Focus Interview with Christiane Berridge, editor of The Dolls’ House Magazine
Christiane Berridge is editor of The Dolls’ House Magazine, a monthly magazine from The Guild of Master Craftsmen aimed at adult collectors of dolls’ houses and miniatures.
Here, Berridge tells us about how the magazine is like a real-size home style monthly but for dolls’ houses, and how she’d love to find a celebrity dolls’ house collector.
About the publication:
Tell us a bit about The Doll’s House Magazine:
The Dolls’ House Magazine helps people to achieve their ideal home – but in small scale! We provide inspirational features, profiles of talented makers, suggest places to visit, give advice on techniques, and provide plenty of projects for readers to try. We also provide lots of ideas for miniatures to buy as well as regular news pages.
How do you differ from other magazines?
Quality! All our material is carefully vetted to provide as much exclusivity as possible, but also we want to reflect the serious nature taken by many of our readers – this is a publication aimed at adults and not children. There are some hugely talented people out there and we want to show them off! We aim to make our magazine like a real-size home style monthly but for dolls’ houses.
Describe a typical reader for us:
Female, +45, family focused, general interest in crafts, a home-lover, her dolls’ house will be a form of escape from her ‘real’ life. She is probably a fan of BBC historical TV series.
What stories are you most interested in covering in the publication?
Those that show off a unique dolls’ house, preferably with a ‘wow’ factor.
How does the editorial process run? Do you have specific days when you focus on different aspects of the magazine, or is the planning on a much more ad-hoc basis?
The magazine tries to follow seasonal themes, but also will concentrate on historical periods (Tudor, Georgian and Victorian being the most popular).
How do you decide the content, front covers and headlines?
The content needs to be a good balance between inspiration, advice, and projects. The cover is dictated by the main inspirational story and needs to be a stunning dolls’ house to inspire readers as to what can be achieved in this hobby.
Do you produce a features list?
I generally don’t release a features list as it is subject to change. But am happy to discuss future issues with interested parties.
Do you work closely with PRs?
Generally not, though I’m always happy to hear of any material that could be of interest to my readers.
What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
A brief press release so I can decide whether to follow it up.
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions?
We work at least 3 months in advance of the publication date. Email is a good starting point.
What are your editorial duties?
Like any editor I am responsible for the what gets published – on time and within budget! I commission work and oversee photography, keep abreast of changes within the hobby, and chase potential stories!
What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
There are many fantastic dolls’ houses that I have been able to show off to my readers and it’s great to see them develop from a hint to being in print. But some of the makers that I have covered have had really heart touching stories behind their businesses – Joseph J Hill – being my favourite. Dolls’ houses saved his life and I was glad that our profile of him was a part of that.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I’d love to find a celebrity with a dolls’ house – there’s got to be someone famous with a mini house!
What do you love about your work?
Being a dolls’ house enthusiast (I have made two, and have had two books published on making miniatures) sometimes my job doesn’t feel like work!
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Just to be confident.
I’d love to have a go at…
Well, away from dolls’ houses I help teach modern jive, and I’ve just started learning the Argentine tango. Maybe one of the Strictly Come Dancing experts could give me some lessons!
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag or blogs on your screen?
I’m reading Light on Snow by Anita Shreve, my favourite author. I love Coast and Country Living magazines, though any home style titles are of interest. I’m not a blogger though!
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