“There are powers inside of you which, if you could discover and use, would make of you everything you ever dreamed or imagined you could become.”
~Orison Swett Marden
Happy birthday to us! Today marks one year since The Hudsucker was officially created. It’s been an interesting journey thus far, and in just one year we have grown from a team of 5 to a team of 25 writers from three different continents. I am extremely humbled that each writer on this team has found the dream that I once had to be a worthwhile one and something they believe can grow into something great.
The Hudsucker is a testament to the power of dreams and pain, both of which are naturally opposite. I never imagined our site would take off like with the way it did in this past year. I remember discussing the idea of creating a site a few years ago with a friend but it was just a thought. I never imagined it would actually come into creation like the way it did. When I was texting with Katherine last June, we were in a wine and cookies sort of blur. Both of us were battling our own obstacles at the time and personally, I was having a terrible start to the summer. Parts of me were broken and a tad despondent, but the greater we allow ourselves to feel and acknowledge that pain, the deeper our passions become. I would soon learn that it truly takes pain to produce something great. If you don’t have any obstacles on your path or tension brought on by painful situations in your life, you can’t inspire anyone and most importantly, you can’t inspire yourself. Without it, you wouldn’t know how far you can really go.
I was lucky enough to confide in a good friend that night. That will always be one of my favorite memories because if you know Katherine, you will know she has an incredible heart and genuinely cares about what you have to say. I expressed to her how much I would like to see an online magazine built with all the principles our site now embodies; creativity, passion, uniqueness, quirk, and just about everything I read from friends on Twitter. That sort of character and spunky attitude I wanted translated into articles and she agreed. She said it was a great idea to build something like that, have it become a portfolio of great writing for each writer and would back me up to come on board.
The next day we were up and running. It was exciting, enterprising and at the same time incredibly ambitious of me! I started messaging friends and getting them to join us. I felt like Nick Fury without the eye patch and interestingly enough, it was exciting to feel ‘normal’ again. Crawling out of a dark spot and devoting myself to what burns bright from within; my real passion–writing.
Initially our site opened at Blog.com and though it was a site full of glitches, I learned quite a lot about blogging from them and am grateful for the eight months we spent at their server. Of course patience can only go so far, especially when it comes to looking out for a big team. My writers are my responsibility and it’s my goal to make our environment fun, easy-going and reliable. Our server at Blog.com? Not so fun, easy-going or reliable. We moved in March of this year to WordPress after Blog.com shut down for about 48 hours. Since the big move, I can speak on behalf of our whole team that we are extremely happy with this new server. It was a lot of hard work making the transition and our biggest surprise since joining WordPress has been that we are now read in over 100 countries, with readership growing from 4,000+ in eight months at our older server, to an astonishing 12,000+ in just three and a half months with our current. We love everything about it and have seen such an amazing response from readers since joining and allowing our content to flourish in the WordPress community. Quite frankly, I can’t understand why we never thought about it earlier, but we learn from experience and that makes it all the more worthwhile.
Since we started The Hudsucker, we’ve seen a lot of growth with our writers and their work. Some went on to create their own exclusive series focusing on music, TV, food and random facts; while others ventured out and conducted interviews with interesting personalities. Throughout the months we collaborated on several pieces like the Oscars, the holiday seasons; even worked on duo-pieces with a focus on fashion, film and popular web-series; and just this past February introduced the “He Said, She Said” advice column, which provides an opportunity for our writers to interact with our readers who have sent in questions regarding their love life.
As we have seen success this past year with our writers getting acknowledged and receiving acclaim for their work, it’s been a thought since we started out that we extend our platform and introduce guest writers. I’m proud to announce that with our one-year anniversary, we are now accepting submissions for Guest Writers! Details can be found here.
I would like to take a minute to thank everyone involved in this site’s creation and launch that lovely sunny day in June of 2012. This might be the closest I’ll ever get to an award acceptance speech so here it is:
Thank you to my amazing editors Katherine, Elizabeth, Andrew, and Ashleigh. You guys are not just editors, but you are my good friends and I’m eternally grateful to have you in my life. You guys believed in me and stood by me when others just didn’t ‘feel it’ and I am humbled by your gesture, love and kindness.
Thank you to my incredibly perfect and ever-so talented team of writers who are also great friends. I adore all of you–Kathleen, Desi, Drew, Tatum, Stephen, Andrea, Stephanie, Karen, Rebecca, Bo, Cathie, Cady, Layne, Janna, James, Nicole, Matt, Paulette, Robert, and Chris, you are the best team a girl could ever ask for and I am eternally thankful that you all love to write here and understand the heart and quirkiness of what The Hudsucker really is. Reading your work, watching your passions flourish on this site make me so happy and excited for you because it’s inspiring, and I love all the creativity you guys put forth. It’s beautiful to watch yourself unravel in the words you write.
The great Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” It’s something that I can agree with. The team we have is flawless and I can challenge anyone that there isn’t a team out there in the blogosphere like this one. When we started out it was just a small venture, but together we can do so much and are capable of its growth. These successes we have found are not just personal successes, but one that marks success for all.
Thank you to the readers! Without you guys caring about what we write, when we write it, we wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t have lasted a whole year. You guys make the site what it is and for those who submitted comments, questions for the advice column, it’s all very much appreciated. I can speak for all of us who work on The Hudsucker, that we love all of you and are humbled by the growing readership.
Last but not least, thank you to my parents, my awesome dad and beautiful mother, my sister who constantly pushes me to write something even if I feel I can’t write; Susanna who is ever so supportive and understanding while being on the level with me about my work; Laura and Irene who always knew I had it in me to write; and my ‘best friend’ who doesn’t know the impact he has on me.
Thank you everyone. Here’s to another year and counting! Cheers!
Read. Think. Repeat.
Editor-in-Chief, The Hudsucker