Her background in publishing, passion for interior design, great eye and winning personality are a few qualities that made Sophie Donelson a natural choice for the coveted spot of "number 23"—the twenty-third editor in chief House Beautiful.
Sophie Donelson. Photo by Tory Williams.
"Sophie has had years of experience dealing with design in a variety of ways: writer, editor, consultant, brand building, and e-commerce," said Hearst Design Group editorial director Newell Turner, who has been searching for his replacement for the last two years. "Her work and her passions have always been in the worlds of interior design, and she's simply a smart editor."
Passing the torch of editor in chief is not something you do lightly, according to Turner, and he wanted to make sure that he found the right person.
This will not be the first time Donelson has worked with Turner. Many years ago, he hired her (fresh out of college) to work with him on editorial content for a magazine he was launching, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens. "We worked on opposite sides of a folding table, literally knee to knee, for about a year. After several years there, we went separate ways, but we've always stayed in touch. I've admired the things she went on to do with other magazines and especially the work she's done in digital media."
Donelson, who takes the helm at House Beautiful on Feb. 2, has held senior-level editorial positions at ELLE DECOR, Blueprint and CITY magazines. She spent many years as an independent journalist, contributing to print and digital publications including Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Curbed and EditorAtLarge. Most recently, she was brand director for Cricket’s Circle, an editorial and e-commerce site for expecting parents. Prior to that, she was editorial director at the now defunct C. Wonder brand, where she established the retailer’s voice and content strategy across all platforms including print, digital, video, and social, as well as in-store.
“I’ve known Sophie for many years and have always felt that she understands the power and importance of great design and decorating,” said Turner. "She is creative, extremely talented, and expert at curating experiences for readers. I’m delighted to welcome her to House Beautiful and Hearst, and I cannot wait to watch her lead this brand."
“House Beautiful has a warmth and energy that makes every single page a pleasure, with a stunning range of interiors in every issue and a commitment to living with color, something I personally find so inspiring,” Donelson said. “I’m excited to work with Newell and the Hearst Design Group to continue inspiring readers to live happily in their homes.”