MAKERS Profile

Martha Stewart

Lifestyle Mogul

In this video

Martha Stewart on her journey from stockbroker, to domestic guru, to media mogul reinventing the art of homemaking.
Personal reinvention and astounding business success? Definitely “a good thing.” The former Martha Helen Kostyra had married and worked as a model to support her husband’s law studies by the time she finished her own 1962 Barnard degree in History and Architectural History.  Stewart’s stockbroker father-in-law piqued her interest in Wall Street, where she spent a few years as an institutional broker for the likes of the Rockefellers, Ford Foundation, and Fidelity Fund.  But ultimately it was her visionary savvy in the home, garden, and kitchen that carried her back to the boardroom.  The renovation of the Stewarts’ 1805 farmhouse and start of a successful catering business consolidated her identity as an exemplar of tasteful self-improvement so familiar today.   Martha spent the 1980s working on a series of successful cookbooks, and drew the spotlight of both the Larry King and Oprah Winfrey shows. The Martha Stewart Living magazine (1990) and Martha’s own television show (1993, now called “Martha”) helped make her a household name in every sense: her eponymous lines of home-improvement products and furnishings are featured at Macy’s, Home Depot, Staples, PetSmart and, soon, at JCPenney. Stewart’s talents and unflappability have provided a superlative model for women in the home, as well as in the corporate sphere, where she retains no less than 96% of voting power in the vast and publicly-held MarthaStewartOmnimedia.

More From Martha

Teaching Children
Stewart shares her advice on guiding and engaging children.

Unplugging & Getting Your Hands Dirty
Stewart on getting out from behind the computer screen and getting your hands dirty.

Embrace Change
Don't be afraid of change. Take it from Martha Stewart.

“My class at Barnard”
Stewart talks about the other famous graduates of her class at Barnard College.

Star Student
Well-rounded from the start, Stewart was a star student with a full plate of extracurricular activities.

DIY Ethos
The DIY ethos that's at the heart of Stewart's work which has become a growing trend around the world.

Strain on Marriage
Stewart discusses the fatal strain her long working hours put on her marriage.

Getting Married
Stewart talks about meeting her husband and marrying young, to her parents dismay.

Mom's Standards
Stewart reflects on her hardworking mother's indifferent reaction to her success.

Special Relationship with Dad
Stewart on her special relationship with her father and the crucial encouragement he gave her.

Mother's Example
Stewart's mother seemed to have no trouble juggling six kids, a job, and a perfect house.

Feminist By Example
Stewart comments on the women's movement and her personal relationship to it.