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Martha Stewart: Everything You Want to Know About America's Domestic Goddess

Capitalism.com
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October 27, 2020

Martha Stewart is the founder of Martha Stewart Omnimedia. She's also a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and the Emmy Award-Winning television show host of Martha Stewart Living. She has made a name for herself as a trusted lifestyle teacher and expert. Millions of people worldwide rely on Stewart as a guide and source of "how-to" information for everyday living. Her expertise encompasses everything from cooking and gardening to entertaining and home renovating.

Although Stewart has achieved financial success, she has had her share of personal setbacks. From a bitter divorce to an insider trading-related conviction, which led to prison time in 2004, she's had some surprises. While the crime tarnished her image for a time, it also gave Stewart a reputation for being a tough, resilient businesswoman. She proved she could reinvent herself after the fall. 

Curious about Martha Stewart's net worth and how she continues to be a successful influencer even after her personal and legal challenges? Keep reading for the details about how a New Jersey girl turned lifestyle guru and friend of Snoop Dog made her millions, survived a scandal, and continues to thrive today. 

How Much Is Martha Stewart Worth? 

Martha Stewart's net worth is currently reported to be $640 million. She created an empire out of her impeccable style and DIY savviness. Stewart has rejuvenated and reinvented her brand over the years. That has enabled her to outlast the ever-changing styles of the home goods market and her career controversy. 

Martha became the first female self-made billionaire in America when Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia went public in 1999. Due to her legal problems and subsequent jail time in the early 2000s, she saw a significant drop in her net worth. However, she recuperated some of her fortunes in the following years. She went on to sell Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia for $350 million in 2015

In 2017, Martha received $6.6 million from Sequential Brands Group as part of her Martha Stewart Brand. That included $406,941 for non-business travel, $114,620 for utilities and telecommunication services. Plus, there was $146,880 for personal fitness, wellness, beauty, and wardrobe. Marquee Brands purchased the Martha Stewart brand from Sequential Brands Group for $215 million in 2019

Where Is Martha Stewart From?

Stewart was born in Jersey City, NJ, in 1941 as Martha Helen Kostyra. Her parents were Eddie Kostyra, a pharmaceutical salesperson, and Martha Ruszkowski Kostyra, a teacher. She grew up in Nutley, NJ, the second of six children in a working-class family. 

As a young child, Martha discovered she had a passion for gardening, cooking, and homemaking. Her mother taught her the basics of cooking and sewing. Her father introduced her to gardening.

Martha Stewart's Education

Stewart attended Barnard College in Manhattan. She considered obtaining a degree in chemistry. But she ended up earning a double major in history and architectural history in 1962. 

Is Martha Stewart Married?

Martha Stewart is not currently married. While at Barnard College, Martha met Yale law student Andy Stewart. Martha and Andy married in 1961. They divorced in 1990 following a bitter three-year separation. 

After her divorce, Martha had some high-profile dating relationships, including one with actor Anthony Hopkins. She reportedly ended the relationship after watching The Silence of the Lambs. She couldn't help but associate Hopkins with his frightening, deranged character, Hannibal Lecter. 

Martha also dated billionaire Charles Simonyi off and on for 15 years, beginning in 1993. Since the end of that relationship, she has not revealed any other beaus to the public. However, in 2013, she confirmed she had made a Match.com profile that led to a few dates. 

Who Is Martha Stewart's Daughter?

Martha had one daughter, Alexis Stewart, with ex-husband Andy Stewart in 1965. Alexis was born in Manhattan and graduated from Putney School in Putney, Vermont, in 1983. Then she earned her bachelor's degree in English at Barnard College in 1987.

Today, Alexis is a television host, radio personality, and author. She appeared on Martha's short-lived television show, The Apprentice, in 2005. She also co-wrote a book in 2011 titled "Whateverland: Learning to Live Here," with Jennifer Koppelman Hutt. The book gave readers an inside look into Alexis's childhood relationship with her mother. Some book reviews said Alexis used the book as an opportunity to bash her mother. To quote Alexis from the book: she "grew up with a glue gun pointed at [her] head." 

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Some aspects of the mother-daughter relationship were challenging. However, at the beginning of the book, Alexis thanked her mother for not getting angry about what she had written. Martha has also recently shared photos with Alexis's children, Jude and Truman, on her Instagram, indicating their relationship has endured the rockier times.

Martha Stewart's Pets

Through the years on her television shows and social media, those who have followed Martha Stewart know how much she loves animals. She has opened her home to dozens of creatures—from dogs and cats to chickens, chinchillas, canaries, and miniature donkeys. 

Martha often shares photos of her pets on social media and brings them onto her television shows. Some of her most well-known pets include Francesca, the French Bulldog, Himalayan cats Vivaldi and Verdi, and Genghis Khan, her beloved Chow Chow.

Where Does Martha Stewart Live?

Martha has multiple homes, including:

  • Her iconic Turkey Hill farmstead in Connecticut she and her ex-husband Andy bought in the 70s
  • Historic vacation home in Maine
  • Her home, Lily Pond Lane, in the East Hamptons
  • Her modern condos on Perry Street in New York City's West Village
  • And a Fifth Avenue apartment overlooking Central Park 

Stewart's primary residence is a place she calls Cantitoe Corners. It's located in Katonah, NY, which is in Bedford, Westchester County. She purchased the 1925 farmhouse in 2000. Since then, she has turned the 152-acre property into a horse farm. It features both modern and historical buildings and an elaborate, manicured garden. The property is home to dozens of animals and has a gourmet kitchen.

How Did Martha Stewart Begin Her Career?

Martha started making money when she was only ten years old, helping out as a babysitter for family and friends. At age 13, she broke into a modeling career and regularly appeared in television commercials, print advertisements, and fashion shows. She continued to model for brands like Chanel and Unilever to supplement her income during her college years

After graduating from Barnard College, Stewart became a stockbroker for Monness, Williams, and Sidel, a boutique financial services firm. By the time she was 24, Martha was making a six-figure salary as a stockbroker. That was quite impressive for anyone in the 1970s, but especially for a woman and mother.

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She continued to work on Wall Street until 1972 when she and then-husband Andy purchased and restored an 1805 farmhouse in Westport, CT. Through this experience, she discovered her panache for home restoring and decorating. 

By 1976, Martha was building her billion-dollar empire. It began with a small catering business she started with a partner in her basement. The catering business quickly became successful. Martha soon bought out her partner's equity stake.

Martha Stewart's catering business enabled her to rub elbows with celebrities and influential people in the publishing industry. Those connections lead to her first cookbook deal. This was the beginning of a highly profitable career, which has included dozens of cookbooks, a magazine, and multiple television shows.

Martha Stewart's Books

In 1982, Stewart published her first book, Entertaining, which is now in its 30th printing. Since then, she has published dozens of bestselling books. They cover everything from cooking and entertaining to gardening, weddings, and decorating. Some of her most popular books include:

  • Quick Cook Menus 
  • Hors d 'Oeuvres 
  • Christmas 
  • Wedding Planner
  • The Martha Rules 
  • Cookies 
  • Good Things for Organizing
  • Pies & Tarts
  • Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts

She recently published Martha Stewart's Organizing: The Manual for Bringing Order to Your Life, Home & Routines in January 2020. 

Martha Stewart Living

Martha Stewart joined with Time Publishing Ventures to launch her first magazine, Martha Stewart Living, in Winter 1990. It began as a quarterly magazine and became a monthly publication in 1994. The magazine featured Martha's tips for entertaining, cooking, lifestyle, crafts/DIY, and decorating. When Stewart left Time, Inc. in 1997, she took the magazine with her. Martha Stewart Living became the flagship brand of her new media empire, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Other magazines followed, including:

  • Martha Stewart Weddings
  • Blueprint: Design Your Life
  • Martha Stewart Kids
  • Martha Stewart Baby
  • Everyday Food
  • Whole Living

Martha Stewart Living magazine is the only magazine still in publication. Meredith Corporation publishes it ten times each year. 

Martha Stewart TV Shows

In 1992, Martha Stewart's first television show, Martha Stewart Living TV, began airing as a weekly half-hour syndicated show. It followed the how-to, DIY style of her magazine of the same name. Martha gave tips on cooking, flower arranging, gardening, homemade holiday decoration making, and more through the series. The show expanded to an hour-long program on weekdays in 1999. The show took a break in Fall 2004 when Stewart spent time in jail for her stock trading conviction.

But that was just the beginning of a long, illustrious television career that continues today, spanning network television, cable channels, and streaming services. Here's the list of her shows:

  1. Martha Knows Best
  2. The Martha Stewart Show 1267 episodes from (2005 to 2020)
  3. Martha & Snoop's Dinner Party
  4. Martha Bakes
  5. From Martha's Garden
  6. Martha Stewart's Cooking School
  7. Martha Stewart Presents
  8. From Martha's Home
  9. Martha Stewart Living: Good Things
  10. Martha Stewart Weddings
  11. From Martha's Kitchen
  12. Plus, numerous holiday specials

Why Did Martha Stewart Go to Jail?

In 2004, Martha Stewart spent five months in incarceration at Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia. The court charged and convicted her for several financial crimes related to insider training with ImClone's biopharmaceutical company. 

Stewart had reportedly sold 4,000 shares of ImClone stock she owned the day before an FDA announcement that the drug had failed to gain approval to treat cancer. The suspicious timing of her stock sales led to an investigation. Although she denied any wrongdoing, the court found Stewart guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and lying to federal investigators.

Stewart's conviction led to five months in prison, a subsequent five months of house arrest, and two years of probation. On March 4, 2005, Martha left prison and began her stint on house arrest.

ABCNews.Go.com shared Martha's thoughts about her prison experience in the article "Martha Stewart Gets Candid About Her Past Prison Time."  

"That deep hole was not a pleasant hole. And everybody tells you, 'Oh, whatever happens to you, it will make you stronger,' f&@# them! It's so mean, that is the stupidest thing. It doesn't make you better at all. It could ruin you," said Stewart. 

While she may not appreciate the saying "turning lemons into lemonade," Martha Stewart did indeed make the most of the experience. She has spent the last 15 years since her prison release rebuilding herself and her brand to achieve a position of prominence, success, and even worldwide respect. 

"Health, optimism, and that curiosity to see what shouldn't happen, what you can overcome led me here. So, I overcame a very difficult, nasty situation."

Are There Any Martha Stewart Movies?

Yes. Television has brought two Martha Stewart movies to the small screen. Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart (2003) and Martha: Behind Bars (2005). Actress Cybill Shepherd played the role of Stewart in both television films.

10 Most Popular Martha Stewart Recipes

People around the globe celebrate Martha Stewart for her contributions to the culinary world. Through her cookbooks, magazines, television shows, and online presence, she has shared countless recipes. MarthaStewart.com listed some of Martha's most popular recipes:

  1. Simple Crepes
  2. Basic Pancakes
  3. Roasted Red Potatoes
  4. Vanilla Pound Cake
  5. No-Bake Cheesecake
  6. Shepherd's Pie
  7. Perfect Roast Chicken
  8. Pan-Fried Steak
  9. Slow-Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
  10. Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg

With all the business success, scandal, and delightful recipes, there's one thing that brings people the most curiosity about Stewart. It's her relationship with veteran gangster rapper and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg. The Martha Stewart-Snoop Dogg friendship has perplexed and intrigued both of their fans for years. 

The pair first met in 2008 when Snoop Dog appeared on The Martha Stewart Show. During the episode, Martha taught Snoop Dogg how to make her signature mashed potato dish. There was instant chemistry between the two, and the show's audience loved it.

They continued to stay in touch through the years, and their fans asked to see more of their friendship. Finally, in 2016, they put together a new show for their fans, which aired on VHI: Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party. They've also had several other television appearances together, including Justin Bieber's roast on Comedy Central.

In 2019, Martha and Snoop Dogg appeared on the Today Show together. There they opened up about their unlikely chemistry. Martha explained, "I like his laid-back energy, his outspokenness. I like his sense of timing."  

As for Snoop, the feeling of respect and admiration is mutual. He said, "I love Martha, like, I love her for real. Like, when I see her away from me, I get jealous when I see other people with her. But then I have to understand; she's Martha Stewart, so she has to give the world what they want." 

Are Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg still friends these days? According to LiveKindly .co's article "Martha Stewart Is Teaching Snoop How to Grow His Own Plant-Based Food," an August 2020 episode of HGTV's Martha Knows Best featured Stewart and Snoop Dogg exploring the world of container gardens together. 

13 Martha Stewart Quotes About Lifestyle, Business, and Relationships

You either love Martha Stewart, or you don't. Her blunt, straightforward, and sometimes terse approach has led to several quotable quotes. Here are 13 of the best:

  1. "Life is too complicated not to be orderly."
  2. "Without an open-minded mind, you can never be a great success."
  3. "I catnap now and then, but I think while I nap, so it's not a waste of time."
  4. "I'm never sick. Why get sick? It's a waste of time."
  5. "I think baking cookies is equal to Queen Victoria running an empire. There's no difference in how seriously you take the job, how seriously you approach your whole life."
  6. "It's all about new techniques, simplifying old techniques, and consolidating steps. Making things go faster, but not worse."
  7. "Seek out people to work with who are brimming with talent, energy, integrity, optimism, and generosity."
  8. "It is a good thing until you discover a better thing."
  9. "I learned many years ago never to criticize, only compliment. Even if their home is horrifyingly awful."
  10. “Business is all about risk: assessing risk, managing risk. Prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, and intellectually. You will be able to differentiate a long shot from a good, well-calculated risk."
  11. "You should never retire; don't even use the word. It implies going off into the sunset, and who wants to do that?" 
  12. "I was married for 30 years. Isn't that enough? I've had my share of dirty underwear on the floor."
  13. "There are two kinds of people. There are the dreamers who go and buy, and there are the doers who go and make. So the dreamers are what support our company because they will buy the product that they could make if they wanted to, had time to, or were so inclined to."

Martha Stewart as an Influencer

Martha Stewart has an entertaining and inspiring presence on social media over several platforms. But she admits that Instagram is her favorite. She claims she is a visual person who loves posting pictures, which is why she regularly shares on her Instagram account. Clearly, her fans are here for it because she hit 1 million Instagram followers on August 3, 2020, which just happened to be her 79th birthday. She also has more than 2.5 million followers on Facebook and 3.6 million on Twitter.

Martha Stewart's Latest Ventures

Martha continues to keep her finger on the pulse of what's hot and what sells. In addition to continuing her television and publishing career, she has recently expanded into two new markets. Martha & Marley Spoon is a meal delivery service she started in 2014 that brings ingredients and recipes to her customer's front door. Her company has since expanded to seven countries. 

In February 2019, Martha joined a Canadian marijuana company, Canopy Growth, as an advisor. According to the NYTimes.com article "Martha Stewart, Blissed Out on CBD, Is Doing Just Fine," she is now both producing and partaking in the cannabis products. They include the CBD gummies she compares to "pâte de fruit." The new Martha Stewart line from Canopy Growth is comestibles infused with cannabidiol (CBD), including gummies, soft gels, and oil drops.

"I pop 20 of them and just feel OK, but some of my friends do two and feel high, I don't know why. It's not high like a marijuana high. It's a CBD high, like, relaxed." 

The Takeaway

Why are people so enthralled with Martha Stewart? She's a success story, but she also suffered some significant hardships and setbacks. Everyone loves a good comeback story. She's lost a lot, and she worked hard to reclaim her position and wealth. She didn't let hard times, even prison time, stop her from achieving her goals.  

Some of her fans have stood by her side through it all. Other followers are only now discovering who she is through her new television shows, social media presence, or relationship with Snoop Dogg. Even if you aren't a fan of her curt personality that some might call snobbish, it's impossible not to find inspiration in the profitable empire she has built during her lifetime. 

Martha Stewart has shown resilience and innovation from age 13 as a young model to an almost 80-year-old entrepreneur who continues to try new things and expand into new markets. She shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Have you ever wished you could have that kind of relentless drive as an entrepreneur? What if building the business and life of your dreams is as simple as identifying your passion and taking action? 

One of our favorite Martha Stewart quotes lines up with what we teach at Capitalism.com. She said, "Build your business around something that you love – something that is inherently interesting to you." We would love to help you identify what that is and then show you how to build a business and wealth to give you financial freedom. 

No matter where you are in your journey as an entrepreneur, it's time to do more than just dream about living your best life. Let us walk you through the process to get there, step by step. Check this out.

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