Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

“My class at Barnard”

“My class at Barnard”

More From Martha

In this video

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

Martha's Biography

Cause of Choice: Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai
Early Catering Gigs: Events at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Cooper Hewitt Museum and Sotheby's
One Talent She Lacks: Her contribution to the school orchestra amounted to "scratch, squawk, screech."
Advice for Pursuing Dreams: "Go with your gut. If you feel good about an idea, work on it until it works...or it doesn't work."

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.

Related Videos

Louann Brizendine
Louann Brizendine
Neuropsychiatrist & Author

Louann Brizendine, M.D. is a practicing clinician, neuropsychiatrist and author, specializing in the relationship dynamics resulting from the neurobiology of male and female brains...

Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King
Tennis Champion & Activist

Billie Jean King first learned tennis in the late 1950s on the public courts in Long Beach, California. The game ultimately took her farther than she could possibly have imagined. ...

Maria Shriver
Maria Shriver
Journalist, Author, & Former First Lady of California

Born into the public eye, Maria Shriver forged a path of her own as a network journalist, author, and in an unforeseen turn, First Lady of California. Shriver grew up outside of Wa...

Maureen Towey
Maureen Towey
Theater Director

Maureen Towey is a Brooklyn-based director, specializing in visual and performance-based projects and serves as the Creative Director for the indie rock band, Arcade Fire. She also...