GEW Profile: Katrina Ball, Bermuda Parenting

November 16, 2014

A pregnant woman who doesn’t like public speaking, stands before a panel of judges in a national contest, and pitches an idea she has for a local parenting magazine. She spoke from the heart, stepped into her fear, all the while soothing herself with the gentle and unconscious rubbing of her rounded belly while reciting her proposal for her new business idea.

Katrina Ball was already a full time professional. Her idea for a parenting magazine was born from her own needs; she found it hard to get information as a new parent in Bermuda about events, playgroups and child-based activities.

She had toyed with submitting her idea to the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation [BEDC] Pitch contest, and only decided to submit her entry at the last minute.

“It didn’t register when they announced me as the winner,” Ball recalls. From there the business took its own course and Ball was doing radio interviews and more. “When you know about your product the nerves disappear and it becomes so much easier.”

Only two years on and Katrina Ball is still juggling a fulltime career, two young children, a household and her quarterly publication Bermuda Parenting Magazine, which she works on during weekends and evenings. She has built up a team of writers and contributors, a sales team as well as a volunteer crew.

Ball knew very little about publishing at the outset but after hours of research she’s now so familiar with it, she says it feels like she’s been doing it forever. She attributes her passion for the project as the partial key to her success.

“Most people were amazed that I didn’t have any publishing or journalism background but it didn’t hold me back. I had done a lot of overseas research, speaking with editors and publishers, and I knew what I was talking about. So I went into clients with a basic mock-up, they believed in me, they bought into me more than the product.”

“I’m still growing though”, she said. “I’m always looking at what new things I can bring to it so I’m always in contact with readers for what they want.”

Katrina Ball Bermuda

So far what works is short articles, parents don’t have much time to read and there’s an overload of parenting information. Ball’s goal is to keep it relevant and supportive for parents to make their own wise choices.

It’s important to her that the publication continues to receive contributions from local residents so it remains a publication for the people, it’s their own and each issue becomes a keepsake.

The publication now 3 years in is profitable and will pay for her children’s education as well as creating jobs and filling a gap in the market for parents.

With so much on her plate, how does she keep the passion for these projects alive?

“There may be moments where I’d like someone alongside and take the pressure off – it’s like those days you want to hand your kids to someone to take a short vacation. You just rejuvenate and breathe new life into it,” she explained, “as a business owner, you’re the driver.”

Ball has the full support of her family. Her husband, Vic Ball is her business and financial consultant and mentor and her pre-school children are excited by it; it’s as if the magazine is a third child.

She manages it as a parent might, without attachment to things having to work a certain way. She stays flexible on outcomes and works by trial and error when it comes to content and feature segments. Being a small business allows for easier maneuvering when needed. Ball is led by her values, to be a positive influencer to her community.

She has learned from and was mentored by Marie Forleo, a successful entrepreneur who teaches business online to women entrepreneurs.

Ball’s advice for a new start-up – if you have an idea, research it. Ask a lot of experienced people about it. Find a niche. Know your costs for start-up and ensure you have a financial buffer in case something goes wrong. Then give it a go!

- Written by Vicki Abraham, on behalf of CoffeeWorks Bermuda. This is the fourth in a series of profiles for Global Entrepreneurship Week [GEW]

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Comments (2)

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  1. ess ess dee says:

    Well done Kat! Bermp bermp bermp

  2. Inquiring Mind says:

    Congrats Katrina, you and your team provide parents with a fabulous resource. Keep up the great work!