth comes from word of mouth and friends sharing article links with friends.
There are so many of food Instas on the internet...how did you make yours stand out?
I truly think it’s because of my captions. Other Instagrammers just write a basic caption describing the food in the photo. But if there’s some personality behind the caption, people identify with the whole “voice” of the account. I love it when people comment “Caption is so me” on my posts. Any caption talking about food being better than boys still makes me laugh…because it’s true!
What made you decide to expand to the blog and YouTube page?
I really wanted to know my followers on a personal level, because I feel like Instagram can be very one-sided. I started the blog so that people could get to know ‘me’ beyond just what’s on Instagram. I read all of the comments and love to reply back to everyone. I also started a YouTube channel to get even more interactive with my followers. It sounds cheesy, but I feel like my followers are my friends.
What's the secret to the perfect food pic (other than a perfectly ripe avocado)?
Lighting! When people scroll through their Instagram feeds they want to see bright, colorful photos. I basically will only eat at restaurants that have a lot of natural light.
Who's your number one must-follow on Instagram?
I follow a lot of YouTubers and celebrities. I also love @marniethedog; she’s so cute. It’s literally a dream of mine to do a Miss New Foodie x Marnie The Dog collab!
And now that's our dream, too. What are your post-grad plans, besides eating plenty of acai bowls?
After college, I have no idea what I want to do! I'd love to be an influencer full-time with Miss New Foodie. But I think I'll most likely work at a media or entertainment company. I've loved all my past media internships, and I feel like this particular field of work is constantly growing and evolving. I know it sounds cliché, but I just want to work somewhere that makes me happy.