Amy Elliott….. The most delightful editor I have ever met. Amy is extremely humble and equally talented. I always enjoyed seeing Amy at the trade shows, even if all we could fit was a moment between appointments. We first met when she was a jewelry editor at Bridal Guide magazine, and she has since spent time at Condé Nast – as the executive editor of the late, great Brides Local Magazines (she frequently borrowed Mark Patterson rings for Brides Southern California cover shoots) and Brides.com, and as a senior editor at Lucky magazine. Recently, Amy got married (congrats again!) and is still living in New York City where she now works as a freelance writer and consultant for a diverse portfolio of media outlets (e.g., Wynn, Hamptons, Gotham, JCK) and brands (e.g., Scott Kay, J.Crew, Tory Burch and Target).
Josette: You have been both a staff editor for magazines and websites and a freelance writer. Which do you prefer and why?
Amy: Staff jobs are great because of the growth and leadership opportunities, plus you can more tangibly feel your work impacting the overall goals of the organization. I’ve held and pursued staff jobs for this very reason, especially because I do love managing teams and mentoring younger writers. Freelancing allows me to work on a wide array of assignments, from copywriting to editorial features or branded content, and I like that variety, as well as the fact that I’m free to collaborate with designers and retailers on marketing projects. Off-site freelance gigs can often mean working in my pajamas with my cat, Elf, curled up next to me (the best “co-worker” I’ve ever had!) so that’s another welcome benefit of the freelance lifestyle.
Josette: How important are blogs becoming and do you think that well curated blogs might one day replace magazine editorials?
Amy: For a jewelry designer, nothing will ever top the cachet of being featured in a gorgeous glossy spread in Town & Country or Vogue or one of the jewelry trades. From a PR standpoint, this is as good as it gets. But the print landscape is getting smaller and smaller, and even the pubs that have survived are putting out issues with a rapidly decreasing number of editorial pages. So the real estate is very limited; certainly you have a slight edge if you advertise, but it makes for a somewhat uneven playing field. The great thing about blogs is that they’re more plentiful and the content is shareable and more immediate – if you’re featured on a blog, you can share it out on your own channels and via email blasts to your customers. Blogs let you ignite and be part of conversations as they happen and that’s so vital these days. Instagram posts fulfill the same goal. There’s no more valuable marketing tool out there – a simple, “here’s what I’m working on today” or “here’s what we’re showing at this weekend’s trunk show at Bergdorf’s” supported by stunning photos is such a powerful way to engage a qualified audience and cultivate a customer base.
Josette: You have written several books. I am curious about the inspiration behind each one?
Amy: My work as a wedding editor has made me fluent in the nuances of etiquette, party-planning and entertaining at home. That’s how I came to pen several books for the UK-based publisher Ryland Peters & Small—if you need any advice on being a bridesmaid, planning a baby shower or hosting out of town guests, I’m your girl! I also wrote a cute little gift book for them about charm bracelets, when charm jewelry was having a moment about 10 years ago. I enjoyed the research and was grateful that designers like Helen Ficalora and Silvia Damiani let me quote them! I’d love to partner with a jewelry designer or design house on a book project some time in the future, since it’s a subject I’m so passionate about.
Thank you Amy, It has always been a pleasure to see you at trade shows. I am sure that we will cross path again soon.