PURE Arts Clubs • Professional Development & Mentoring • Networking • Exhibitions & Events
Please could you tell us who or what has had the most significant influence on you in your life to date?
Professionally, the closest I’ve had to a mentor was a former editor who took me under her wing when I was an entertainment reporter. She spent time talking me through her decision-making process and really supported me when I left to go freelance. And Jessica Jonzen, my Co-Founder at The Home Page online homes and lifestyle magazine and Studio Home Page creative content consultancy has been a huge influence. We work in different ways and so it’s always enriching to observe those and appreciate the different qualities we each bring to the partnership.
How would you describe yourself?
Hardworking, creative, curious and ready to listen and learn.
What motivates you?
Growing our community and making people think about home in a different way; as a place that should make us feel good rather than just look good. Making a genuinely positive impact on brands and organisations who need our help.
What attracted you to journalism?
I’ve always been naturally curious and creative, and my career in journalism has allowed me to marry the two. I’m so fortunate to have interviewed people from all walks of life that I would never normally come across and had access to places that most people don’t, and inevitably I’m all the richer for it.
What inspired the “The Home Page”?
My business partner Jess and I have both been journalists and editors for all of our careers and we felt that there are so much more to say about homes and interiors than simply sharing decorating trends and discussing aesthetics. A lot of the homes we saw featured in interiors magazines felt un-relatable and so we wanted to create an online magazine that was welcoming and inclusive. A platform that was packed with inspiration, but was also a satisfying read. We wanted to dig a little deeper to tell the stories which unfold within people’s homes; after all, they are the backdrop to our lives.
We launched The Home Page in January 2019 and it’s been a wonderful journey. We’ve interviewed an incredible array of people, including chef Skye Gyngell, Jess Phillips MP, designer Pearl Lowe, block printmaker Molly Mahon, broadcaster Cerys Matthews and many more. The homes we feature vary enormously but they all share a common thread – they belong to real people and are the kinds of places where you can imagine settling down with a cup of tea for a chat.
Why Studio Home Page?
In an increasingly digital world, it is essential for brands and organisations to have personality and stand out from the noise. We were seeing so many creative brands with wonderful visuals, but without a unique and compelling voice to really connect with their audience in a meaningful way. Sometimes it’s down to a lack of skill, sometimes a lack of confidence, very often a lack of time. We also discovered that a lot of people struggle to identify what makes their brand unique and felt really overwhelmed by the prospect of ‘content marketing’. At Studio Home Page we work with interior and lifestyle brands on everything from tone of voice, to creative copywriting, content strategy, digital journals, brand collateral, social media strategy, film, audio and events.
What was the last piece of art you purchased?
A beautiful little watercolour called ‘Monet’s Garden’ by Lisa Hardy, who I discovered via the Partnership Editions affordable art platform.
What work of art would you most like to own?
I love the variety of David Hockney’s work; he continues to be innovative and remains such an icon of British art. While I have several prints of his in my home, in all sorts of styles, to own an original would be such a thrill.
Which person (alive or dead) would you most like to have dinner with and why?
As a journalist I have been incredibly fortunate to have interviewed some fascinating and inspiring people. But one person I was never lucky enough to meet (although we were once in the same room!) was design visionary, Sir Terence Conran.
How can artists approach you for potential features?
When approaching commissioning editors for coverage is to thoroughly research the publication they work for to ensure it is right and relevant for you and your work. Then send a pitch tailored to a specific slot in their publication, with strong imagery. Remember that journalists receive tens if not hundreds of press releases every day, so make sure your pitch stands out by making it a natural fit with their publication.
What key piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Keep learning. The journalism industry has shifted beyond recognition since I started out 15+ years ago – before the days of social media and 24-hour rolling news – and if you don’t have that appetite to keep learning and adapting, it’s easy to get left behind.
What is the most important thing to know about you?
I’m a proud Brummie, although I haven’t lived there for nearly 20 years. Not many people know that!
Please tell us one unexpected thing about yourself.
I’m becoming a bit of a statistics geek; I love pouring over our website analytics for precious nuggets of insight!
What are your key aspirations for “The Home Page” and “Studio Home Page” in 2021 and beyond?
To continue producing thought-provoking, insightful and expertly crafted content to a growing and engaged community. To continue working with an inspiring range of clients to produce creative and well-considered content that truly helps them to flourish.
PHOTO CREDITS: Wendy Aldiss Photography