Martha Stewart successfully transformed her interests in cooking, home decorating, gardening, and entertaining into a multimillion dollar business. By marketing herself, she established herself as an enormously lucrative domestic arts brand name and created a profitable domestic lifestyle industry.
In 1963, Martha Stewart graduated from Barnard College in New York City with a degree in European and architectural history. From 1965 to 1973, she worked for the brokerage firm, Monness, Williams, and Sidel. In 1976, Stewart started her own catering business, and by 1986, her business had grown into Martha Stewart, Inc., a million-dollar enterprise. In 1982, she published her first lifestyle book, Entertaining. The success of the book, which sold more than 625,000 copies, transformed her company into an enormously popular domestic style brand.
Throughout the 1980’s, the Martha Stewart name became synonymous with a particular vision of home style.
In 1999, Stewart took her company public on the New York Stock Exchange. By then known as Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the company saw its stock price double on its first day of trading. The initial public offering sold for $129.6 million, and as the stock’s value rose, it made Stewart a billionaire on paper.
In 2004, Stewart was involved in an insider-trading scandal.
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