Kevin Sharkey—Martha's Right-Hand Man—Shares a Few of His Favorite Things
The master of mixing high and low has a penchant for Thom Browne suits and Lipton onion-soup-mix dip with Ruffles. Here, he reveals the things he can't live without (including his favorite Martha products).
He's the ace who vets thousands of her products, the decorating whisperer for all her homes, and the only person (besides her daughter) Martha trusts implicitly with scissors in her gardens. Kevin Sharkey, EVP and executive director of design, Martha Stewart brands, is a longtime employee, but also her dear friend. After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design and working at the Parish-Hadley interior-design firm, he started as a style assistant at Living in 1996. It wasn't glamorous—he mainly called in items for shoots, packed and unpacked boxes, and swept floors—but he learned daily from an "A-team of talent" and worked tirelessly, two qualities that caught Martha's attention.
So did the iconic images he created, including a vase exploding with hundreds of towering snapdragons. "I didn't become the person I was meant to be until I started here," he says—namely, a laser-focused eye, a font of funny quips, and an unabashed connoisseur of the high and low. Yes, he can tie a double-faced satin bow that would make Marie Antoinette weep, and look utterly at ease in a slim Thom Browne suit. "But if there are two things to know about me," he says with a laugh, "I love carnations and Lipton onion-soup-mix dip with Ruffles."
We went in for a rapid-fire Q&A, in addition to asking Sharkey for his everyday essentials (from his go-to work tie and favorite sneakers to the Martha products he can't live without—including her new CBD gummies). His best decorating advice? "Invest in dimmers and a good paint job. And when in doubt, go monotone." Sharkey's most prized possessions? "The hospital identity bracelets worn by Martha's grandchildren, Jude and Truman," he says. His charity of choice? "Smile Train," he says. "It doesn't take a lot to change the course of someone's life." And his favorite holiday music? "Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and classics by Perry Como and Nat King Cole."
Ruffle Potato Chips and Lipton Onion-Soup-Mix Dip
"These, along with Coca-Cola, Fig Newtons, and Hellmann's mayonnaise, are staples in my house."
"It's really comfortable, and classic but not old-fashioned."
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"I've been wearing them forever."
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"The quality is fantastic and the colors are great. I wear them with everything."
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Put a Bow on It
Skincare That Works
"The chinos of dishes! They can be dressed up or down, food looks great on them, and they go well with any flowers."
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"Part of my work uniform, along with a suit and a white Brooks Brothers button-down."
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"I love their fragrance, colors, and structure. I arrange flowers to unwind."
"The white oxford shirt of shoes: discreet, well-made."
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