Q. Who are you?
A. My name is Shelby Rowe Moyer and I'm a magazine editor. I've been working in journalism for the past five years, first as a daily newspaper reporter and then as a writer and editor for magazines. I made the switch when I started working for Premier Media Group, which owns and publishes four magazines, including 425 in Bellevue. I worked there for three years writing for and managing the two lifestyle magazines, but I actually just recently moved to Wisconsin. My husband is from here, and was really missing the Midwest. Now I'm working as an editor for a magazine company in Madison, managing four lifestyle magazines and writing for a few others the company owns.
Q. What inspires you?
A. In terms of books, I really love Karen Russell. She's a fiction writer who tells these mind-tumbling, sci-fi-esque stories about all kinds of obscurities — like a farmer who raises tornados or a gondolier who uses echolocation to navigate abandoned beaches. Her writing is so colorful and unexpected, and I really love and admire that as both a reader and a writer.
I also get a lot of inspiration from podcasts, like Invisibilia, Serial, The Memory Palace, and This American Life. That kind of audio storytelling is so well crafted and each host has a really strong "voice." I've learned a lot about writing from listening to those podcasts.
In general, I'm inspired by people who are unabashedly and unapologetically themselves. A lot of them tend to be everyday people. Also, I tend to get a lot of general inspiration when I'm driving or walking my dogs in the evening. When I'm outside, I'm writing in my head constantly — notating the things I see or what they remind me of. It helps keep me sharp.
Q. Tell us about some interesting projects you've worked on.
A. At 425 magazine, I was in charge of our fashion shoots, which was such a fun and interesting way to tell a story. Before my co-workers and I pulled any clothes from designers — we would come up with a narrative for our models. A recent one for fall was the most difficult one, because we were working with two models in a very small space. The storyline was that they were two vagabonds passing through Seattle, and they had this sort of sensuality between them, but it didn't feel like they were in a relationship, more like old friends. These stories are fiction, of course, but we get to tell this story through clothing and photography, and that's really satisfying.
Another story that I always come back to was one I wrote when I was a newspaper reporter in Missouri. I interviewed several people who were relatives of people who are missing. Missing people is a topic that's always chilled and intrigued me. It's so strange to think a person, a person who takes up space in the world, could just vanish.
Q. It seems like content has become even more important in people's lives during this pandemic. How do you see your role as an editor in light of current events?
A. In times like this, people really turn to media outlets for information and comfort. As editors, our team is thinking about what we want: lists of Black owned businesses, BIPOC stories and voices, books to read, places to get outside and de-stress.
I think now more than ever, I've realized how I've been unintentionally complicit in systematic racism. To be honest, to become a journalist often means you come from a place of privilege: you're able to get a college degree, work for free, earn less money than other career paths. What that means is that you (I) come from a background that allows you (me) to do that. My parents supported me and now my husband helps support me. I've been privileged, and now I need to help offer opportunities that make journalism less of a barrier, such as paid internships.
Myself and my team also think about who we're featuring and including in our magazines. Representation is so important, and that includes who we feature in fashion, a topic that's dear to me. I'd really like to feature models who have differently abled bodies, different sizes, different backgrounds. All those things sound simple, but it makes for a richer and more relatable publication.
Q. Print or digital?
A. Digital for my news and print for my magazines. Digital can never replace the experience of reading a print magazine. The design really fuels how a story is read and felt. You can't get that online, even with the technology we have today.
Q. 3 essential items in your wardrobe?
A. Blazers, brooches, and scarves. I really want to add wide leg pants, but that makes four. I can't stop buying blazers. I have them in every color. As for brooches and scarves (I'm talking square and rectangular silk scarves), they're a bygone accessory that I love. They're versatile and can elevate any outfit. I pin them to my blazer lapels, the tops of my button-down shirts, sweaters, and affix them to my scarves.Brooches are coming back - just look at Marc Jacobs, Escada, Cinq a Sept or Mignonne Gavigan. Jewelry and accessories are often forgotten in fashion, but designers like Schiaparelli are making them a focal point, and it's refreshing. I've gotten many of these three essentials at thrift and antique stores — you don't have to spend a fortune to be fashionable.
Photography: Cody Moyer