Before starting the magazine, Ekaterina was at the most fruitful point in her career. When she realized that there was “nowhere a woman polo player could turn to for insights or motivation,” POLO LADY was bornーa community and a magazine sharing tips, tournament updates, and inspiration to female polo players and enthusiasts. Being at the helm for two years, Ekaterina learned from experience as she went to achieve her goalーto create a supportive and inspirational space for women to share their achievements in playing polo.
From the very beginning, my vision for the magazine was 100% in line with reality. Many editors of major magazines said they had never seen such a phenomenon in their professional lives.
Looking back, she admits that she couldn’t predict the success she had reached in almost no time. The magazine attracted the support of sponsors, contributors, and like-minded people. Meanwhile, big polo clubs were happy to provide the magazine with content. She recounts, “When POLO LADY was invited by Adolfo Cambiaso to be La Dolfina Women’s Tournament’s media partner, I was truly shocked. I remember starting the first issue with a sincere ‘thank you’ letter to all the people who inspired and supported us.”
POLO LADY’s success influenced Ekaterina’s polo career, too. It opened many doors for her as a polo player and as the magazine founder. “At the invitation of the clubs, I played in a huge number of tournaments—from Hawaii to Moscow—where I met wonderful people and made some very dear friends, too.” She adds, “I enjoyed the polo world to the fullest and learned a lot about myself that added to my spiritual development.”
But the way to success has not always been smooth. Before everything was online, the magazine struggled with attracting viewers to the digital format. Luckily, the situation has changed, and readers soon embraced both the online and printed version of the magazine.
Another bump on the road occurred when the POLO LADY brand was used by several Instagram and Facebook copycats to sell polo-related products. “There is nothing like the POLO LADY brand, and others tried to take credit for it. But when you are copied, isn’t it a sign of success?” Ekaterina says.
It was a couple of years ago when Ekaterina decided to take a break from polo as well as the magazine since it became impossible for her to stay updated and cover events.
“Polo took up 80% of my life—and it was affecting my family. My last tournament was grandiose, I won 3 titles at once: the Best Player, the Top Scorer, and the People’s Choice. I decided to leave the sport on this high note because other priorities appeared in my life. I sold all of my five horses, but I still do rideーI have a wonderful horse that I use to go into the forest sometimes,” the POLO LADY founder reveals.
To her successor, Ekaterina wishes to cultivate patience and perseverance, make the most out of the digital format and social media, and not to forget that a successful magazine requires an established personal brand.
She leaves us some wise words, “With energy and dedication, I see a wonderful future and a lot of potential, especially in the era of virtual communication and the rising of social networks. Now is a great time to pump the magazine full of new blood.”