Spotlight on….Emma Hedges….EK&B Business

Emma Hedges, editor of trade mag Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business (EK&BBusiness), talks to leading interiors PR company Homestyle PR about the vibrant world she works in and why words make her heart sing…

Emma Hedges, editor EK&BBusiness magazine

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Trade fairs are great places to spot emerging trends, see innovative products for the first time, and network with manufacturers and designers who are in the know! I like to visit all the major European shows and make sure I allow enough time there to see as much as possible. Sometimes it’s not until I get back and go through all the photos I’ve taken that new styles and colours will leap out at me, and then I think about how it will work as a feature or special report in the magazine. I’m also lucky enough to get invitations from manufacturers to go and see their factories and showrooms, and those visits will always provide inspiration of one kind or another, whether it’s part of a trends feature or a profile on the company itself. And I keep an eye on what bloggers are saying, what other magazines are doing, and what is being picked up on social media.

How does EK&BBusiness inspire its readers?

We combine hard-hitting news with in-depth features, so our readers can both dip in when they want to skim the headlines, and enjoy a meatier read when they can allow the time. I’m a firm believer that just because we’re a trade magazine, we don’t need to look boring. The industry we work in creates beautiful products and I make sure we use high-quality photography throughout the magazine to do those products justice. We also use case-study imagery whenever possible, both within features and in our stand-alone Design Inspiration pages as it demonstrates to our readers the design possibilities of products, and gives them a snapshot of what other kitchen, bathroom and bedroom (KBB) retailers and designers out there are doing.

Front page: EK&BBusiness trade magazine

What is your favourite section of the magazine?

I absolutely don’t have a favourite section. I’m not sure I’d be a very good editor if I didn’t think that every page of EK&BBusiness was working as hard as it possibly could.

Tell us a little about how you started out as a journalist – what made you decide to work on trade magazines?

I started out as a lifestyle consumer journalist, and then moved on to working on national newspapers as a magazine sub-editor, which I did for News UK for 10 years. It was as a sub-editor that I started working on EK&BBusiness after I relocated to north Essex [East of England] with my family. While I didn’t set out to be a trade journalist, the trade side appeals to the newspaper journalist in me. And the KBB industry is renowned for being one of the friendliest industries out there – I’m told once you start working in it you never want to leave!

What is a typical day like working on EK&BBusiness?

There isn’t really a ‘typical’ day, but generally it depends which part of our monthly production schedule you’re talking about. After we’ve gone to press things are quieter and we have time to go out and have meetings with PRs, see showrooms and new products, and visit companies. Before we’ve gone to press things are a little more ‘intense’ shall we say… There’s no time for anything other than everyone in the team all pulling together to meet that deadline.

Retailer profile: EK&BBusiness

How do you spend your down time?

With my family as much as possible. And my dogs – we have three. I volunteer for a wonderful charity called Home-Start, which helps support local families through challenging times. I’m also slightly obsessed with keeping up with the news, which is not always good for the soul.

What changes have you noticed in the KBB sector over the last few years?

When I first started working on EK&BBusiness in 2011 we were forever covering liquidations and administrations in the magazine. Times were tough and our headlines were pretty bleak as they reflected that. But over the past three to four years things have really picked up and there’s much more positivity out there. Long may it last…

Design inspiration: EK&B Business trade magazine

What would you be if you hadn’t been a journalist?

I would have had to have been a writer of some sort and working with words somehow. There’s nothing else that makes my heart sing.

What are the three things you enjoy most about your job?

The people I work with are all wonderful – I’m very lucky. The industry I work in is vibrant and inspiring. But the thing I love most about being a journalist is that every day is stimulating and I’m always learning something new. That’s what it’s all about as far as I’m concerned!