The Offbeat Empire - offbeatempire.com - is a website started by Ariel Meadow Stallings. She founded the site in 2006, and she is based in Seattle, Washington. Originally the site was started as a way to promote her book, Offbeat Bride. Now, the site touts 3 million page views a month and employs many, many people in positions such as editors, writers, moderators, and developers.
Most importantly, the Offbeat Empire-made up of the sites Offbeat Bride, Offbeat Home, and Offbeat Mama-is a great resource for women who want to do something in their lives that isn't mainstream. The information is great, and because the site boasts so many different writers, readers are privy to a plethora of different perspectives and can take the information that works for them and use it.
The most popular portion of the site, Offbeat Bride, is also the name of Ariel Meadow Stallings' book that came out in 2007. The book was published by Seal Press and boasts "taffeta-free alternatives for independent brides." Stallings used her own personal experiences as inspiration for the book and the website.
Now, many writers contribute to the site on topics ranging from whether or not women should change their names when they get married, to wearing a wedding dress that isn't white, to creative invitations, to really awesome accessories. The great thing about Offbeat Bride is that many wedding vendors advertise on the site, and these vendors are all in line with the mission of the site. Therefore, if you are looking for wedding vendors that exist off the beaten path, you can find great information here.
Offbeat Home is another division of the Offbeat Empire. This is for women after the nuptials are over, and who are trying to carve out a space for themselves and their partners in the world. Articles on this site range from how to make cool art for your walls out-of-band T-shirts and embroidery hoops, to how to decorate for Christmas without all the red and green, to all different philosophies about home ownership and household duties.
This portion of the site often takes a feminist overtone, as many homemakers are women, and many modern women are deciding they do not want to be defined by housework. In that way, the site also touches on ways to clean up the house without going crazy, and how to host a party without losing your mind. This can be a refreshing change of pace for women who feel totally swamped with chores.
The third division of the Offbeat Empire is Offbeat Mama. Here, women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or who are actively raising children come to get tips on how to parent against the grain. Here, one can find articles about being a step-parent (or having a step-parent), alternative forms of education such as homeschooling and private schools, crafts to do with the kids, and traveling with kids.
Moms can come here to find information about all of these things, plus how to be a working mom and still have time with the kids, among other things. There is a stellar list of resources for moms and moms-to-be that can help even the most worry-filled parent find the advice she needs. The sponsors here are just as good as those on the other sections of the Empire. Keying in to these sponsors can be critical to parents trying to do the best they can for their kids.