More than ten years ago, at the age of 24, I made the commitment to finally subscribe to Martha Stewart Living, a magazine I had been buying at the newsstand nearly every month since my first days in college. It was May, 2002, when I finally made the decision to subscribe and Martha was on the cusp of a truly difficult period in her life. I felt that my subscription might mean something, that it might show at least a modicum of support for a woman whose business and publications I had admired for years and who was going through so much unnecessary turmoil. So, I signed the cheque, sent in my subscription card and waited anxiously for my first addressed issue to arrive. When the June 2002 issue arrived in my mailbox, I was thrilled. I knew then that I would archive these magazines and invested in numerous magazine holders to prepare. (The image below shows only a quarter of my collection of Martha Stewart Living magazines.)
The day that issue arrived I felt like I was part of a bigger family of like-minded individuals who wanted and needed the same things that I did, who enjoyed the same activities and had an interest in learning. I felt like part of a community of readers and connected very strongly to the magazine's message - that household management could be an elevated form of duty, filled with creativity and enjoyment and information.
Over the last ten years, so much has happened in my relationship with the Martha Stewart brand that I can scarcely keep track of it all. I wrote voiciferously for SaveMartha.com during Martha's trial and subsequent incarceration, partnering with John Small (the site's founder) on ideas and strategies to keep Martha's good name alive. I subsequently subscribed to each of her new magazines (Everyday Food in 2004, Martha Stewart Kids in 2005, Blueprint in 2006) and watched her TV show regularly. When Martha was free, I started this blog with the hopes of broadening Martha's inspiring content through my own lens. I watched the premier of her new show and the year after that found myself in the third row in the studio audience, meeting Martha for the first time the day after at the Good Things event at the Manhattan piers. Four years later, I was a guest on the show, chatting with the woman who had created something I so admired and who had unwittingly shared such a wealth of knowledge and inspiration in my life. This was a dream come true.
I am reflecting on all of this today because I received a wonderful surprise in the mail this afternoon: a free one-year subscription to Martha Stewart Living with the renewal of my current subscription and a free Martha Stewart calendar. Special perks, it would seem, for someone who has subscribed to the magazine for ten years without interruption. I can't believe it's been ten years! Here's to another ten! Thank you, Martha.