With Thanksgiving upon us, naturally it’s a time to take a breath, step back and enjoy the fruits of our labor, both in our personal and professional relationships. During such a tumultuous season, the biggest blessing we have experienced has wholeheartedly been the creation, development and growth of our Educate | Empower | Encourage community we founded and lead alongside our friend Wendy Kay of Birds of a Feather Events

With the faith of a mustard seed, we ventured to create a space where like-minded high-achieving entrepreneurs and creatives could connect, develop, grow and thrive as well as challenge themselves and inspire each other. It’s been a beautiful ride and we look forward to what the future holds for each of the valued members in our special and sacred space. For fun, we asked the community to share their favorite Thanksgiving tradition, how they practice gratitude in their daily lives, what they’re thankful for or what this season means to them. Below are the responses we received, enjoy! 

Aislinn McKenna with Aislinn Eileen 

Huntsville, Alabama

“Every Thanksgiving my husband and I go for a nature hike and reminisce on the biggest wins, accomplishments, and joys the year has brought. This tradition is something we look forward to every year. We have much to celebrate this Thanksgiving!”

Emily Dorman with Alp & Isle

Denver, Colorado 

“I love any chance to count blessings and practice gratitude. Add in quality, cozy family time, scrumptious food, and you get my favorite holiday… Thanksgiving! This year, more than any other, I am incredibly thankful for supportive and transparent relationships with other women entrepreneurs. Throughout this roller coaster of a year, we have leaned on each other and sat in the stillness and anxiety together. I am so proud of how strong and resiliently we are all finishing this year. An overarching theme from year to year is my gratefulness for the hard-earned trust and respect that our vendor partners and clients have for our craft and professionalism. We never take for granted what a blessing and honor it is to do this job with that kind of freedom. Ultimately, we will forever be thankful that our talent became our dream job. Even through this incredibly difficult and unprecedented year, we still have so many amazing achievements and strides to be thankful for. Life is beautiful like that.”

Haydee Duarte with Blush & White Design House 

Miami, Florida 

“This is my family’s opportunity to celebrate the ‘official’ beginning of the holiday season. We always roast a full-sized turkey and make Cuban sandwiches with the leftovers for lunch the next day. (We are not Cuban, but love these!) I am incredibly grateful to have a husband who loves to cook. He makes the entire dinner while I focus on dessert. I make my signature chocolate layer cake and fresh whipped cream for store bought pumpkin pie. It’s a lot, but we enjoy the excuse to make all our favorite dishes! Our dinner includes homemade stuffing and biscuits as well as sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. It’s a very traditional dinner and takes most of the day to prepare.”

Kat Braman with Kat Braman Photography

Swan Quarter, North Carolina 

“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is the Christmas movie marathon we start after dinner.  The Holiday and The Family Stone are my favorites, and my kids can’t get enough of Home Alone and The Santa Clause.  My favorite side dish is the stuffing.  I love it smothered in gravy and always hide a container of them in the fridge just for me.” 

Kayla Jackson Southard with Jackson Southard Events

Shreveport, Louisiana

“This year has taught us to be grateful and what better time to share gratitude for what 2020 has provided.  It has taught us to enjoy the slow season, rekindle the flames and reasons why we got into the wedding world in the first place, meet new friends in our industry, have time for the simple things, GROW our business in ways we never thought imaginable, and most importantly, get back to the basics of family, friends and the love for our craft. What a reason to celebrate!”

Lance Nicoll with Lance Nicoll Photography

New Orleans, Louisiana

“I’m immensely grateful for 2020. This year has brought things we may never experience again, many of those things we will all be happy to put behind us, but others will we all look back on fondly. Spending five months at home with my wife and two children is a gift that I am first and foremost grateful for.”

Lauren Field with Lauren Field Design 

Austin, Texas

“I come from a long line of makers who create things with their hands (woodworking, baking, painting, sewing, etc) and since I was a child, pie making was my favorite tradition.  I am specifically grateful for giving an experience to the couples that trust us to visually tell their stories. I was meant to create and celebrate the beauty in life, so being able to spread joy through design puts a huge grin on my face. I am thankful that my gifts allow me to be a planner, designer, and detail stylist as I see the world as not only the big picture, but as every last beautiful detail.” 

Shannon Griffin with Shannon Griffin Photography 

Palm Beach, Florida

“A big part of my self-worth comes from my business, it comes from holding time still for my clients. It always sounds clichè, but I couldn’t do any of this without them. They keep my passion alive. They keep me believing in myself and my business. They’ve kept my doors open and a fire in my belly for more than a decade. I thank them for not only believing in my art, but also that they’re worthy of encapsulating their memories for generations.”

Stephanie Maupin with Holly Oaks on the Marsh 

Savannah, Georgia 

“Thankfulness, to me, extends for those who wake up every day trying to be more creative than the day before. I am thankful for those clients who appreciate creativity and experiences that are unique. It is all about finding joy in the journey! That joy segues into my favorite Thanksgiving tradition. My mother-in-love gave us a tablecloth in our first year of marriage. This tablecloth is special because from that year onward, everyone who gathers at our table at Thanksgiving signs the cloth and writes what they are thankful for from the entire year. Then I stitch over the handwriting to make it last. We have been doing this for 28 years, and the cloth has seen marriages, births, pets, new homes, travel experiences, etc…joy in the journey! It is extra poignant to see the handwriting of loved ones who have passed on and remember the special love that they were to our family and friends.”

Taylor Bradford with Sugar Creek Event Rentals

Dallas, Texas 

“Every morning, I brew a cup of tea and grab my gratitude journal and write down at least ten things I’m grateful for. It has truly helped in keeping my mindset focused on the things that light me up and nourish my soul. As we’ve all experienced, this year has been extremely tumultuous filled with a lot of uncertainty. However, this practice has kept me grounded in my truths and what best serves me.”

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