Martha Stewart

Essay by WLH_916College, Undergraduate July 2006

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I would venture to say every American has heard of Martha Stewart. I would also say if I were to ask those same people what is the first thing they think of when they hear her name I would have several different answers. Everything from homemaker, to entrepreneur, to business magnate, to author, to television host, or even felon, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Martha Stewart 64, was born Martha Helen Kostyra Jersey City, New Jersey. Raised in Nutley, New Jersey Martha was the oldest of five children. As a young girl Martha's mother, Martha, taught her to sew and cook, and she learned gardening from her father, Eddie. She also learned how to can and preserve food from her grandparents while visiting them in Buffalo, New York. From this Martha developed a passion for gardening, cooking, and gardening, which lead eventually to the development of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) (2006).

Martha graduated from high school a straight A student, and then went to Barnard College. Where, after switching majors several times, she earned a bachelor's degree in history and architectural history. During her sophomore year she became married to Andy, and after graduation became a very successful stockbroker (Breezylear, 2004).

In 1976 Stewart started a catering business in her basement with a friend, and later business partner, from college. Her new business became very successful, and eventually Stewart bought her friend's portion of the business. Stewart opened also a retail store, The Market Basket at the Common Market shopping center where she sold her home entertainment kits.

Martha's husband Andy had become the president of prominent New York publisher Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Andy Stewart contracted Stewart's company to cater the book release party, where she was introduced to Alan Mirken, the head of Crown...