Martha Stewart spoke to Boston’s business leaders on Wednesday at the first event of the year for the Boston College Chief Executives Club, which has been inviting CEO speakers from around the world to share their stories with fellow industry leaders since 1992.
The famous homemaker and founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia discussed her life and career with host Carol Meyrowitz, executive chairman of the TJX Companies and member of the BC Chief Executives Club Board of Governors.
Throughout the 45-minute interview, Stewart and Meyrowitz touched on the variety of roles and occupations Stewart has taken on throughout her five-decade long career.
After babysitting the children of baseball legends Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra in high school, Stewart went on to become a stockbroker, model, and an author of 92 books to date, to name just a few of her endeavors.
“You are involved in everything, how do you keep that innovation going?” Meyrowitz asked Stewart.
“I’m curious about many, many things,” she replied.
Unlike a typical interview with a high-profile executive, Stewart kept the conversation lighthearted and humorous. She told the audience stories about traveling with her grandchildren, using 30-year-old Kmart towels at her summer home in Maine, and inviting Snoop Dogg, her co-host on VH1’s Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, over for lunch last summer.
Stewart even talked about her time at what she calls “Camp Cupcake”—the nickname for the minimum security federal prison where she served a five-month term back in 2004 and 2005.
“It was totally against the rules, but there were crabapples on the tree, and I made jelly,” she said. “I got sugar from the dining room, and, you know, made crabapple jelly on the hot plate. That was fun. I think they took it away from me.”
At this stage of her career, Stewart has been focusing on philanthropy. The 77-year-old entrepreneur and lifestyle guru founded the Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai Hospital, an outpatient ward for elderly patients, in 2008, and she has also donated to the Maine Post Heritage Trust and Acadia National Park.
“There is so much to do in a life, and I don’t feel like I’m anywhere finished,” Stewart said.
In recent efforts to advance her brand, Stewart has entered a partnership with Marley Spoon Box, a European boxed food delivery service, and plans to write her autobiography as her 100th book. She half-jokingly noted that she wants to star in a movie before her career is over, hopefully beside Brad Pitt.
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