“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” …one of my all-time favorite lines from one of my all-time favorite movies, Auntie Mame. No matter how many times I’ve watched this film since first seeing it as a child––it never gets tired. It so struck a chord with me that A) I wanted to be Auntie Mame when I grew up, and B) I wanted to have an Auntie Mame—a feisty and fabulous fairy godmother-like mentor who lived life to the fullest and took the people she cared about on the ride of their lives. Mame Dennis, gloriously portrayed by Rosalind Russell, was one of my first role models, and still is! The spirit of this character is as timeless and relevant as it’s always been.
Fast forward to this morning, and me reading about Martha Stewart becoming one of the cover models for Sports Illustrated’s current swimsuit Issue at age 81...and seeing the photos of this cultural icon, she looks AMAZING!!! Auntie Mame-ish in her lifestyle choices…love her, hate her, you’ve got to hand it to her, Martha knows how to live life to the fullest, and is the unequivocal master of staying relevant.
“My motto has always been: ‘when you’re through changing, you’re through’, so I thought, why not be up for this opportunity of a lifetime?––Martha Stewart
“Part of Martha’s charm,” writes Brooke Lynch in her article, How Martha Stewart Maintains her Brand After 40 Years in the Spotlight, is her ability to stay relevant and in the know after all of these years. She is known now, not just for her home decorating and gardening abilities, but her ability to reinvent herself, try new things, and engage with audiences young and old alike.”
“What explains the unending appeal of Martha Stewart? How is it that no matter what decade we’re in, she still feels relevant? That’s Stewart’s greatest skill: An uncanny ability to do the opposite of what’s expected—just before everyone else does it. It’s also a framework anyone can use.” I mean, come on, Martha and Snoop Dog…need I say more?
In her guest post for Not Boring, Martha Stewart's Reign of Relevancy, Ali Montag goes on to say, “Martha Stewart has, over the course of a 50-year career, with mystically perfect timing, refashioned herself from Wall Street stockbroker to Connecticut catering chef, from the U.S.’s first self-made woman billionaire to a yoga-teaching inmate in federal prison, from a scandal-tainted villain to renewed brand icon, and from the picture of propriety to Instagram’s latest thirst trap."
There really is a lot we all can learn about staying relevant from Martha, as individuals, brands, and businesses. From the first time, I felt compelled to purchase a set of carousel animal cookie cutters I saw on a magical cover of Martha Stewart Living in the 90’s—I had to have them, and I don’t bake—to her mastery of self-mockery, her fearlessness, insatiable curiosity and passion for life, whether serving time or Thanksgiving dinner, Martha Stewart knows a banquet when she sees one, and will never starve!!!