Startups

Tracey takes a very deep breath and dives into the known with her new social media business

Tracey Howes, Founder, Blue Mind Social.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: December 8, 2020 | Updated: 9th December 2020

Tracey Howes really did take a deep breath when she launched her new business.

But then, as a freediver, she’s well used to that.

And her new venture, Blue Mind Social (BMS), is inspired by her favourite sport and, indeed, breathwork.

She said: “BMS showcases my 20 years of marketing and ten years of social media experience niched into one service – social media training online.

“My mission is to inspire entrepreneurs and teams to embrace social media and manage it effectively.

“It uses the analogy of my sport, freediving.

“Taking a ‘deep dive’ into the unknown and, with skills development, enable brands to approach the social landscape confidently.

“The name ‘Blue Mind’ is inspired by a book I read.

“It coined the phrase to explain how the mind and brain reacts when we are near to or immersed in water.

“There is a very calming effect.

“The science behind this is fascinating.”

Tracey was only bitten by the freediving bug five years ago but has since become an accomplished practitioner of the sport.

Freediving is a diving technique that solely rests on the power of the human body to be precise on the human breath.

Freedivers go underwater without the help of scuba gear or a breathing apparatus.

They simply hold their breath for as long as they can before returning to the surface.

Tracey preparing for a static breath hold at the UK National Pool Freediving Championships.

Freedivers specifically train their lungs to be able to hold their breath longer underwater.

Their training also incorporates other physical and mental exercises to keep fit and healthy.

Tracey is a RAID (Rebreather Association of International Divers) advanced freediver qualified to dive to 30 metres.

She is registered with AIDA, the worldwide rule and record-keeping body for competitive breath holding events.

In the pool she trains with a monofin, bi-fins and no fins and practises static breath hold.

Her preferred style is no fins as it’s self-propelled on breath hold.

Tracey, 48, who came to the UK from her native South Africa 21 years ago, can hold her breath for almost three and a half minutes when freediving.

She said: “It’s had knock-on effects including reducing anxiety and giving me the courage to go forward and do things.

“I’m now looking to apply the same mindset in business.

“Breath control can make you very creative, positive and physically improve your health.

“An interesting thing has started to happen.

“When I’ve discussed what I do in networking groups, I’ve been asked to share the breathwork techniques I use for diving to help others reduce anxiety and improve lung efficiency.

“This is something I research and practice all the time and feels like a gift I can share with others.

“The impact of breathing efficiently is hugely beneficial, especially during Covid.

“I’ll be doing more of this although I will keep it separate from the social media side of my business.”

Tracey undergoing dynamic no fins pool training.

Tracey’s career began in South Africa, where she worked in retail as a Visual Merchandiser and then as a Booker for a model agency.

She also enjoyed working in front of the camera as a commercial model and assisting on photo-shoots as a stylist.

After relocating to the UK, Tracey worked in the hospitality and luxury sectors with small, independent businesses as well as global organisations, delivering marketing, social media, PR and event strategy, training and support.

From 2014 to 2018 she taught social media marketing at Le Cordon Bleu London, the international culinary school for chefs, start-up food businesses and nutrition students, as part of the Diploma in Culinary Management.

Tracey, who moved to Bournemouth two years ago, said she had made a conscious decision to niche her previous marketing and social media consultancy and change the format in February, before the pandemic.

In the event, Covid-19 led to Tracey losing half of her clients.

“As awful as that was, it also freed me up to start thinking about this new business and how it could look,” she said.

The resulting Blue Mind Social combines support for business owners on the subject most frequently raised with her – how to use social media effectively – together with her love of the ocean and freediving.

Tracey said: “I’m so pleased with the end result.

“The response has been very positive.

“While I freely admit this is another lockdown launch I’m thrilled with the way things have turned out and look forward to a successful future.”

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