As far as mentors go, Martha Stewart’s approach may be less “tough love” than it is bloodthirsty rage.
The notoriously prickly multimedia empress cast a dubious eye on a fellow entrepreneur seeking to follow in her footsteps. Case in point: Her response to the fact that actress Blake Lively is attempting to transition from entertainment to business through the launch of her own lifestyle company, Preserve? “Let her try."
“I mean, it's stupid, she could be an actress! Why would you want to be me if you could be an actress?” Stewart told The Huffington Post.
So much for extending a helpful hand.
What makes the comments particularly cutting is the fact that Lively expressly named Stewart as her “idol” in a Vogue cover story announcing Preserve, a website and e-tailer championing homespun and handcrafted fashions, foods and curios.
“She’s one of those people who connect people with each other,” Lively said of Stewart. “She’s there for you.”
While Stewart is not the first to criticize Preserve -- which has been mocked for being self-aggrandizing, oddly-designed and economically out of touch -- her response illuminates a telling lesson learned by many business makers on the path to starting up: that our biggest heroes can often turn out to be our cruelest detractors.