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My Day with Martha Stewart

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My Day with Martha Stewart By Krista Balsom

Thanks to the Fort McMurray Public Library and their Northern Insights Speaker Series, I was lucky enough to get to spend some time with the infamous Martha Stewart back in December. I couldn’t help sharing a little of that day with all of you because she is someone whose brand and life have always been something I’ve been a little in love with!

MARTHA HAS ALWAYS been someone I’ve admired and I was a little nervous. Years of pre-thought of conceptions of what she would be like in person had me a little wary of the experience. What surprised me most about Martha, or didn’t surprise me at all, hard to say, was just how human and very down-to-earth she was. Through my career I’ve been fortunate to meet all different kinds of celebrities and she struck me as someone who enjoys teaching, never thinks a question is silly and truly enjoys participation and interaction with her fans.

She hosted a crafting session with 50 lucky women (and a few men too) and throughout she told us her first experiences in Fort McMurray. She arrived without boots not realizing how cold it would be and then asked to be taken to a nearby shopping centre where she could buy some authentic Canadian boots. She ended up at the Peter Pond Shopping Centre and left with some hand-made Mukluks for not just herself, but her granddaughter Jude as well.

Here are a few pictures of Martha teaching the craft (a beautiful, very simple wreath) and of her throughout her time at MacDonald Island Park. Fort McMurray is very lucky to have a public library that focuses not just on the books themselves, but the people behind them and bringing world-class speakers to our region for all to enjoy - myself included!

My Evening with Martha BY Carolyn Goolsby

For me, Martha – as a concept – was intimidating. She makes things that I can’t do look easy. She does things that I don’t have the time to do, but feel like I should. And she seems completely perfect, like everything is easy for her, and she thinks I’m somehow inadequate because not everything is easy for me.

I learned, in the space of a few minutes with Martha, that this was unadulterated fiction.

Now, don’t get me wrong – Martha is not so much a person as a force of nature. Martha is smart. I mean, really smart. She’s also funny, in a dry, teasing way. Martha is so famous, I don’t have to use her last name. Martha is intrepid – she’s not afraid of anything, and she never loses her cool. And yes – she is very good at what she does.

But do not mistake composure for ease. Martha does her homework. She was fascinated by Fort McMurray long before her trip. She asked to see my questions in advance – not to cut them in any way (not one was rejected), but to be able to speak easily to the topics. Martha comes at everything she does with focus and the desire to do it right.

When we finally met, I was immediately charmed by a warm, funny, gracious lady, whose first question was about the people she would meet during her events. Martha was genuinely having fun on her Northern Adventure. The smiles were real. She made sure that everyone in her class got individual attention, even as I was hyperventilating over the timeline. And as for me… well, interviewing Martha was a marvelous time, and I wish we had had wine on the table and another hour or two to talk.