Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Working at one of the business maven's publications means access to a rooftop retreat and homemade zucchini bread.

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  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    The MSLO floor houses several professional kitchens, including one for Living (the largest), a second for Everyday Food, pictured, and another dedicated exclusively to pastry. Several of the current food editors trained as line cooks or pastry chefs at pedigreed restaurants such as Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin and Tom Colicchio's Craftsteak.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Along one wall of the Living kitchen is a gleaming Wolf gas range and two ovens, plus a smattering of utensils, food processors and All-Clad stainless steel pots and pans.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Inside the sun-drenched pastry kitchen, model wedding cakes sit atop glass-front cupboards that store sugar decorations and baking supplies.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Everyday Food associate food editor Khalil Hymore separates eggs while trying out a new recipe for the magazine. "This is the last egg, so we'll have to make the shot count!" he jokes.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Gael Towey is the company's chief creative and editorial director. Because she oversees the design and creative teams for MSLO's apps and publications (both print and digital editions), it's common to find her office covered in wall-to-wall storyboards and layouts.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

     "I've always been interested in eating healthily, but [since I started working here] I find myself going to the outdoor market more and making recipes from the magazine," says Living associate editor Abbi Libers. "[It's a great perk when] Martha brings in produce like eggs and asparagus from her farm."

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    "If I have an idea for something the company should do, [they're open to it]," says Weddings editorial assistant Erin Furey. "A couple years ago, I wanted to make a community blanket, and I ended up doing TV and radio segments [about the project] with a coworker," she says.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Most MSLO magazine staffers sit in open rows of long white desks, which are outfitted with sleek silver-and-white chairs. "[The office culture is] very collaborative," notes Meesha Haddad, executive managing editor at Living. "It's not [as much about] e-mailing and phone calls. People will pull inspiration boards and palettes, and we get together, stand around the objects and talk it over."

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    A 19-year vet of the company, Darcy Miller started as an assistant and is now the editorial director of Weddings. "I did everything---from ordering sodas to getting clothes for Martha for the Today show," she recalls. Over time, she's grown particularly close to Stewart, who even set Miller up with her husband, Andy.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Miller poses in front of her inspiration wall, which displays a smattering of invitations, vintage wedding photos, her own illustrations and images of iconic brides, including Jacqueline Kennedy and the newly minted Duchess of Wales.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    For Whole Living research editor Paul Hertel, finding a state of well-being extends beyond the articles he reviews; he's also a reiki master with about nine years' experience in alternative healing. Hertel even leads an in-house meditation circle, which has grown into a weekly activity for whomever wants to join.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Australia native Anna Last took over the chief editor position at Everyday Food in 2009. Since then, her main challenge has been churning out multiplatform content: "When we [released] the app, it was really cool because the interactivity that we discovered really informed some of the stories," she says. "For example, we did a sandwich-to-salad story and actually showed the sandwiches stacking [ingredient by ingredient]."

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Living's editorial director of collecting Fritz Karch stocks his office with antiques from across the country, but many of his finds, including the red-and-white wooden trunk pictured, were purchased at a flea market on 25th Street. "When I saw it, I thought, 'Is this show-folk? Is this a clown?' It's just a silly old trunk, but the way somebody painted it, I was like, I love this," he says. On top of the trunk are stacks of Chinese celadon plates, 1970s Massimo Vignelli plastic stackable dinnerware and a stencil kit, which was gifted to him.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Next to a wall display of lace snippets and a bookshelf filled with back issues, Karch displays a late-19th-century cast-iron coat rack with arms for jackets and hats, plus slots for umbrellas at the bottom.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Decorative faux plants, occasionally used in photo shoots, are stashed in a sunny hallway.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Kevin Sharkey, the executive editorial director of decorating, began working at MLSO as an assistant in the style department 16 years ago. "I was sweeping floors, packing boxes... To this day, I still know the Martha Stewart FedEx number." Sharkey believes in paying his good fortune forward, making every effort to provide interns with a positive experience: "Everybody is happy when intern season starts because you see all that enthusiasm and curiosity. That's like white blood cells around here; it keeps us all alive. If interns are going to the trouble to get in here, then everything that has been shared with me, I'm obliged to share with them."

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

     "[My obsession with books] started with research. Whatever we do here, we do research on, so my books just kept growing," says Sharkey. "I can tell you a book by the color of the spine. It's definitely not a bibliophile's way of doing it, but it's my method."

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    In addition to his rainbow of tomes, Sharkey considers two things essential to his office: a steady supply of candy---as evidenced by the massive glass jar of Jelly Belly beans on his desk---and fresh flowers, which he swaps out according to the season. One thing you won't find: a computer. Though Sharkey relies on a Blackberry for e-mail and digital needs, he greatly prefers face-to-face interaction: "I'm very much 'Where are you? What are you doing? Come over, I have a question.'---or I'll go to you," he says. "I will use any excuse to get up and walk around."

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    When asked about unexpected perks, several employees mention MSLO's exclusive roof deck on the Starrett-Lehigh building's tenth floor: "It's open to the employees, so you can go up and have lunch there or take a quick break," says Jenn Andrlik, an online editor for marthastewart.com. "[On] the Fourth of July, it's the best view in Manhattan."

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    In addition to providing space for parties and alfresco lunches, the roof deck is the site of several of the gardening staff's projects. Tony Bielaczyc, the deputy editor of gardening at Living, filled these rectangular planters with several varieties of flowers, including Juniperus horizontalis (juniper) and Salvia nemorosa (May Night)..

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

The MSLO floor houses several professional kitchens, including one for Living (the largest), a second for Everyday Food, pictured, and another dedicated exclusively to pastry. Several of the current food editors trained as line cooks or pastry chefs at pedigreed restaurants such as Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin and Tom Colicchio's Craftsteak.

Over 30-plus years, Martha Stewart has built an empire that includes publications, cooking products and lifestyle wares—and she's earned such titles as the Queen of Domestic Perfection. Stewart's employees, however, will tell you that she's very down-to-earth and that her aim isn't necessarily achieving flawless results; it's about teaching people how to do things for themselves. This continual drive to learn informs every aspect of MSLO, from repeat recipe tests to after-hours knitting workshops. While it's true that the flaxen-haired business maven has high standards, her four magazines emphasize teaching readers how to better their lives through creative, hands-on pursuits. "I don't know if it's about attaining perfection, though it does come across like that," says Anna Last, editor-in-chief of Everyday Food. "I think it's just about doing [a project] the best way it can be done." This continual drive to learn and improve informs every aspect of MSLO, from repeat recipe tests to after-hours seminars on topics like flower arranging and knitting. "We always see people walking around with plates of food or craft projects," says Whole Living editor-in-chief Alanna Stang. "There's a genuine respect for creativity here, and I think that's very inspiring."

Much of that inspiration comes directly from Stewart herself, who may not be in the office daily, but is frequently present to inspect story walls, meet with the staff and drop off homemade goodies such as zucchini bread. "Like everyone who has anything to do with her, she has taught me something," says Kevin Sharkey, executive editorial director of decorating for Martha Stewart Living. "I feel like I'm at [an Ivy League] Ph.D. program every day."

Wanna work here?
MSLO hiring managers look for people with genuine passion, whether it's for crafting, cooking or some other DIY endeavor. They also favor those with marked dedication and a true appreciation for what Stewart has built. Many staffers are open to scheduling informational interviews with fellow Martha lovers—if the person can clearly articulate why he or she is such a die-hard fan: "We once [met with] a man from Ghana who came to this country to study fashion design," shares Sharkey. "He sent me a lovely handwritten letter, and it spoke volumes." The company also hires interns in all departments, from food and decorating to merchandising and public relations. In the fall (September--December) and spring (January--May), the number hovers between 15 and 20, while in the summer (June--August) it rises to 50 or 60. Applicants can submit their materials via the Careers page on marthastewart.com.

Users say

2 comments
Patty
Patty

Working at MSLO would surely be a wonderful opportunity. However, after reading her blog today I think the dream job would be to be one of her beautiful horses and on my way to Skylands.