The reading level for this article is Novice

Entrepreneur:Martha Stewart
Company: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, LLC
Founders: Martha Stewart, Chairwoman and CEO
Year Started:Started first business, a catering service, in 1976

Description of Business:

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) consists of two magazines, 27 books, a syndicated newspaper column, radio and television shows, a web site, and an online and mail-order catalog

Biography of Martha Stewart: Martha Stewart was born Martha Kostrya in 1941 in Jersey City, New Jersey. She learned gardening from her father, Edward, as early as age three, and baking, cooking, and sewing from her mother, Martha. She earned a partial scholarship to Barnard College in New York City, where she worked as a model and appeared in TV commercials. In 1961, she married Andy Stewart, whom she later divorced in 1989. In 1965, their daughter Alexis was born. Martha worked as a stockbroker until 1973, and in 1976 she took a bold step in business that would change her life and make her one of the most prominent women in America.

How the Business Started: After a brief period running a take-out gourmet food shop in Westport, Connecticut, Martha turned her energies to catering. She ran her catering business out of the basement of her farmhouse, and within ten years, Martha Stewart, Inc. had become a $1 million enterprise. She also opened a retail store to sell specialty foods and supplies for entertaining. In 1982, after writing articles for The New York Times and editing for the magazine House Beautiful, she published her first book, Entertaining. This book was an instant success, and encouraged her to continue this line of work, producing a variety of other books, videotapes, CDs, and television specials. Appearances on the Today Show helped Martha Stewart become a household name. She eventually started her own magazine, Martha Stewart Living, along with a TV show of the same name. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is now a multimillion-dollar public enterprise.

Outstanding Contributions:

Entrepreneurs create innovations that improve our quality of life: Martha Stewart’s products and services assist millions of Americans with a wide range of household tasks, from the simplest to the most extravagant. Many rely on Martha for her expertise in kitchen, garden, and home d├ęcor.

Entrepreneurs create new jobs: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia employs over 420 people, including 180 in-house editors, art and style directors, designers, craftspeople, cooks, gardeners, and business and administrative staff.

Entrepreneurs improve our position in global economic competition: Martha Stewart Living already is a nationally syndicated television show, but now, for the first time ever, an entire season will be dubbed in a foreign language. In an attempt to enter the international stage, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is joining forces with GloboSat to bring the show to nearly two million households in Brazil. Subsequent to the launch of the series, GloboSat plans to introduce MSLO to other enterprises in the GloboSat media family. In addition to TV, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia runs a syndicated radio program five days a week on over 270 stations, with an audience of 1.5 million listeners, along with a web site ( www.marthastewart.com) with more than 834,000 registered users.


This Entrepreneur Stories article was written by National Commission on Entrepreneurship on 2/28/2005

Martha Stewart was born Martha Kostrya in 1941 in Jersey City, New Jersey. She learned gardening from her father, Edward, as early as age three, and baking, cooking, and sewing from her mother, Martha. She earned a partial scholarship to Barnard College in New York City, where she worked as a model and appeared in TV commercials. In 1961, she married Andy Stewart, whom she later divorced in 1989. In 1965, their daughter Alexis was born. Martha worked as a stockbroker until 1973, and in 1976 she took a bold step in business that would change her life and make her one of the most prominent women in America.
Provided by: National Commission on Entrepreneurship