15 Facts You Should Know About Martha Stewart

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Martha Stewart is an icon of American culture and perhaps the most famous homemaker in the United States. With a product line, cookbooks, a magazine, and even a CBD company, Martha has proven herself one of the most influential media moguls in American history and she is, according to an interview in People, the "first self-made female billionaire."

With her unwavering commitment to perfection in cooking and entertaining, Martha can show you the key to a perfect martini or how to give mac and cheese a tangy bite. She can advise you on best practices in the garden and how to decorate your house for the holidays. Martha Stewart, it seems, can do it all, including building a media empire that has made her a household name across the country. 

While she is a cook, entertainer, and tastemaker, Martha Stewart is also a savvy businesswoman and, at the end of the day, a human just like the rest of us. We've collected 15 facts you should know about Martha Stewart to fully appreciate her journey, vision, and commitment to all things perfect.

She was a stockbroker

Long before she was everyone's favorite homemaker, the career Martha Stuart had before pursuing food might surprise you. She couldn't have gotten where she is today without a head for business, which she honed in her early years as a stockbroker in New York City. After attending Barnard College, she got a job as the only female employee at Pearlburg Monness, a stockbroking company in Manhattan.

According to an interview in The Guardian with her first (and only) boss, Andy Monness, Martha was "outgoing, good with the public, and as a salesperson for [the firm] she made a lot of money." After the stock market took a dive in 1974, Martha left the firm to pursue a catering business and raise her daughter, Alexis. But her talent for dealing with people and the attention to detail that allowed her to thrive in the male-dominated trading floors on Wall Street was integral to her success as a homemaker-turned-media mogul.

Green juice is a daily must for Martha

She may be 81 years old, but Martha Stewart has yet to show any signs of slowing down. She's still making TV appearances, tending to her gardens, and writing cookbooks, including "Very Good Things," which came out in 2021 and highlighted the importance of her daily green juice. In fact, the celebrity chef told TODAY that her green juice is her "best good thing."

The secret to Martha's daily green juice, she claims, is its versatility. Although some basic ingredients are regular in her morning juice, like celery, spinach, orange ("rind left on"), and ginger, the rest depends on what she wants to add on any given day. Even the green juice recipe on her website encourages substitutions. Parsley, mint, grapefruit, kale, carrots, and pears are just some of the ingredients she suggests. Whatever you happen to have in the kitchen that is fresh and will add flavor to your juice is fair game.

Her new restaurant just opened in Las Vegas

After over thirty years in the business of cooking, it's about time Martha Stewart opened a full-service restaurant. Located inside Caesar's Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Martha Stewart's new restaurant, The Bedford, is a replica of Martha's famous farmhouse, which was built in 1925. The menu features a French-inspired menu that includes some of her most celebrated dishes. Dishes include "Big Martha's Pierogis," a nod to her Polish roots, as well as masterfully executed classes like shrimp cocktail and steak tartare.

Martha Stewart is known to be personally involved in all of her projects, and The Bedford is no exception. She and her team have decorated the space so that diners feel like they are "guests in Martha's home." The drink menu features wine from the 19 Crimes collection, which gestures to her now infamous stint at a federal prison. And the cocktail menu features such branded libations as the Frozen Pomegranate Martha-Rita. Wherever she goes, Martha leaves an imprint.

Martha Stewart loves animals

Creme Brûlée isn't just a dessert; it's one of Martha Stewart's French bulldogs. The entertainer loves animals and has dogs, cats, canaries, and chinchillas. Perhaps her most famous furry companion is Genghis Kahn, her chow-chow, who she regularly posts on her social media and who often makes a cameo with Martha on her TV appearances. In fact, Martha loves her dogs so much that they even had their own blog for a time. And, of course, Martha adds her spin on everything she does: Her canaries live in a cage that she herself designed, based on one built in France in 1900.

In 2005, she even made a video for PETA that discourages people from wearing real fur. "So much violence in the world seems beyond our control, but this is one cruelty we can stop by being informed consumers," she said in the video. And her first cat, Chiggi, was brought home from a shelter. The homemaking guru has opened her homes to all kinds of animals, from dogs and cats to miniature donkeys and chickens.

She's a philanthropist

It's no secret that Martha Stewart has amassed a fortune over the years. Since the inception of her empire in the 1970s, she has successfully developed a line of goods that have afforded her many of the finer things in life. And she uses part of her fortune for the good of others. In 2006, she donated $5 million to open the Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. The purpose of the Martha Stewart Center is to provide geriatric care, or, as Martha has cleverly rebranded it, "successful aging."

And aging isn't her only philanthropic interest. She has also supported a litany of organizations like the ASPCA, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others, that give back to society. One of her companies, Martha Stewart Kitchen, has also partnered with Feeding America, an organization dedicated to fighting hunger in the United States, with Stewart's organization focused on providing one million meals to Americans in need.

You can buy everything Martha Stewart online

If you're looking to stock your kitchen with everything Martha, you don't even need to leave the comfort of your own home. That's because Martha Stewart's new Amazon storefront is full of kitchen must-haves that you can easily order to be delivered to you. The World of Martha, as her new online storefront is known, sells everything from holiday décor and lighting to outerwear and bedding. We all know that she is a marketing genius, and her re-vamped online presence bears all the marks of a perfectly executed Martha Stewart creation.

The storefront features instructional cooking videos that provide direct links to products, so if you're at home watching Martha make her famous Old Fashioned Lemon Sugar Cookies and you want to bake just like Martha, you can simply scroll down to a section labeled "shop the tools" underneath the recipe that shows you everything you need to make the recipe and present it just like Martha.

She has a CBD company

Martha Stewart never misses a beat. CBD, a chemical derived from the hemp plant, has shown promise in recent studies for combating chronic conditions such as anxiety and sleep disorders. Stores and brands selling the compound in various forms — salves, ointments, pills, and gummies — have popped up all over the place, trying to get a share of the growing market. And Martha Stewart is no exception.

In partnership with Canopy Growth, a CBD and hemp company, Martha has developed a line of CBD products that aid in "health and wellness, especially when it comes to managing the stresses of daily life" (via marthastewart.com). According to Martha, one thing that sets her products apart from the rest is the flavor. While many CBD companies create gummies that are overly sugary and taste artificial, the flavors that Martha developed give a nod to the French confections, with subtle tastes that were inspired by her very own gardens. So if you're looking for a way to de-stress, Martha Stewart style, look no further.

Her reputation as a perfectionist precedes her

There's no way Martha Stewart could have risen to the top without an eye for detail. The celebrity chef and media mogul is a self-proclaimed perfectionist, and "she's proud of it;" In her words, she has proven that being a perfectionist "can be profitable and admirable when creating content across the board," and she's not wrong (via Tampa Bay Times). Many of Martha's crafts, like her ribbon poinsettia wreath, require attention to detail, making her the household name she is today. However, it hasn't happened without stepping on a few toes.

Her only daughter, Alexis, said that she grew up "with a glue gun pointed at [her] head" and that "if [she] didn't do something perfectly, [she] had to do it again" (via TODAY). As it happens, Alexis Stewart may not have been the only family member to experience personal difficulty with her mother's intense desire for perfection. For years, unsubstantiated rumors about the familial consequences of Stewart's perfectionism have swirled, with some speculating that Martha's meticulous nature led to a divorce from her former husband , Andy Stewart.

While it might be hard for some people around her to know that Martha likes everything just so, it's also undoubtedly fueled her career as one of the premiere media personalities in the country.

A meal with Martha is never casual

It may come as no surprise that there are no "casual" lunches with Martha Stewart; everything is a production. Martha has loved cooking and entertaining since her childhood, and the knack that she has for turning a meal into an experience is never put to waste. Her persona encourages all of us to elevate our daily experiences with a little something special, and she lives what she preaches.

According to a recent Instagram post of hers, for Martha, lunch between Martha Stuart and an old friend is anything but casual. The meal consisted of no less than four courses, including tomato soup, a garden salad with apples, and fettuccine with black diamond caviar, a delicacy to which Martha is no stranger. In fact, last year, a video went viral on Instagram and TikTok of Martha Stewart serving a kilo of caviar, making this once aspirational hors d'oeuvre a fit for the next generation of hosts and chefs.

She's published over 100 books

Since the publication of her first book, "Entertaining," which came out in 1982 and features chapters like "The Omelette Party" and "The Dinner Party" to regale guests with a five-star experience for any occasion, Martha Stewart has remained hard at work. She has published no less than 100 books during her decades-long career, and she is showing no signs of slowing down. Her books form the underpinning of her media empire and served as the springboard from which she launched her career to domestic stardom.

You can find a book by Martha Stewart that covers just about anything related to cooking and entertainment. Her book "Gardening" will take you through the year month-by-month to teach you how to best tend to your plants, while you can use "Quick Cook" to prepare meals that take an hour or less to make. Recent additions include a cookbook full of one-pot recipes and a guide on how to detox your body. Whatever your needs, Martha's got you covered.

The camera loves her

One of the keys to Martha Stewart's success is her ability to thrive across different types of media. While it started with books and magazines, Martha's foray into television gave her the platform that she needed to amass the following that she has today. Her first appearance was in advertisements to promote her line of products that were sold at Kmart. The series of how-to videos invited viewers into her Turkey Hill home in Connecticut, where they were shot, and the camera loved her.

Realizing that television could boost her presence, a few years later, in the early 1990s, she signed a deal to produce Martha Stewart Living, which would cross-promote her magazine of the same name. The show was a hit, and during its eleven years on the air, it won nine Daytime Emmy Awards. This led to "Martha," a talk show where she famously cultivated a public friendship with the rapper Snoop Dogg. And other television personalities noticed Martha's power in front of the camera. She has been a regular on talk shows like "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," "Late Night with Stephen Colbert," and even had her own spinoff of "The Apprentice."

She really does know how to cook

Though Martha Stewart is certainly no stranger to the decoration and fanfare around an intricately planned meal, she is still a chef who knows her way around the ingredients that make her meals what they are. In fact, her first big career move into the world of cooking and entertaining was when she started a small catering company, Uncatered Affair, in Westport, Connecticut, in 1976. She was already a seasoned cook, but she honed her recipes as a caterer, and after all, food is the center of her brand.

Martha Stewart's cooking tips for home chefs have been recommended for decades, and she even has a show on PBS, "Martha Stewart's Cooking School," that provides audiences with 30-minute deep dives on the basics of cooking and meal prep. And her knowledge of food is as broad as her media presence: Martha makes everything from cakes and pies to holiday roasts and macaroni and cheese. When it comes to the kitchen, Martha knows best.

She's got a green thumb

When she's not in the kitchen preparing a meal or setting up the dining room for a seasonal extravaganza, Martha Stewart can often be found in the garden. She might seem prim and proper, but she's not afraid to get her hands dirty. Her first major landscaping project was her famous home in Turkey Hill, where she moved in 1971. She planted perennials, orchards, and herbs to adorn her home, and her green thumb became an integral part of her brand.

Many episodes of her television show in the 1990s, Martha Stewart Living, feature her bopping around the garden at her home and giving tips and tricks to help viewers dig into their own yards. One of her most famous garden tricks is to paint the handles of your tools a bright color so that they don't get lost in the tumult of a yard project. Various garden tools are sold under the Martha Stewart brand, and many of them have distinct bright green handles. You could even be the owner of a Martha Stewart chainsaw.

She comes from humble beginnings

The second of six siblings raised in a single-family home in Nutley, New Jersey, Martha learned her homemaking skills early by doing chores around the house. She was raised in a close-knit Polish-American household by her father, a pharmaceutical salesman, and her mother, a schoolteacher. Her first experience working in the garden was when her dad handed her a screwdriver and showed her how to use it to dig a weed out of their cobblestone path. Her mother taught Martha the basics of sewing and cooking, and she learned baking from her neighbors, who were retired bakers.

After being admitted to Barnard College with a partial scholarship, Martha made ends meet by modeling for print and television advertisements and graduated with a dual degree in architectural history and history. Since her childhood, she has been self-sufficient, serious, and hardworking, traits that she continues to embody and that has helped her get where she is today.

Even when she was in prison, she got crafty

In the early 2000s, Martha Stewart was all over the tabloids. America's favorite homemaker was charged with four counts of obstruction of justice and lying to investigators after she was accused of insider trading and spent five months at Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia. And what did she do in the big house? For one, she signed up for a ceramics class, where she made, among other things, "the entire scene of the nativity," which she sent home to herself and still puts on display every year at Christmas (via Business Insider).

According to reports, Martha was losing weight because she was "trying to not eat the bad food," so she made jam out of the crab apples that grew on the prison grounds (via CNN Money). She even foraged for wild greens and dandelions and made recipes that she could execute in the microwave (via Fox News). By the end of her stay at the prison camp, her net worth had actually increased because of a surge in stock prices of her company, Martha Stewart Living, and she sold $8 million worth of shares. Everything Martha Stewart does is done the Martha Stewart way.