We had the good fortune of connecting with Natasha Beal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natasha, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I believe that Eculeus Group Publishing is successful because we are a family-owned business that is passionate about the success of fellow small local businesses. We publish six hyperlocal community newspapers, meaning we focus on what’s happening in your neighborhood and right down the street. This resonates with our readers, who in turn, are proud to support the businesses who advertise with us and read the news we publish. Our advertisers’ success is our success; and our success means more customers for them and more community awareness about what they do. We know the struggles of being small business owners – each dollar that’s gained or lost, each late night, each success, each lesson learned. It’s an experience we wouldn’t have any other way.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My husband Brian and I started Eculeus Group Publishing in 2017, with one publication – the Deer Valley Times. Since then, we are fortunate to have grown to the six publications you know us for now…actually, make that seven.
This year, we are most excited about our newest venture, Epic Kids (EpicKidsAZ.com). Formerly “In The Zona” (launched in 2009), Epic Kids has been proudly highlighting the accomplishments of local students. In addition to stories about these extraordinary kids and their schools, we cover family-friendly news and events – packaging it all together with fun activities which keep our readers engaged from cover to cover. Our print distribution is through private and charter schools throughout the valley, however we are not printing currently as COVID has schools closed. We plan to relaunch our print publication in August 2021. That isn’t slowing us down though; in the meantime, we are still keeping families up-to-date and offering some awesome giveaways via our website, Facebook and Instagram! While we love all six of our community newspapers, Epic Kids has been a fun change of pace for our team. Plus, between all of our team members, we have kiddo “interns” of all ages, so we can relate to what local parents and kids want to read. The future is going to be epic, just like our amazing Arizona kids!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is so much to do in our beautiful state, that it is truly hard to narrow down what to do! Up north, we’d have to visit Slide Rock in Sedona and hike Lockett Meadow in Flagstaff. Down in the valley, I’d book us a stay at one of the awesome resorts featured in the ‘Getaway’ section of our papers where we highlight fun, unique local stays. We’d wake up, have brunch, head to AZ On The Rocks for a climbing session, then finish the day with a spa massage, and tasty dinner. Does it get any better than that?
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
While a few people come to mind, no one can top my husband, Brian Beal. Five years ago, I made the terrifying decision to leave the security of working for someone else and start my own business. His support, encouragement and guidance over the years have given me the confidence to grow this business into something I am truly proud of. Brian has been an entrepreneur his whole life so his support through the tough times and the triumphs has been invaluable. We joke that he’s both the tech department and emotional support! Another thing we have learned is to hire the right people, make sure they have the tools they need to succeed, then get out of their way. I have learned that I can’t work with someone if I don’t absolutely love them. And, my team members teach me so much! When I emphasize that they are working “with” me, and not “for” me, they feel invested and we work (and play!) that much harder.
Website: myhyperlocalnews.com, epickidsaz.com
Headshot: Jodi Lynn www.PhotographybyJodilynn.com