6 Ways Martha Stewart Is Staying Relevant
Martha Stewart is no millennial, but she knows more about drones than do most 20-year-olds in America.
The celebrated entrepreneur, who has served everything from pancakes to prison time in her years as America's domestic diva, has always found a way to remain relevant – and that's expected to continue even as the media empire she founded changes hands. Once valued at $1.8 billion, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia was just sold to Sequential Brands Group for $353 million. Revenue has been falling for more than a decade, with the company reporting annual losses every year except one (2007) since 2003. As non-executive chairman and chief creative officer, Stewart called the deal "a transformational merger," in a statement that promised a future of growth and expansion for the company.
While her brand struggles, Stewart's power is far from depleted. The business mogul has been making active efforts to maintain her relevance in an increasingly tech-savvy and connected world of lifestyle media.
Here are six smart, unique and occasionally bizarre ways Martha Stewart is trying to stay relevant in 2015.
1. Flying drones.
Since Stewart received her first drone as a birthday present two years ago, she has become a vocal supporter of the robots. Stewart uses drones primarily to take aerial photos of her farm, posting the photos on her blog. Sometimes, she says, she also gets some photos of Ralph Lauren's yard – but don't tell Ralph Lauren.
2. Working on her Twitter game.
At a time when many celebrities' Twitter accounts are clearly managed – or at least guided – by PR professionals, Stewart's tweets, riddled with misspellings and unappetizing food photos, are surprisingly genuine.
She takes photos with other celebrities:
Mr t met me at the Today Show he is promoting fuze an iced tea pic.twitter.com/pfeOMF7Xie— Martha Stewart (@MarthaStewart) June 9, 2015
Promotes her blog:
If you're a beekeeper or want to learn more about keeping honey bees, take a look at my blog today. http://t.co/PaKhJ8WIq0— Martha Stewart (@MarthaStewart) May 12, 2015
And, hangs out with animals:
You never know what you'll find in downtown katonah a singing pot bellied pig called Pinky! pic.twitter.com/CVEZNBtcCz— Martha Stewart (@MarthaStewart) November 28, 2014
3. Dabbling in 3-D printing.
Last November, Stewart announced in an essay for CNN that she loved 3-D printers and that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia planned to use the tech to prototype future product designs. According to Stewart, 3-D printers allow for the merging of time-honored, artisan crafts and new, cutting-edge technology. Soon after, MakerBot launched an exclusive partnership with the company, jointly developing and selling 3-D printed designs for coasters, napkin rings and place card holders.
4. Roasting Justin Bieber.
In March, Stewart joined a cast of characters including Shaquille O'Neal, Will Ferrell and Snoop Dogg to roast Justin Bieber in a special for Comedy Central. After ribbing Bieber and the other performers, she had a final piece of advice for the young pop star. She advised Bieber to find a girl who mixes fun and business, a "playa in the boardroom and a freak in the bedroom." In other words, she said, Justin should just call Stewart herself.
I wonder if Justin Bieber like roast beef or roast chicken or pot roast. I have to bring a roast to the roast don't I?— Martha Stewart (@MarthaStewart) March 6, 2015
5. Conducting a Reddit AMA.
With celebrities from President Barack Obama to Elon Musk participating in Reddit AMAs, it should come as no surprise that Stewart made herself a Reddit username for an AMA in February 2014. In addition to dishing out advice on food and hosting, Martha also decided to spill on a few offbeat topics.
Always take a bath before and after.
Do it DURING a bath. Kills two birds with one stone.
That's good too, and don't forget to brush your teeth.
There was nothing remarkable about the food at all.
And, on Snoop Dogg:
I wish I were closer friends with Snoop Dogg.
6. Applauding Kim Kardashian.
There is nothing more stereotypically millennial than having strong opinions about Kim Kardashian. Stewart came out as staunchly pro-Kardashian when she penned the reality star's bio for the TIME 100 list.
"Despite the flamboyance, the self-aggrandizement and the self-promotion (Kim set out to break the Internet by baring her bum in an extraordinary photograph), Kim comes across as an enviable big sister in a clan where everyone seems to love one another," wrote Stewart. Stewart may be skeptical of celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Blake Lively trying to get into the lifestyle media game, but Kardashian's uniquely 21st century approach to fame has her stamp of approval.