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Monday, December 22, 2014

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Entrepreneur’s website is a resource for new moms

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Nicole Bloomberg and her daughter Iyla Sofie

Where does a new mom turn in the middle of the night when she has a parenting question to ask, or just wants to talk to other 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.”

For more information, visit pinkandbluemag.com.

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