- “Keep content at your core and don’t fear change” says lifestyle media mogul Martha Stewart
America’s popular lifestyle expert Martha Stewart built a billion-dollar empire on the idea that homekeeping is an art form and that people wanted to learn how to do it.
As she grew her business, she kept this content at its core and always welcomed change.
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“Homekeeping is not housekeeping. It’s not a chore; it’s an art form. Homes can change, season-to-season, year-to-year. But keeping it vital to your interpretation of what a home should be is something we should all pay attention to…And what I like to do is take an idea and give you the best information on how to do it,” she said.
The award-winning television host, entrepreneur, and bestselling author spoke to over 500 business leaders, executives, government officials, and entrepreneurs on the fifth leg of ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) Leadership Series at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, where she revealed how she grew her brand by sharing her expertise on homekeeping—everything from cooking, to entertaining, crafting, gardening, and even pets.
A former stockbroker, Martha left her New York City job to start a catering business in the suburbs of Connecticut in the US. It was her experience as a successful caterer that led her to write the first of her bestselling books, creating a name for herself, and establishing her brand as the authority on all things home and living.
According to her, she realized that there was a need to “elevate” homekeeping into an art form and people wanted to learn how to do it, so she built on that idea.
“An entrepreneur should fill a void. What doesn’t exist that you love? Need and want and void—think of those three words all the time because they’re very important,” said Martha. “[Lifestyle] is such a vast subject. It’s limitless. And very appealing. I knew I needed it. And if I need it, then so do all my friends. And so do all the people I know and meet. That’s why I was successful. It was a big enough idea to make a good business out of it,” she said.
The company she built, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, is now a multimedia lifestyle brand with a strong digital and social media presence, and hundreds of products distributed by major retailers around the world. But content—her expertise on all things home and living—remains at the core of her company today. She likened her business model to a solar system, where content is the sun and the other businesses are layers built around it.
Finally, she reminded her audience, who included ABS-CBN chairman Mark Lopez, ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak, and ABS-CBN Integrated Current Affairs head Ging Reyes, along with Sen. Grace Poe, Manila mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso, various business owners, and socialites, to always welcome change.
“When you’re through changing, you’re through. Change is good, don’t be afraid of it, and learn something new every day. Be flexible. Be curious. I get inspired every single day. And I try to learn something new everyday,” she said.
Martha Stewart is the fifth international speaker brought to the Philippines by ANC, the country’s premier 24/7 all-English cable news channel, in the past three years after Virgin group founder Richard Branson, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Mandalay Entertainment Group chairman and CEO and executive chairman of the Golden State Warriors Peter Guber, and venture capitalist Kevin O’ Leary. The event was moderated by award-winning ANC news anchor Karen Davila.
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