I grew up with Martha. She was the lifestyle icon of my childhood. Growing up in Connecticut, Martha was a local sensation. My mom was a consummate entertainer, has a beautiful home and flair for design and creativity. These two major influences have lead me to a career in design, decor, and lifestyle. This week my mom and I went to a fundraising breakfast benefitting Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang where Martha Stewart attended and was interviewed. We were so excited to meet Martha and hear her speak. In true Martha style she arrived promptly to the event via helicopter and came in casually dignified and poised.
I ran to introduce myself to Martha to catch her before she hit the stage. She looked amazing! I swear she has lost 50 lbs in the past year! Plastic surgery was super evident, but contrary to her critics, I think she has done an amazing job turning the clock back 20 years! Martha is 73 and looks stunning.
Martha was candid and conversational and took tons of questions from the group. She was cool, relaxed and incredibly intimidating. I am convinced that part of her allure and public persona is that she is elitist and powerful. I LOVE it! Martha casually talked about dating on Match.com, told anecdotal stories, joked about her contentious relationship with her daughter, and admitted that she hasn't had one-on-one with her two grandchildren. Leading every utterance with ego, Martha kept me on the edge of my seat smiling from ear to ear! I love the name-dropping, bragging, and self promotion. Somehow this is acceptable and lovable coming from Martha where I would be repulsed and repelled coming from anyone else.
When asked about personal attributes that she looks for in building her team Martha said she is ISO a certain taste level, someone who is creative, hardworking, and very smart. Martha is incredibly loyal to her employees and her entourage seems to really love her and interact with her in a casual, personal way.
In talking about her company Martha admitted that her brand is far more valuable/powerful than her business. She mentioned a pending merger to grow her business, but was unable to speak of the merger at this time. With a couple of clicks I found & read several articles about the transformational merger between Martha Stewart Omnimedia and Sequential Brands Group Inc. Sequential Brands Group owns and licenses several consumer brands including Ellen Tracy, Jessica Simpson and Linens 'n Things. This looks like a great merger as Martha will remain CEO and will bring her brand, marketing expertise, and notoriety to a booming conglomerate.
When asked about her future plans for travel, Martha said she is looking forward to traveling across the country in a helicopter - east to west across the north and west to east back through the south. Martha went on to say that traveling via helicopter is really the only way to see the world. You get a birds' eye view and can easily land anywhere to get a closer look.
Martha is the undeniable innovator in lifestyle and entertaining of our time. I am grateful to have been part of an intimate conversation with her. In the new world of Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter every disciple can share his or her own creations to inspire us all. We all owe Martha a tip of the hat as she is the ultimate source of inspiration.