Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 30th 2014 Contents By Roslyn Carrington
"THROUGH BOTH OF MY PREGNANCIES,
like any other woman, I needed information,"
says Michelle Gordon. "I bought magazines
and books that were generally North Amer-
ican. Now, it doesn't matter if you're in Tai-
wan or Timbuktu, pregnancy is pretty much
the same, but I thought it would be nice if
the books I read could be more related to a
That thought was the seed that grew into
B3, Bump, Baby and Beyond magazine,
founded by the Jamaican businesswoman.
"B3 is about parenting from a regional, and
even global perspective," she explains. "You
can see people who look a little more like
you, or who you actually even know."
B3 has been in print for the past two years,
appearing quarterly both in print and online
formats. Their strongest readership online
is from Jamaica, T&T, St. Lucia, Barbados
and Grand Cayman, while the physical issues
available in New York and Jamaica. Gordon
hopes to bring B3 physically into T&T next
In spite of the gorgeous feel of a glossy mag-
azine in the hands, the digital version is doing
extremely well, with over 3,000 subscribers
in Trinidad, especially, it seems, younger
readers, who prefer to receive their content
electronically. "We're capitalising on both re-
gional audiences," she says.
Gordon's interest in the baby and children's
market arose from her original business, a
children's boutique she ran for seven years
in Kingston. In addition to selling onesies and
jumpers, however, she very soon found her-
self dispensing advice. "Everybody who
came through had questions. I've always
loved reading; I don't think there is a book
about babies that I haven't read. People
would be calling me at 11:00 o'clock at night,
asking me, 'How do I do this?' or 'What do I
do here?'. I've even been to the hospital with
a customer ... not a friend, a customer...."
As more and more parents, especially moth-
ers, began to trust her and seek her advice,
she realised that this was something she
was meant to do. "It was a combination of
hands-on experience and a passion for help-
ing people." Gordon began doing a monthly
newsletter, bringing together her loves for
both reading and writing. "It became so pop-
ular that people started emailing me ques-
tions. It grew from one stage to the next."
She started writing a book on parenting, but
soon became bored and frustrated. "It
wasn't happening fast enough." In addition,
the information in a book is static once it is
laid down. It would be difficult to update.
The obvious solution was to create a maga-
B3 is divided into three sections: Bump
(pregnancy); baby (up to age two) and Be-
yond, (the toddler years and those that fol-
low) stopping just at the pre-teen stage.
Each issue also includes fashion and stories
about regional and international celebrities.
All writers are from the Caribbean or have a
Caribbean heritage. "It puts a local flavour on
What does she see as the greatest differ-
ence between Caribbean parenting and for-
eign practices? "We in the Caribbean still
benefit from the village raising the chid.
There's Grandma, there's Tantie. Our kids still
grow up with a lot of history. It's not as
strong as when we were children, but it still
exists. The checks and balances are still out-
side of the home, not just inside."
Life has its twists and turns, and where Gor-
don is today is a far cry from her original ex-
pectations, which included her pursuit of a
degree in International Relations at the Uni-
versity of Toronto. Back then, she was un-
sure that that was what she really wanted
to do, and took a year's hiatus --- which
turned into 19 years flying with Air Jamaica.
"I didn't enjoy studying. I was more able to
learn from practical living."
Especially as she has become a parent her-
self, she understands now the disappoint-
ment her parents must have felt when she
abandoned her studies, but believes it's vital
to allow your child's dreams to take prece-
dence over the dreams you have for them.
"It's important that you know your child's
personality, and what they can handle." She
is convinced that even if she had completed
her degree, she could not have gone into the
arena of international relations and politics
"I love what I'm doing. I love the freedom of
creating, and having the flexibility to make it
We in the Caribbean still benefit from
the village raising the chid. There's
Grandma, there's Tantie. Our kids still
grow up with a lot of history. It's not
as strong as when we were children,
but it still exists. The checks and bal-
ances are still outside of the home,
not just inside."
Michelle Gordon and the B3 team.
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