Martha Stewart's Businesses, Explained
Martha Stewart was born to two avid do-it-yourselfers, so it should come as little surprise that she built an industry-spanning multimedia company all on her own. From a young age Martha channeled her entrepreneurial spirit, finding ways to work and make money through babysitting and modeling jobs. Trying her hand at various opportunities played a major role in her path to becoming the powerhouse business woman that she is today. "Without an open mind, you can never be a great success," she has said.
As an adult, Martha looked to the hard-working, diligent example her parents set, putting that same spirit and energy into everything she did. Although she worked as an institutional stockbroker right out of college, Martha would start working toward the businesses we know her for today shortly thereafter. Revamping the 1805 farmhouse in Connecticut that she and her husband bought in 1970 was a preview of the empire she would later create. And the catering company she started out of her kitchen in 1973? That laid the groundwork for the cookbooks and cooking TV shows that would help make her a household name down the road.
"My life is my job, and my job is my life," she once told Entrepreneur.com. That's easy to believe, considering her job spans so many different categories, from cookware to a TV show with Snoop Dogg. Unsurprisingly, Martha’s desire for perfection has helped her master every business challenge she's taken on. In her words: "I'm a maniacal perfectionist."
Want to get a closer look at the businesses that have helped create the Martha Stewart empire? Come on in and take a look!
Martha's First Foray
After leaving her first job on Wall Street, she made her first foray into running a business by starting a catering company. She launched the company out of her kitchen in 1973 and made everything from scratch.
The Cookbook Collection
The world got to know Martha the businesswoman through her first cookbook, "Entertaining," which was published in 1982. It was the perfect way for her to collect all of the recipes she'd perfected during her successful catering career, and it helped her establish her distinctive voice. The cookbook, which was considered unusual at the time for having all color photographs, proved to be extremely popular and is, in essence, where Martha's cookbook career began. She's since written more than 59 others, including "Martha Stewart's Cooking School" and "The Martha Stewart Cookbook."
Making of a Magazine
Martha Stewart Living hit newsstands in 1990 and was an instant hit. The focus on cooking, gardening, entertaining, crafts, and more was distinctly Martha, and the magazine eventually became the cornerstone of her media empire.
Living the Dream
What do you do when you have an insanely successful lifestyle magazine? You turn it into a TV show. Martha Stewart Living began airing in 1996 and brought Martha into the homes of millions of Americans, cementing her status as an icon and a household name.
The Wedding Planner
If you were planning a wedding, wouldn't you want Martha's opinions on flowers, cakes, dresses, and more? That's why she launched
Martha Stewart Weddings
magazine in 1995, which is still helping people plan their dream day, Martha style.
Setting Up Shop
For years, you couldn't walk into a Kmart without seeing (and probably buying) bedding, towels, and more designed by Martha. She had an exclusive deal with Kmart for more than ten years, during which she also served the retailer's lifestyle guru. After that, Home Depot, JC Penney, and Macy's began selling Martha homewares.
MSLO, otherwise known Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1999. It organized all of Martha's media and merchandising ventures into one highly-successful media company.
Martha Meets Michaels
When you think of a beautiful party, you think of Martha Stewart. That's why Michael's teamed up with Martha to sell her Martha Stewart Celebrations line of favors, crafts, treats, and more.
For years, Martha had her very own talk show, Martha. On it, she shared her favorite recipes, decorating tips, and more, and hosted an engaging roster of celebrity guests and friends. Though her show Martha ended in 2012, her TV career continues today.
Martha's Master Class
Martha Bakes, her baking-themed TV show on PBS, has been on the air since 2011, Martha Stewart Cooking School premiered in 2012. On it, she shows viewers her personal techniques and favorite recipes so they can also feel like a master of the kitchen.
Martha's dream of having her own café finally became a reality in 2015 when she opened up the Martha Stewart Café in New York City. The coffee shop sells Martha's favorite hot drinks, pastries, and more.
Martha's always known how to have a good time—seriously. Need proof? She and pal Snoop Dogg started their own cooking show, Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party, in 2016, where they cook up delicious recipes, chat with friends, and have a whole lot of fun.
At Home with Martha
One of Martha's first big projects was renovating her Turkey Hill farmhouse in the '70s, so it only makes sense that she's teamed up with KB Homes to design entire houses. The homes, which are modeled after her own houses and filled with Martha-selected details, have been built and loved across the country.
Martha by Mail
It became even easier to cook exactly like Martha in 2018 when she launched a meal kit service with Marley Spoon. With fresh, pre-proportioned recipes delivered directly to Martha fans' doors, it basically feels like she's right there with you in the kitchen.