Here it is: Thanksgiving in the US, and time to hop on the Love Train Express and pull into Appreciation Station. We try to remain grateful and appreciative of the Offbeat Empire's readers every day in every way, but on Thanksgiving we all wanted to try to find the way to articulate just how thankful we are for every single one of you.
So join us now as each Offbeat Empire staffer shares a bit about what they love and appreciate about YOU, our readers and sponsors…
Mama Families Managing Editor
I think one of my favorite things about everyone who visits the Empire sites is the honesty with which stories are told and supported. This is true across all three sites, but it's something I see most frequently on Offbeat
Mama Families since that's where I spend most of my Empire-related time. It's been fun to watch the identity of the site grow into what it is today — a place for parents, caregivers, and anyone interested in parenthood and how kids are being raised to read, share, and reflect. I've been challenged and inspired to be more honest in how I write and communicate (on and offline) because of Empire contributors, and through comments and contributions I've seen many of you guys grow in your own right. I'm absolutely thankful for this experience and opportunity to connect with so many people. It's fun, ya'll!
Catherine (aka Superman): Offbeat Bride Associate Editor
This community of readers blows me away on a daily basis with the way readers support one another, offer encouragement, share their wealth of information and advice, and by how many ways one can spell "boutonniere." I've edited a lot of real weddings for Offbeat Bride and seen a hell of a lot of comments, and one thing remains the same: you people are wicked awesome. Every day brings something new (like shipping fan fic and warm and fuzzy reader emails). Your eyeballs and participation in the community let us as staffers have a safe haven that makes a workday enviable. Thank you for being a part of that.
Caroline: Offbeat Empire Copyeditor
I'm thankful for the Offbeat Empire and its readers. I'm very privileged to be able to part of a community of engaging, interesting, weird people who love to share their ideas and tips for keeping life offbeat. I'm grateful for the chance to copyedit thoughtful and provocative material every week. I learn something new every day and I wouldn't have it any other way. Despite what my photo shows, the Offbeat Empire makes me incredibly happy!
Ariel: Founder & Publisher
Where do I even start? The Offbeat Empire's readers and network of sponsoring businesses have give me so much in so many ways over so many years. You have educated me on all your deliciously weird ways. You have inspired me with your color, your creativity, your thoughtfulness, and your determination. You've slapped my wrists, schooled me when I needed edumacating, and ensured I know the most-correct plural of octopus. You have shown me that our lives are crafted from so many different flavors, but that ultimately we're all struggling with the same challenges of finding our ways through this world. You have allowed me to pursue my dream of being a publisher and small business owner. You've made it possible for me to support my family doing what I love. I don't know how to say thank you, so I'll just keep doing what I do, which is churning out inspiration and cheerleading for all my favorite weirdos beating their own paths through the shrubs.
JMDodd: Offbeat Empire Chief Technology Officer
I am thankful for the Offbeat Empire for so many different reasons. I get to work with really interesting people on projects that make the world a friendlier, more understanding place. I get to write open source code and release it back to the community as plugins and patches. Best of all, I can totally channel my inner geek to make things work, and that's part of the job description.
Megan: Offbeat Empire Associate Publisher, Managing Editor of Offbeat Bride & Offbeat Home
Oh my darling Empire-lings, I love you. Every freaking day you make my cold black heart feel feelings of warm fuzzy love lumps. The internets can be a cruel and frightening place, but you make our little corner of the web feel like an open-minded safe haven where everyone gets to be themselves and get celebrated for it. (It's like Glee up in this bitch, without the lightning-fast soap opera story lines.)
Seriously, you guys make busting my ass to do my bestest impression of an alternative Martha Stewart for Home and Bride so very worth it. From your hilarious and educational comments, to the fact that some of you take the time to give us peeks into your own homes, relationships, and families, to our lovely little lurkers, who don't pipe up but keep peeping — yeah I'm talking to YOU mystery reader — to those of you that care enough about the Empire to email us your thoughts! Thanks for reading and contributing, and for making the Offbeat Empire a brighter, more rainbow-y place to virtual live.
Kirsten aka Little Red Lupine: Offbeat Bride Tribe Community Manager
I have to say a big thank you to the Tribe members! I have learned so much, and not just in DIY tutorials or wedding ideas. Every day I learn something new or run into a new opinion or point of view I'd never considered before. I encounter so many people pulling together to help one another out, offering their support and understanding. It's one of the few places on the internet that I know I can go and be sure to see the best of people. I've met lots of inspiring members from all over the world and I'm lucky to have gotten to share at least a little of their lives. So, from the bottom of my heart, thanks!
Kathleen: Offbeat Empire Advertising Manager
I am so grateful for our Offbeat advertisers! They are truly one of a kind and I love knowing that I get to connect all of these fabulous artists, photographers, and jacks/janes of all trades to our awesome Empire readers. I love hearing all of the success stories from folks that got a huge bang for their business by advertising with us. (Btw: CALL ME)
Liz: Offbeat Empire intern
I am so grateful for the amazing weird melting pot of the Offbeat Empire readership. The incredible people who keep submitting moving pieces that make me think about the friends and family and wider world around me in new ways keep me coming back for more every day. I love finding new bits and pieces and BASKETS! and peeking behind the curtain in the comments on the empire. I love that Empire readers share all their tweaks and twists on ideas and make me excited to try even more new things! I'm thankful for the sea of freak flags that fly high and proud, wave shyly from the shadows, and make our shared slice of internet a rainbow of awesome.