published Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Appearance at Chattanooga She expo among Martha Stewart’s latest projects


by Kelli Gauthier
Martha Stewart will be one the of big names at the SHE Expo.
Contributed Photo
Martha Stewart will be one the of big names at the SHE Expo. Contributed Photo
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Is there anything Martha Stewart doesn’t do well? Nope. Just ask her.

The 69-year-old home and garden do-it-yourselfer, business tycoon and entertainment icon has become synonymous with picture-perfect homemaking. She’s a best-selling author and Emmy Award-winning syndicated talk-show host. Her brand graces household products, magazines, books and websites.

After a five-month prison stay in 2004-05 for insider trading, she has rebuilt her entertainment empire in recent years.

Stewart recently completed a trip around the world, meeting with potential overseas business partners, and her new book, “Martha’s Entertaining,” is scheduled for release this fall.

She is the featured guest for a moderated question-and-answer session at She: An Expo for Women on July 17, which is sponsored by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

As she might say herself, “It’s a good thing.”

She recently spoke with the Times Free Press about her home, business and latest projects.

Q: Do people approach you on the street and ask you advice on how to do things like properly fold a fitted sheet and make mashed potatoes more airy?

A: They oftentimes have lots to say. Yesterday Patrick Dempsey was on the “Today” show and I was on the

“Today” show, and he had been on my show, and he asked me about gardening. He’d just bought a house in Malibu and wanted to ask me some advice about gardening. So that’s good. Many people ask me all the time very substantive questions about what’s of interest to them, what kind of challenges they’re experiencing in their home or garden or whatever. And I’m always very happy to help. They ask about a grocery store, they ask about a recipe, it’s that kind of dialogue.

Q: Is there an aspect of entertainment or home and garden work that you most enjoy?

A: I very much like gardening, I very much like cooking and baking. I very much like learning. I like everything I do; it’s all very interesting. I like writing, I love creating beautiful things. I’m lucky, I have a lot of interests. And now I’m now very interested in the development of babies, because I just got my first grandchild.

Q: Do you have a favorite recipe?

A: Oh, no. You know, I might have my favorite cookie, and I might have my favorite cupcake. But you have to categorize. I do have a favorite pasta recipe. It’s a bottarga ... with bread crumbs and parsley. It’s on our website.

Q: How did you become the home and garden expert you are today?

A: I’ve always been very interested in everything that has to do with in and around the home. We turned that interest into an omni-platform business.

Q: Does your house always look like the inside of a Martha Stewart Living magazine?

A: Um, yeah, pretty much. [Laughs.] Today, there’s no plant or flowers in the house because I’m going away for the weekend, so I didn’t keep them outside. But yeah, it’s still neat and pretty and picture-perfect. I can take pictures of all my animals and not have to remove things from the background that are unsightly. I have two dining rooms, but one of my dining room tables is piled with lots of stacks of papers, because I just got back from a big trip around the world. Every stack is a different city I visited. I just did the first day of Korea blog yesterday, so you have to look up the menus I brought home and make sure the names of the foods are spelled right, so it’s a working home.

Q: Why were you traveling around the world?

A: To go around the world and visit the big cities, some of which I’ve been to, and some of which I haven’t, and talk to potential business partners.

Q: What are some budget-friendly home and garden tips?

A: We’re very budget-conscious, so that lots of people can create delicious food, nutritious food, and still not break the bank. One of our four magazines that we publish is called Everyday Food. That goes to more than a million people every month. It’s a really great magazine of delicious, simple, nutritious, reasonably priced meals for your family. We also have a digital version of it that you can get on the Nook or the iPad. We have a television show attached to it. Lots of young people use it, lots of young marrieds.

Q: Do you still throw your own dinner parties? Do you feel pressure to live up to your reputation?

A: Well of course, I’m always throwing dinner parties and parties. And many times I blog them so that people can see what we’re doing. I don’t feel pressured to do it. I do it because I like doing it.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I have a big book coming out in November called “Martha’s Entertaining.” It’s my first entertaining book since my first book in 1982. And it’s a great book. It’s very informative and very beautifully photographed. It’s very inspirational. I think everybody is going to really love it. This fall our new season of “Martha,” the TV show, that’s won two Emmys for best show and best host. We have our 20th anniversary of Martha Stewart Living coming up with a special issue, which is incredible. We have our wonderful products that we continue to develop for Home Depot and for Macy’s, and for PetSmart and Michael’s, craft products.

about Kelli Gauthier...

Kelli Gauthier covers K-12 education in Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She started at the paper as an intern in 2006, crisscrossing the region writing feature stories from Pikeville, Tenn., to Lafayette, Ga. She also covered crime and courts before taking over the education beat in 2007. A native of Frederick, Md., Kelli came south to attend Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Before newspapers, ...

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billieburton123 said...

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July 10, 2011 at 2:15 a.m.
GChu11 said...

"After a five-month prison stay in 2004-05 for insider trading" is plagarized or contrived fiction by Kelli Gauthier. It's not truthful reporting of facts, it's a lie with no journalistic integrity, which, apparently, wasn't part of the curriculum at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale for the "bachelor's degree in print journalism."

Martha was involved in no "insider trading." There was no legal adjudication of "insider trading" in a court of law; and Kelli Gauthier is no court of law to pontificate "insider trading." The trumped-up legal basis of the charges had nothing to do with "insider trading" laws. Since she was never charged with "insider trading," it was impossible for her to do a "prison stay" for "insider trading." All of the trumped-up charges against her related to the time period AFTER Martha retained legal representation; and since she made no stock sale AFTER she retained legal representation, it follows logically she could never engage in "insider trading." Further, she was no "insider"; she had no illegal "insider information" under securities laws that have existed for almost 80 years and related legal cases.

In a McCarthy-style witch hunt, Martha was framed by prosecutorial misconduct with trumped-up charges, including the big-time bogus charge with 10 years prison and a $2 million fine that was thrown out in court as completely baseless. If she had competent legal representation, there would have been no "five-month prison stay" and no Martha Stewart case.

Martha made a legal sale of 3,928 shares of almost 8,000,000 ImClone stock traded. This personal stock sale almost a decade ago was nobody's business; she owed no one any explanation; and it is of no relevance to her Chattanooga SHE Expo appearance. Martha has triumphed over evil and moved on with her life in an extraordinary, inspiring fashion. The media need to move on likewise and cease beating a dead horse with lies.

The Martha Stewart case stands as a condemnation of the legal system and a blot on American democracy, mandating a presidential pardon from President Barack Obama.

July 10, 2011 at 11:24 a.m.
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