Michelle Gordon is a mother of two, event curator and parenting lifestyle consultant. Of the many hats she juggles daily, Gordon has near-perfect parenting strategies, a cause she wholeheartedly supports and often shares advice about.
About four years after opening her trendy boutique for children, Gordon accepted the fact that she was more passionate about giving advice and helping parents than she was about selling cute clothing. In 2012, she closed the doors to her store after launching what quickly became the Caribbean’s premier publication dedicated to parenting and child-rearing.
“I loved writing. So, transitioning my store’s simple newsletter to a full-glossy publication was a nice challenge,” she said in an interview for Flair. B3 Magazine was created to address the cares and concerns that parents had, and topics she discovered in the seven years of interacting with her customers as a store owner. But it was also important to Gordon that it was done with the flair and style of global proportions.
B3’s purpose is to support parents on all aspects of their journey, from the fun stuff to the serious, and everything in between. The magazine covered all the things that expectant, new and seasoned parents needed and wanted to know, and eventually transitioned to offering services and producing events of the same ilk. “Over the years, we have offered reading rooms and a host of other confidence-building and youth development platforms for children,” Gordon said.
She added, “At our core, as parents, we simply want to raise children who become successful in their respective fields while being kind and compassionate global citizens.” So B3 creates platforms that allow both parents and children to live this process. “I believe that confidence is the single most important characteristic that a child needs for his or her ultimate success. And on the flip side, a parent needs to recognise the role they play from day one in helping their child to achieve this.”
With partnerships and collaborations, B3 Magazine and all its activations are resources that package parenting for the modern parent, making it relatable, understandable and immediately applicable. Parents have found answers to questions, discovered products and services and been introduced to many of the resources they need. Many of their features, articles and activities both embrace and challenge parenting norms for a generation of mothers and fathers who are faced with new hurdles and issues.
“In the beginning, I was guided by how I was raised as a child. But that has been influenced by observing and learning from others around me – my village, who share my goals and values. Additionally, reading and exposing myself to other parenting cultures, and, ultimately, my own gut instinct, as a mother who transitioned from married to single, I had to evolve personally to relying on me and trusting myself to make decisions for my children. In many cases, this meant understanding and parenting them as individuals. When they were younger, it was easy to ‘blanket parent’. But as they matured and began to define who they are, I learned to listen to them as individuals with their own idiosyncrasies and styles,” Gordon shared, acknowledging the great insight she has garnered as a result. “It’s amazing how much I’ve learned from them! As young as they are, I even go to them for advice at times, because their perspective is fresh and unfiltered. This has helped to keep our communication going at a time when so many parent-teen relationships deteriorate. It also helps to build trust. Just imagine what goes through a child’s mind and psyche when they feel that their opinion is valued by an adult!”
B3 has always been about change. ‘Re-defining Caribbean parenting’ was a tagline used when the brand first launched. Today, in the midst of a pandemic, change and re-definition remain at the fore of their mind. “Our ability as parents to adapt (literally overnight) challenged many of us to re-think our M.O. (modus operandi) as parents.”
Gordon has been offering parenting consultation, giving parents access to a host of resources, including modification techniques that present new parenting perspectives. She employs an equal balance of traditional parenting values and up-to-the-time applications to ultimately improve parent-child relationships.
A key discovery made during the pandemic was the surge in mothers who had to shift gears. Plans are now well underway to implement personal and business development programmes for ‘momtrepreneurs’, with more focus now being placed on mothers-in-business – a sector that grew exponentially during the past year. “So many businesses were born out of this pandemic, or were forced to change as a result of it,” she said.
“The #BossMom network exists to support ‘momtrepreneurs’ who can benefit from a community of successful, like-minded women to help them effectively balance family and career through information, products, ideas, advice, tools and services.” The upcoming staging of the second #BossMom Conversation, an online platform for moms-in-business to gather and hear from other moms-in-business, will this year be held under the theme ‘#thinkBIG’. The online event will feature celebrated American designer Rebecca Minkoff, CEO of TuffGong International Orly Marley, Grenada’s Judy McCutcheon, CEO of Blue Inc and Jamaica’s Peta-Gaye Samuda-Palmer, CEO of Jencare Skinfarm Ltd. The May 6 event kicks off #BossMom Mother’s Day 2021 celebrations, culminating in boss moms giving back to mothers-in-need in the wider community.