Those of you who have been reading for a while may remember that November 2009 was a game-changing month for me — I was 8+ months pregnant and two days after I wrote this post, I got laid off from my day job. A couple weeks later (exactly one year ago today!) I had a baby. It was a cluster-fuck of big life transitions hitting simultaneously, and to be perfectly honest, I was completely unsure how it would all play out…could I make the shift to full-time self-employment at the same time as I made the shift to motherhood?
This was my Thanksgiving post from 2010, but it bares repeating: thanks to each and every one of you who follow along with us at Offbeat Bride. We are so grateful for you.
Here we are a year later, and you know what? Things are better than ever. The first year of parenthood wasn't nearly as sleep deprived and scary/awful as all the "You'll seeeee"-ers told me it would be. The year of full-time self-employment has been more successful and WAY more gratifying than I'd even let myself hope for. The Offbeat Empire is not only thriving — it's growing, with traffic and revenue up across both sites, and Offbeat Home launching in a few months.
And you know who made all that happen?
You, that's who.
I have all of you to thank. Each and every one of you… All of the readers who check in day after day, quietly lurking from your laptops, living rooms, and cubicles (shh: I won't tell your bosses that I know how many of you read at work!)
Every single one of you who take the time to share your thoughts and passions with us via your comments and emails — especially those of you who take the offbeat mission so seriously that you take the time to tell us when you think we've made a misstep.
All of you who take the time to share your weddings and guestposts with us, inspiring me with your amazing diversity and visions and realized dreams. Your cultures and lifestyles and fashion and music and poetry and traditions are my soul-food, and every day that I get to wake up and look at photos of amazing beautiful people celebrating an amazing beautiful chapter in their life is a happy day for me.
Every single one of the Offbeat Bride Tribe members who prop each other up through the grueling highs and lows of active wedding planning. Watching y'all support each other is the best kind of shock and awe, and if we could harness the energy of the Tribe I swear to god we could power a small city.
All the indie vendors and inspired small-time biz folks who help us keep the site online and the hosting bills paid. One of my greatest joys is the emails I get from vendors who say that their Offbeat Bride clients has enabled them to follow their own career dreams … I love the stories of fledgling vendors who spend their rent money on an Offbeat Bride ad, and two years later are supporting their families with the business they've built. (True story! Ask Lasertron.)
And I'm beyond thankful to the team of people behind the scenes who keep the wheels turning and the gears greased — from Megan and Superman on the editorial side, to my tireless developer J.M. Dodd who has hand-coded Offbeat Bride's back-end from top to bottom, up and down and backwards. And of course the ever-patient Travis Z who deals with all the panicked server-side tech support.
Offbeat Bride was a side project for three years, limping along in my spare time until last fall. This past year, when I've had the time to dedicate 30, 40, 50 (or ug, even 60) hours a week to the site has been totally transformative for me on so many levels … and if you're reading this, you have been a part of that. Thank you. This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for each and every last one of you.