An open letter to Martha Stewart
Our relationship just got really complicated, and I’m super sad about it. I have always held a special place in my life for you. When you came out of prison, I was right there waiting and believing you would bounce back. I bought the book you wrote while inside, The Martha Rules,and I cheered you on. When I was in college at Rhode Island School of Design, my friends called me Mary Martha. (Mary because I was a virgin, and Martha because everything I did screamed Martha Stewart.) When you came to speak to our student body, because you recruit heavily from our graduates, I was in the second row hanging on every word. I was even one of the crazy girls who tried to sneak out the back door to meet you in the alley where your car was waiting, but I was too late. A friend of mine even gave me a necklace with your picture on it, which I wore with pride. When I would see interviews or shows where you were live, I would dismiss your somewhat elitist attitude and just think, “She’s really nice at heart, I’m sure.”
But here’s the thing, Martha you have officially gone too far for me to call myself a devoted fan any longer. Your comments in an interview with Bloomberg TV last week were just too much for me to overlook. Let me quote you:
Okay, so I get why you’re cranky. The landscape of creative ideas and the delivery of those ideas are changing drastically, and your company is suffering. I readthat last year Martha Stewart Omnimedia lost a substantial amount of revenue and had to lay off 10 percent of its employees. That stinks. I can’t say I wouldn’t be a little grumpy, too. Maybe you blame bloggers for taking a slice of your marketplace, and you decided to air that opinion in that interview.
And lastly, Martha, bloggers may not be experts, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t relevant and valid. I realized a little while ago that even though I have a fancy design school diploma, it doesn’t make me a better “maker,” “designer,” or “artist” than someone else. All of our work speaks for itself. I am grateful for my education, but it doesn’t mean I’m more talented than someone who didn’t go to art school or even college, and it took me some time to get off my high horse and realize that. It looks like you’re still not there. I know now that it’s the work that matters, and because of the opportunities the Internet provides, we get to see creative people from all corners of the world who might have never had the chance to share their talents with others. It’s an incredible thing to see, and quite frankly it’s more impressive than a professional putting together predetermined crafts and recipes on a sound stage in a studio.