Michelle Daniels gets 15 minutes with the new editor of Professional Jeweller
Getting involved in the jewellery trade is no easy task, not one most would take on but Rebecca Butler has without hesitation not only jumped into the trade with both feet but also the role of editor of the leading magazine Professional Jeweller.
Like many, I have fond memories from years back when PJ launched they’re after-show party, it drove some much-needed excitement in the trade and showed everyone that PJ was setting a new agenda and making its mark as the go-to magazine and awards events within the trade.
We now have a new team at PJ and I’m sure they are going to be heading up many exciting awards ceremonies for us as well as writing many engaging articles and stories about our amazing trade, so let’s hear a little about the new editor and commercial manager with whom we will all get to know in the months and years ahead.
On September 20th, Rebecca Butler was announced as the Editor of Professional Jeweller Magazine. Welcoming Rebecca to the industry, Michelle was honoured to get some time with her so we the industry can learn a little more about the new editor and this new influencer in our trade.
Q. Did you always want to work in media? Tell us a little about your journey to Pro Jeweller.
I’ve always been interested in the creative industries, but I didn’t start out with aspirations of working in journalism and editorial. Like many children, I had rather unrealistic dreams of becoming an actress! Of course, that didn’t work out. It wasn’t until I reached my mid-teens that I realised I had a passion and talent for writing. I’ve always kept a magazine, newspaper or book close at hand, so looking back it seems like I was always meant to end up in a career as an Editor. Finishing my Masters in English Literature, I moved straight into a role as a Puzzles Editor, creating crosswords, quizzes and prize features for women’s magazines. After two and a half amazing years working in the unique world of puzzles, I decided that it was time for a new challenge in a journalism role. The position at Professional Jeweller arose at just the right time.
Q. What attracted you to the jewellery industry and magazine?
Whether it’s stacks of rings, a chunky charm bracelet, a simple pendant necklace, or a statement pair of modern earrings, jewellery is a must have to put the final touches on my outfits. More than the fashionable aspect of jewellery, I love the sentimental value that a piece can hold. The reminiscence that comes with putting on a piece that was gifted to me by a loved one is a unique and unrivalled feeling that elevates the jewellery experience to much more than an issue of style. The opportunity to work at the forefront of the industry, reporting on breaking news stories is a privilege.
Q. What was the most valuable lesson you have learned from your previous roles?
Active listening is vital to building positive professional relationships with everyone I meet. It’s the best foundation for building rapport and means you can spot the most interesting topics for interviews and stories. My own advice to everyone out there: always carry a notebook and pen! You never know when you might need one, it will come in handy when you get talking to a new connection at work and it’s so much better than the notes app on your phone.
Q. Everyone needs a break; how do you unwind after a stressful week?
If I’m not attending a work event, I like to start unwinding on a Friday evening with a nice glass of wine and a movie or book. Then I catch up on sleep and spend my weekends meeting friends, visiting family in Southampton, playing video games, trying new restaurants, exploring, or (my favourite) SHOPPING!
Q. Success is such a personal thing with everyone measuring it differently; how do you measure success?
I think it is very easy to feel as though you are not succeeding, both in and out of work. That’s why I started goal setting. Through a combination of small, quick tasks and broader goals, I am able to assess my aspirations. Checking off tasks and periodically monitoring my progress, I am able to determine whether or not I am meeting my goals. This process doesn’t work for everyone but I’ve found it really helpful for figuring out ‘what comes next?’ – which is a question I have tackled a lot and often find difficult to answer.
Q. Finally, what excites you about 2023?
2023 will be my first full year with Professional Jeweller and there is just so much to look forward to! I can’t wait for my first trade show in January when I will be attending The Jewellery Boutique Show, Vicenzaoro, in Italy. Throughout the year I will be planning the 2023 Professional Jeweller Awards, and will host the event with Anne-Marie in September. And of course the PJ Awards are held in partnership with The Jewellery Show, which will be held for a second year at ExCel London. My diary is quickly filling up with events and interviews! It’s going to be a year of new experiences for me and I’m excited to work with everyone in the industry.