My advice for my fellow independent biz women #Marketing & PR#Project Management#business#reader questions October 27 | Ariel Meadow Stallings offbeatariel Photo by Mikkel Page If you were to mentor other businesswomen – what would your pearls of wisdom be? -Jac My biggest business advice would be to always recognize the folks who inspired you. All's fair in love and biz, and there are very few truly new ideas — the key is to acknowledge and respect the folks who came before you. If you've read my book, I make no secret of the fact that Indiebride was HUGELY influential on my wedding planning process, and I've referenced the site many times here on offbeatbride.com. I worked hard to ensure that Indiebride and Offbeat Bride would be very, very different beasts — one's primarily a forum with a thoughtful advice column, while the other is a photo-intensive rapid-fire blog. But above and beyond differentiating the websites, it was incredibly important to me that my book recognize the work that Lori Leibovich did for the online wedding world. The same is true of my reading series, the Salon of Shame. I was inspired by a friend's event called Cringe in Brooklyn. I first asked her if I could start a Seattle leg of her show, and she said "No, but you can start your own thing with a different name!" So I did — but whenever anyone asks me about the history of the show, I always mention Cringe. Always: Stallings is the first to admit the influence of other, prior confessional reading series: "When people say, 'What a great idea!' I say, 'Yeah, but it's not mine.'" Look: the business world is FULL of derivation — long before the Snuggie, there was the Slanket. Competition happens. But as a businesswoman, when you make a point to recognize and honor your inspiration, you can create a business community instead of just competition. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Meadow Stallings Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. @offbeatariel @offbeatbride PREVIOUS Offbeat Mama numbers NEXT A peek behind the offbeat curtain Toggle comments [ 18 ] Every time i hear that modern bride got scrapped i feel a little bad. i work at Walmart, and whenever a woman picks up a copy of modern bride or Martha Stewart i write down the URL for OBB. Most women put the magazine back when i tell them how wonderful OBB is. oops? Reply I say don't feel bad at all, you're doing them a favor!! I was reading some "advice" in one of those magazines which said something to the effect of, "Don't make your own invitations!! Think of how tacky that will be!! Instead, BUY your invitations from these vendors 'conveniently' advertising in our magazine!!" …..Yeah. It was then I vowed (ha) never to pick one of those up again. What I would have preferred instead was an actual thoughtful, considerate article like the one OB had on the meaning/connotations of "tacky" in the wedding industry, and options for many (not just one!) ways to deal with invitations…..making your own, a selection of many different vendors, using e-invitations, etc…..rather than assuming that everyone wants the exact same thing. Hey other magazines, either stop painting every "bride-to-be" with the exact same brush or you're SURE to go out of business….and OB, keep up the good work!! Reply I totally agree with your advice and especially the sentiments about reality tv and print media! I think that you are doing an awesome job supporting all women whether it's connecting them with other brides or inspiring them to make their own offbeat dreams come true. Good for you for not slowing down for the mainstream media to catch up with you. xo Reply I just have to say, that I really admire your convictions to your beliefs. Its a rare thing in this day and age where you see someone who says, "I believe this," and then actually commits their life to upholding it. I feel that here at OBB and in every blurb, conversation, Q & A you post. Thanx. Reply But it's exactly the weird goth weddings that make me love this blog so much! haha, I'm glad corporate-sponsored "Buy! Buy! Buy!" magazines are fading out. Hooray for weird goths and DIY!! Reply Offbeat Bride's traffic continues to grow even as wedding magazines are shutting down … so we must be doing something right. The elephant in the room there is, are you making any money from it? Reply Lisa, without getting into specifics, it's not too hard to figure out: Offbeat Bride's ad rates aren't a secret! Reply "Look: the business world is FULL of derivation — long before the Snuggie, there was the Slanket. Competition happens. But as a businesswoman, when you make a point to recognize and honor your inspiration, you can create a business community instead of just competition. " SO. TRUE. Reply wait a minute, did you say the CW is supposed to be the "youth luxury network"? The new Melrose Place aside, I've always thought of the CW as the "youth ghetto network"! Reply That's what the production company dude said, referencing Gossip Girl. I certainly wouldn't know either way — I don't even have a television. Reply Frankly, wedding shows are never about the wedding, as you say, it's about the DRAMA! I've always wanted to avoid that, so I'd make rubbish reality material. That's what I love about OBB, everyone's laid back, encouraging, thoughtful and fun! TV producers always see their audiences as idiots, that's why there's so much trash on. If they did take a chance to make a positive TV version of OBB, it'd get an audience! But they don't want to take a chance and that's why TV is a dying medium. Reply RE: Drama. That was another big concern of mine. I always worried that an OBB TV show would inevitably slide toward "Weirdo Bridezillas" — OMG, can you beLIEVE she's freaking out about not having enough time to crochet scarves for her bridesmaids? Stupid DIY bitch! I also worried that casting the show would contradict all the work I've done on trying to remind readers that their wedding is not a contest. It's not a contest … oh unless you want to be on OBB TV, and then we only want the weirdest, wildest, and brightest. Ultimately, OBB is meant for a niche readership. TV is not meant for niches. Reply I want there to be a way for me to Like this. Reply Oh, but there is! Reply Ariel, you and offbeat bride are my inspiration! I've been the go-to-gal for all my friends weddings this summer..and i hope to turn the mayhem in a little wedding coordination business. Visiting OBB is the very first thing I tell a couple to do. Reply I guess as online news sites are putting print papers out of business, sites like these are doing the same to print magazines. Reply Ariel, are you planning any book tours? Reply I'd consider Ariel a mentor to me… and she does it steadfastly, with honesty, conviction and an outlook on self-reliance that I don't think I would have gleaned from someone else. She's a rockstar Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.