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 Profile

Martha Stewart

Lifestyle Mogul

More From Martha

In this video

Martha Stewart on her journey from stockbroker, to domestic guru, to media mogul reinventing the art of homemaking.

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

Roberta Kaplan
Roberta Kaplan
Attorney, United States V. Windsor

Roberta (Robbie) Kaplan is the attorney who successfully argued the United States V. Windsor case, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a key provision of the Defense of Marri...

Donna Karan
Donna Karan
Fashion Designer & Philanthropist

Donna Karan never expected to be a working mother, but at 25 years old with a newborn baby girl, Karan was asked to take the helm of women's sportswear and apparel label, Anne ...

Chely Wright
Chely Wright
Country Musician and Gay Rights Activist

Chely Wright is a country music artist and gay rights activist. She was the first major country music performer to come out as lesbian. Wright grew up in a small Kansas town, where...

Lisa Stone
Lisa Stone
Blogger & Entrepreneur

Lisa Stone is the CEO and Co-Founder of the award-winning social hub BlogHer. Stone left a traditional journalism career at CNN for the internet in 1997 and has not looked back sin...