Dishing with Dana ~ Interview with Trey Whitehead, Publisher of HFB

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We’re honored to welcome Trey Whitehead, publisher of Home Furnishings Business Magazine to SocialNorth. HFB publishes content relevant to home retail professionals.

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Please welcome Trey, who doesn’t rest on his laurels…

Home Furnishings Business MagazineDana Helms: Can you tell us about how you got started doing what you’re doing now? Was there an ah-ha moment that defined your path?

Trey Whitehead: I was in a completely different industry when my friend of 25 years, Amy Kyle, asked me to come to work for her and the Home Furnishings Business team. Her timing was perfect; I was ready for a new challenge. I took the plunge and never turned back.

DD: What do you love most about what you do?

TW: I love working with so many different clients. Although each is in the same industry, they all have different approaches and thoughts about doing business – and they’ve all taught me something. I deal with everyone from retail owners who wear multiple hats, to CEOs of large furniture manufacturers.

DD: What’s the proudest moment of your career? Is there a project that you think of as your absolute best?

TW: My proudest moment would have to be the day I was named publisher of HFB. At the time, I’d only been in the industry four years and was hesitant, to say the least. But with the experience of our team, I’ve grown into the position. The word “team” gets tossed around a lot, but it rings true in our case – I’m very lucky to work with this group of people.

I can’t single out one project that I feel is the absolute best. But every month we put an issue together, always striving to provide our audience the best business strategy magazine in the industry. I’m not sure I will ever call any issue our absolute best but we’re proud of our work.

DD: Who/What inspires you?

Kathy Ireland & Trey WhiteheadTW: My dad is my biggest inspiration. He’s always honest and fair when dealing with anyone in life or business. If I carry away only a small portion of what I’ve seen from him in my lifetime, I’d be very happy with that outcome.

DD: Has social media changed how you do business? For the better or worse?

TW: its change me, definitely for the better. Social media provides me immediate contact with my  audience, giving me a chance to touch them without having ever met them.

DD: What advice do you have for others struggling with social media?

TW: It’s simple, just do it! You need to have a presence in some form. The world is heading in this direction and if you start now you’re only “fashionably late” to the part

DD: Can you tell us about what frustrates you about your career or the industry you’re in?

TW: That would have to be the people that are happy with the status quo, those who continue to do business like they always have. “If it worked for my dad and grandfather, it’s good enough for me.” Trying something different is a must. People need to open their minds on new ways and avenues to reach the correct audience.

Blue Ridge mountains viewDD: Tell us about the private you?

TW: I’d have to say that life has dealt me a pretty fair hand. I’m lucky to be married to my best friend Angie. We have a very spoiled cat named Lenny and we live in God’s country, the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Our home sits on a mountain with very limited contact of the outside world. On about any given day our property is visited by deer, turkeys and even a bear once in a while. I like the slow pace because it gives me time to turn the volume down after so many markets and industry conferences.

DD: What’s on tap for you in 2013.

TW: This year HFB magazine is working to become more than a print magazine. We’ve launched our new Designer Weekly newsletter, we’ve rolled out our video production capabilities and we have a couple of other items in our pipeline. We understand that retailers are gathering information from many different resources and our goal is to provide that content while always looking forward at any new platforms.

DD: What’s the best advice you can give to someone following your career path?

TW: Not sure this really pertains to my career path, but I feel it’s pretty good advice for life in general. Surround yourself with good people and through hard work, opportunities and success will follow.

DD: If YOU had one super power what would it be?

Trey Whitehead ~ Publisher HFB MagTW: If I had one super power it would have to be the ability to read a person’s mind. It would be nice to know exactly what a person is thinking instead of having to read between the lines as I sometimes have to do. Things would be so much easier if people were direct in the responses they give.

Want to get to know Trey and HFB better? Catch up with them online:

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Dana Helms, Community ManagerAbout Dana Helms

When someone says social butterfly, they’re likely referring to Dana Helms. With her ability to wander through conversations online as if she’s hosting a cocktail party, Dana brings awareness and excitement to the social media party. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

2 Responses to “Dishing with Dana ~ Interview with Trey Whitehead, Publisher of HFB”

  1. Ruth Olbrych says:

    Another great interview Dana. Thanks for putting this out there. Have never met Trey but have had the pleasure of meeting Amy Kyle on more than one occasion…as fellow WITHIT member.(2010 conference she hosted a round table I attended.) Another one for you to interview eh?

  2. Dana says:

    Thank you Ruth!

    Trey is a great one to meet in person. He is never without a smile and knows just about everyone! I will make sure you meet at an event next time we are all together! Amy is a gem and would be a great person to interview! I love the suggestion! Anyone else you are interested in hearing from let me know. I love dishing with folks for sure!


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