A Conversation with Martha Stewart

 

Back in May, a friend and I were scheduled to go to an event in Dallas called “A Conversation with Martha Stewart.”  Due to bad weather (neither Martha or my friend and I could get to Dallas), it was rescheduled for July 11.

Not knowing what to expect, I honestly didn’t expect much.  As it turns out, it was a delightful event!  The crowd included men and women of all ages and even a few children.

Martha was on point.  The conversation was between, the local Fox (channel 4) TV personality, Steve Noviello and Martha.  The dialogue was interesting and informative, speaking less about cooking and home keeping and more about her and her experiences.

One of the opening remarks was about an airline attendant asking Martha, “Did anyone ever tell you that you look like Martha Stewart?”  Martha said she responded, “No, I hate that woman!”

Steve asked Martha about growing up.  She mentioned that her family had a large Victory Garden in the back yard.  She relayed that with six kids, they needed it.  She mentioned that she and her older brother used to sell muskrat pelts to Sears-Roebuck for $13 apiece.  Her brother hunted them and she skinned then.  She offered that that was a different time, and they needed the money for college.

When asked about her modeling career, Martha said that a girl that lived across the street had asked her about modeling.  The neighbor was a model with Eileen Ford and introduced Martha.  Martha was signed and began modeling at 13 years old with a TV commercial as her first job.

Martha used the money from her modeling jobs to pay for schooling at Bernard College from which she earned a degree in European and architectural history.

After marrying her ex-husband, Andy, and graduating from college, Martha was a stockbroker.  She told the story of being asked to accompany a man on a day trip to buy stocks.  The man was Ross Perot, who had just passed away a couple of days prior to the speaking engagement.  She told of the trip and how he always was nice to her and invited her to events.

A simple stage was the setting for the conversation.

After being a stockbroker, her family moved to Connecticut so she had to quit her New York job.  She then started her catering business.  Her first engagement was a wedding for 200 people.  She said that being a caterer was similar to being a stockbroker in that she was “catering to people’s appetites.”   She said she always wanted to design beautiful events that were different and stood out.

Steve asked Martha about the people that hired her.  She mentioned several stars including Tina Turner,  Paul Newman, and JoAnne Woodward, the latter of whom she said was “not her favorite,” because she was demanding.

Martha showed off her new book,  The Martha Manual, which is about organizing.  She has written 95 books in just 30 years.

Other topics that Steve and Martha discussed included all the animals Martha has on her 150-acre farm in Bedford, NY; her QVC products and Amazon line; the new way consumers purchase products; CBD oil; the Italian cruise line, MSC; Snoop Dog; Martha’s wine company; and her two grandchildren.

Martha spoke about her future plans, including classes for both credit and non-credit.  She laughingly said that she should train housekeepers because people are always trying to poach them from her.

I did find it interesting that one of the sponsors for the evening was a bank.  Usually, banks try to protect their image.  To sponsor a person convicted of insider trading was an ode to forgetfulness or forgiveness…I am not sure which.

It was a really fascinating hour and a half!  Martha was funny, engaging, and ever so knowledgeable about the various topics covered.  Her understanding of marketing trends and social media were particularly interesting to me.  At 78 (at the time of her talk, 77) years old, Martha continues to be relevant.

Well done, Martha!

I love the light, the Moody Chandelier, at the Winspear Opera House. This was my attempt at an artsy photo of it. It turned out more like a space travel photo!

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