The Career Martha Stewart Had Before Pursuing Food

Before Martha Stewart was a household name thanks to the publication of 99 books, a successful TV show, a popular magazine, cross marketing, and a friendship with Snoop Dogg, she exhibited a good head for finances as a stockbroker. 

Already highly organized and with a keen eye for detail, Stewart displayed an entrepreneurial spirit at the young age of 10 when she worked as an amateur party planner and was hired by neighborhood families to organize children's birthday parties. Her next job may not come as much of a surprise considering how poised Stewart has always been on camera: As a teen, she booked modeling gigs, which helped to finance her education at Barnard College. 

Later, after completing her college studies, Stewart took a job as an institutional stockbroker in New York City, a job she would later tell People helped her immensely as she built her empire as a food, decorating, and party hosting expert. 

Financially savvy

Often viewed as no-nonsense and strong-willed, the iconic Stewart had to be confident long before she appeared on TV in front of millions. After all, she worked as the sole female stockbroker in an all-male company in New York City for eight years.

Stewart later told People it was a defining time for her, a time when she learned what it took to build and run a successful business. It was also a position where the organizational skills she developed as a child were highly valued and an important aspect in her journey to becoming the first female self-made billionaire. During an interview The Guardian, Stewart's former Wall Street boss, Andy Monness, described her as motivated, out-going, and good with the public — attributes that have certainly helped her parlay into the household name she is today.

Decades after exiting her stockbroker position, Stewart experienced a full-circle moment as she returned to Wall Street to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange on October 19, 1999 in honor of her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, going public.