Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Alt Summit Recap Part 3: Martha Stewart is a Beech

Photo by Lisa Anderson Shaffer
I wish I could say that when I learned Martha Stewart was speaking at Alt Summit this summer I had an amazing moment of excitement and reflection but alas, no. To be honest I found out in the middle of juggling a busy day at work, a vomiting dog and a screaming 3 and a half year old. Such is the endless glamor of my life. I barely had time to think about it other than, holy crap, I'm speaking at the same conference as Martha freaking Stewart, I wonder what her hair smells like.

As the conference neared I began to get pretty excited. Martha has been an icon of mine for a long time now. She is an incredible business woman and in her own way made creativity something to build a serious business around. I think those of us taking part in the maker and small scale manufacturing movement should indeed give a nod to the woman who 84 published books later, started an empire from a secret kitchen in her basement.

In preparation for Martha Day, the best I could muster was to order a set of Tattly temporary tattoos for myself and gal pal Sarah Deragon so we could show our Martha pride. When I went as so far to think about a question I might ask her, I couldn't even narrow it down. I wanted to hear it all. Every little thing.

Photo by Justin Hackworth
Let me say first that Martha doesn't disappoint. She is seasoned in every way and clearly has some serious media training. While answering Gabbie's questions she panned the audience and it was like she was having a private conversation with each and every one of us there. Martha exudes a confidence and self assurance that I imagine can only come with age. It is not a brash or arrogant confidence, but a very comfortable and warm one. She is who she is and is totally unapologetic for her successes, failures, beauty, and humor. It is both relaxing, reassuring, and contagious. I will call upon that feeling in moments when I feel other than myself.

I took some notes and compiled them below as best I could. They are the funny, inspiring, and mind melting bits and pieces that I took away from the experience. I think Martha's essence, and the experience for all of us that day was captured brilliantly by photographer Justin Hackworth. These images give me chills and I decided to include the more private images of the day with my quotes below.

Photo by Justin Hackworth
"I was the beech tree, not the bitch tree. That's the beech tree."

"Media leads and merchandising follows."

"Careers evolve, leave room for that."

"Everyday is a kind of turning point."

Photo by Justin Hackworth

"I have zero privacy, I've learned to love it."

"Entrepreneurs work 7 days a week."

"Rely on your mothers, we are not so stupid!"

"I don't like going to cocktail parties."

Thanks Martha




  1. Love this post. You described her so eloquently and perfectly! It was a joy to hear her speak - she's truly an inspiration in every sense of the word.

    1. Thanks Jess. I will remember that day fondly as well. So much to learn from her and how lucky we were!

  2. That's BEECH, not BITCH! #marthaforever

  3. "Media leads and merchandising follows" is making me rethink a million things.

    1. Don't even get me started on that one Emily. It made my brain melt. From one product based business lady to another, "holy crap we are doing it wrong!"