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The Canadian Jeiwsh News

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Entrepreneur’s website is a resource for new moms

She turns to the digital Pink and Blue Magazine, which covers “a wide range of topics ranging from fashion, beauty, entertainment and the best parenting advice,” founded by 33-year-old entrepreneur Nicole Bloomberg.

Bloomberg, who has dabbled in marketing, public relations, event planning and even jewelry design, started a Facebook forum for new mommies about two years ago when her daughter was five months old.

 “The main purpose was to find support from other mothers, revolving around issues such as sleeping, breast feeding, daycare, etc.,” said Bloomberg, a native of Hollywood, Fla., who moved to Toronto about seven years ago to be with her husband.

“A lot of pregnant and new moms also want to meet each other. The Facebook forum is an easy way to communicate, and it really took off,” she said.

She did not anticipate such a huge response to the forum. To date, there are about 7,700 Pink and Blue members, with new members joining each week.

Utilizing her business acumen, Bloomberg turned her Facebook forum into a website.

“Every new parent needs the advice of experts, and I started [the website]… and enlisted these experts to write articles. I then took it to the next level,” she said.

Bloomberg is now publisher and editor-in-chief of a free quarterly magazine, which published its first digital, interactive issue in the summer of 2012.

Bloomberg has about 52 experts on her roster including a pediatrician, a certified image consultant, a naturopathic doctor, a kid’s nutritionist and a dentist.

“Every mom needs an expert [at their fingertips],” she said.

While the forum is made up mostly of new moms, the magazine is also geared toward kids and early teens.

Bloomberg said she has always had an interest in magazines, and when she was studying for her master’s of business administration at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, she did a large project on a magazine.

“It has always been my dream to start a magazine, but [Pink and Blue] evolved naturally. It was never a definite plan,” she said.

Before diving into the publishing world, Bloomberg was a jewelry designer who had created her own line. A portion of the proceeds from her handmade pieces went to charity.

“I’ve always wanted to do something I believe in. When I was in Florida, I created jewelry and gave some of the proceeds to Holocaust education,” she said, adding that it was important to her to support a Jewish cause because her father is a Six Day War veteran, and her grandfather was an Israeli rabbi.

But now, much of her energy is focused on her two babies – her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and her magazine.

Bloomberg works long hours in her home office with the help of an assistant and an intern, and she employs writers, graphic artists and photographers.

“Sometimes I work from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m., but I have learned to balance my time. I am passionate about my work. I monitor the forum myself, and that alone is a full-time job. New moms trust the advice they get from experts and from other mothers,” she said.

Bloomberg attributes the success of the magazine to its simplicity and accessibility.

“It is such a simple concept. Readers log in and upload our articles. Moms all over the world tell me that they have become addicted to it,” she said.

“We’re there for them day and night. They can come to one place, instead of searching all over the Internet for an answer to their questions.”

Although she hasn’t yet turned the magazine into a money-making venture, her work is about much more than selling advertising, she said.

“I’m building a community, and it’s something I believe in. I feel like I’m giving back. I don’t have a sales team yet, something I would love to have, but that would be taking it to the next level,” she said.

“That’s where the growth needs to happen. I’m not thinking about a print magazine – my market is online.”

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By: Jody FegelmanBorn 

Born & raised in Hollywood, Florida, Nicole Bloomberg had a successful career in marketing and public relations. When she moved to Toronto, she put her creative forces into designing a jewellery line. When she became a mom it lead her down a road she had been hoping to travel since her days studying for an MBA: running a magazine.

Pink & Blue Magazine originally started when Bloomberg’s popular Facebook group exploded onto the mom scene in 2011, attracting thousands of passionate parents every week. The magazine is the first publication in Canada that garners topics straight from where they began, their Facebook forum. With close to 6,000 members on the Facebook group and growing weekly by 100-200 people, Pink & Blue is tapped into a huge social network. It connects local mothers in Toronto and across the country and the US. You can ask questions, share stories, and inform others of local happenings. All of the information on the forum is strictly advice from other mothers.

“Being a new parent comes with lots of new experiences and a lot of questions arise from these experiences. Many of my friends who were also new moms were also sharing these same difficulties,” says Bloomberg. “I was pretty sure that this wasn’t exclusive to my circle. I started Pink & Blue on Facebook for new moms and not so new moms to help one another out and share techniques and experiences.”

That’s how Pink & Blue was born: to bring moms together to share, learn, gain advice and socialize. The forum was amazing for doing just that. Bloomberg realized the need for more than just great mommy advice – but expert mommy advice. Cue Pink & Blue Magazine.

“You need a strong support network. The magazine is making life easier for parents who just don’t have the time to search the Internet. It is a trusted source for parents to turn to for advice from other parents and experts. This is really an exciting and thrilling time in my life and keeps me on the edge of my seat to see where life takes me and what happens next. I am grateful to be a mother and to have Pink & Blue as my second baby and to watch it grow and to help moms from all over. It is hard work, but it is always worth it when it is finally published!”

How has it changed you (if at all)?

Pink & Blue has changed me for the better. It has changed the way I view business, women and moms. The hardest part is to separate yourself from your brand. I am doing something I believe and that I love and at the end of the day that is the most important thing!”

What do you think of some of the bad buzz on Pink & Blue Facebook forum?

“I choose to focus on the good and to ignore people that choose to be negative. Also, we’re dealing with hormonal women that are pregnant, just had a baby, or just moms trying to balance life. Whenever you have thousands of moms communicating you’re bound to get some claws out. Some people like the drama and some don’t. You have to choose what you read, what you learn from and what you want to ignore.”

How do you juggle a busy career and being a mom?

“As a true Fab Mom should, I try to balance my career and my growing family. I think every mom struggles with the balance. The trick is to take a step back and make time for yourself, which was the hardest lesson to learn, so you don’t get burnt out.“

Three things every new mom should know.

1. When you’re relaxed your kids are relaxed and they pick up your energy.
2. Trust your motherly instinct.
3. Don’t let others judge you. Everyone will always have an opinion, especially when it comes to your kids.”??

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