Meet the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Award Winners

Click here to see all of the 2014 Award Winners and all of the American Made alumni, those who inspire us with their beautiful goods, quality craftsmanship, and innovative ideas. These creative entrepreneurs turned their passion into a thriving business. Read their stories, learn about their process, and find some inspiration of your own.
Also, on November 7 and 8, you can meet many of these creators in person at the American Made event in New York City. Martha Stewart and the team at Martha Stewart Living will welcome you to a can’t-miss networking event and maker lecture series at the MSLO headquarters in Manhattan, where you will be treated to insightful talks about entrepreneurship and craftsmanship, an American Made market, craft stations where you can work with Martha Stewart's craft experts, breakfast and lunch provided by hand-picked artisinal purveyors and a cocktail bash at the end of the two-day summit. The event will not only spotlight American makers but will also share a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creative laboratory of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Space is limited, so act quickly and get your tickets today!


Meredith Corp. to Handle Ads, Circulation & Production of Martha's Magazines

Readers of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines may not notice the changes once they become effective next month, but there has been a significant internal restructuring at the company that will outsource the handling of the magazines' ad sales, circulation and production, while the in-house editorial team will focus exclusively on content creation.

The new partner handling sales, circulation and production of Martha's magazines is Meredith Corporation, which is a leading media marketing company dedicated to leveraging media platforms that serve American women. Meredith currently handles magazines such as Family Circle, Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home and Everyday with Rachel Ray. 

Under the terms of this transformative, multi-year agreement, the Martha Stewart Living editorial team will continue to create all content for print and digital properties.  Meredith will also assume responsibility for the sales and marketing of the www.marthastewart.com and www.marthastewartweddings.com websites and MSLO's related digital assets, including its vast video library. MSLO will retain control over the brand's social media channels.

The agreement, which applies to the United States and Canada, is effective November 1, 2014. Meredith will begin delivering editions starting with the February 2015 issue of Martha Stewart Living and the Winter 2014 special issue of Martha Stewart's Real Weddings.

"We are very excited to partner with a great company like Meredith, which has an excellent track record in advertising sales, operations and production of a library of some of our country's most popular magazines.  Our editorial team can focus entirely on what we do best: the creation of inspirational, original, practical, useful, and trusted content for our superb publications and digital properties - content that continually enhances and improves consumers' lives," said Founder and Non-Executive Chairman, Martha Stewart.

For readers who may be worried about a drastic changes to the magazine's look and feel, fear not! A spokesperson for Meredith noted that "the change will be invisible to the consumer, and strengthen the Martha Stewart brand in the advertising marketplace."

I'm actually quite happy with this news. What I'm hoping it means is that we'll see thicker issues with more content, supported by an increase in ad sales. I'm also glad that the magazine's future now seems more assured than ever. The editorial experts can focus on what they do best while the business aspects are handled by a company with proven success across a multitude of media platforms. This will likely mean layoffs at MSLO, however, as it restructures its business, but I'm confident that this new, ten-year plan will only help the magazine grow and develop in the future. 


Book of the Month: "Collected: Living With the Things You Love"

Most of us - if not all of us - remember Fritz Karch, the fantastic, wizzard-like Collecting editor at Martha Stewart Living, who dressed almost exclusively in vintage plaid suits. Fritz has not been with MSLO for a few years, but I was so happy to learn that he has written a new book about his favourite subject: Collecting! He partnered with another MSL alum, Rebecca Robertson, the former Home editor at the magazine, who helped Fritz edit and style the subject matter. Their new book, "Collected: Living With the Things You Love" serves as a guide to collectors, helping them bring their treasures out of storage and into the rooms they live in so that their collections can be enjoyed every day.
The book teaches readers the basic principles of the hunt while exploring the thoughtful and inventive ways people display their various collections, from the accessible and affordable to the aspirational and extreme. The featured collections range from dice to cafĂ© au lait bowls to 19th-century-French sewing tools to sand from world travels—illustrating collections as expressions of personal style. It is divided into 16 chapters by collector type (The Modest, The Minimalist, The Exceptionalist, The Maximalist, etc.) and presents rooms filled with peculiar, elegant and awe-inspiring collections from around the world that suit the specific type of collector. Make sure to add this volume to your book collection!


Free Spice-Jar Label Clip-Art

My favourite article in the October issue of Martha Stewart Living is "Secrets of a Hardworking Kitchen" on page 94. It is filled to the brim with ideas, tips, strategies and solutions to keeping your kitchen running like a well-oiled machine - while still looking welcoming and attractive. Careful readers may have noticed a small link to some free clip-art for spice-jar labels. Click here to download the PDF. Simply print them on adhesive paper, cut out the labels and affix them to the spice jars. There are 56 spices listed! Below is a sample.


The November Issue

Well, I haven't received my issue in the mail yet, but the cover of the November issue of Martha Stewart Living has been revealed on the iPad. The pie slices look beyond tempting and I'm excited to hear about these 'NEW' Thanksgiving traditions and see the gorgeous flower arrangements and table settings the cover promises! On sale next week!

Sedums: Autumn Joy

On a recent stay at my parents' home I was drawn to the vibrant sedums growing throughout their garden borders. Sedum, a genus of about 600 species of succulent plants, is generally perennial, found in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They store water in their thick, fleshy leaves and grow to various heights with various types and colour of flowers borne in terminal clusters on the stem; they can be yellow, blue, pink, or red. Sedums grow well in full sunlight and sandy soil and are most often cultivated in rock gardens or as border plants. Most species are low and creeping; some, however, grow upright. I love how they look in the late-season garden, providing stunning swaths of colour in borders that are generally on the decline.
The species my parents have planted is called 'Autumn Joy' - one of the most popular sedums grown in the Northeast regions of North America. It is a Herbaceous perennial with a height and spread of approximately two feet, creating great mounds of texture and colour in the autumn landscape. The rusty-red shade of the flower clusters looks especially festive this time of year.
Sedums are uncommonly fresh and healthy all season long. Even out of bloom, the succulent foliage is luscious and vibrant. Foliage is dense and succulent, meaning the leaves are thickened and fleshy to retain water, so the plant is very drought tolerant and the high water content gives Sedum its’ always-healthy look.

They prefer full sun and a well drained soil as Sedum is susceptible to fungal disease in wet or humid summers. When grown in overly fertile soil the plant may not be as strong and tend to flop over. 
This perennial is very easy to grow and care-for. Sedums are a favorite plant of butterflies and bees, making them a very beneficial addition to the late-season garden.
The leaves are generally a smoky blue in summer, as shown above, and tend to darken in the fall. This is the sedum shown in early June. The flower clusters had not yet formed but the foliage was still thick and luxuriant.


Martha Stewart American Made 2014 Summit Lineup

This fall, crafters, makers and creative small business owners will gather at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's headquarters in New York City for the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Summit, a lecture and interview series planned and hosted by Martha herself. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's third annual American Made Summit will take place November 7-8, with sponsors including Hyatt House, Intuit QuickBooks, The UPS Store and Toyota.

Over the course of two days guests will learn from Martha and interact with some of the nation's most influential innovators and creative entrepreneurs. The 2014 American Made Summit (Early Access tickets: $495.00, Regular Price: $695.00) kicks off on November 7 with the ultimate maker meet up event at Martha Stewart Living headquarters where guests will be able to meet Martha, the editors of Martha Stewart Living magazine and the ten 2014 American Made Award winners; shop a handpicked and curated assortment of products from the Martha Stewart American Made Market; and network with successful small business owners from across America who are reinvigorating cities, towns and the American economy.
The Summit continues on November 8 with a full day of panels and exclusive sessions. The list of panels and speakers for the 2014 American Made Summit is as follows:
Part 1: The New American Dream: Stories that Inspire
  • The Building of a Brand — from Dream to Reality
Martha Stewart, Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder, Creative Director and CEO of Alex and Ani, Kate Richard, Senior Operations Manager, Alex and Ani and Beecher Fritzmeier, Vice President of Design, Alex and Ani
  • The New American Dream: Meet the Makers – Sponsored by Toyota Corolla
Sonja Rasula, Founder and Creative Director of Unique USA
  • Tell Me a Story – Sponsored by Hyatt House
Rachel Schectman, founder of Story
Part 2: Finance Your Dream and Build a Following
  • Show Me the Money: How to finance your business in today's market – Sponsored by Inuit QuickBooks
Jason Pollock, Filmmaker & Entrepreneur, Alejo Velez Ramirez and Nikhil Arora, Co-founders, Back to the Roots. Moderated by Lisa Carnoy, Managing Director, Division Executive, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
  • Dreaming Big: Crafting a Beloved Brand in America
Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani
Part 3: Ask the Experts
  • Social Chatter: The role of social media in building brands today
Gina Bianchini, CEO and Founder of Mighty Bell, Co-Founder and Former CEO of Ning, Teddy Goff, Co-Founder, Precision Strategies. Moderated by Inbar Barak, SVP Digital Programming and Strategy, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
  • Ask the Experts — Sponsored by The UPS Store
Martha Stewart, Barbara Corcoran, Founder of Corcoran Group and Investor Shark on ABC's Emmy winning reality show Shark Tank, Tim Davis, President of The UPS Store, David Bobbitt, Executive Director of the SCORE Foundation. Moderated by Charlotte Beers, speaker, author and past CEO Ogilvy
Special activations throughout the day will include:
  • An opportunity to win a VIP lunch with Martha Stewart
  • Products available to shop from the Martha Stewart American Made Market
  • DIY crafts taught by Martha Stewart Living editors
  • Food sampling and demonstrations
  • Vignette displays from each of the 10 Martha Stewart American Made winners
  • Breakfast and lunch provided by hand-picked artisanal purveyors
  • Closing cocktail party Sponsored by Hyatt House
About the Martha Stewart American Made Initiative:

Martha Stewart American Made is a nationally recognized awards program that celebrates stars of the growing maker culture who have turned their passions for handcrafted, well-designed goods into successful small businesses and proudly make their products in America. The 2014 American Made competition honors these creative entrepreneurs across the food, crafts, style and design categories, and awards a cash prize of $10,000 to each of the 10 winners, a trip for two to New York City to attend the American Made Summit, a spot in our Martha Stewart American Made Market, and the opportunity to be featured on MarthaStewart.com and in Martha Stewart Living, as well as marketing and public relations support to help move their businesses forward.

A panel of judges led by Martha and made up of members of the Martha Stewart Living executive editorial team will select nine grand prize winners; additionally, one grand prize winner will be chosen by popular vote. All winners will be announced on October 17.