Martha Stewart Paid Her Way Through College As A Chanel Model Before She Became A Lifestyle Guru

Ileana is a writer on the Original Content team. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.baby martha stewart

Martha was born to middle class parents in Jersey City, New Jersey, on August 3, 1941.

Her birth name was “Martha Helen Kostyra.” Martha was the second of six children.

The Kostyra family moved to Nutley, New Jersey, when Martha was three.

martha unilever

As a child, Martha worked as a babysitter for the children of Yankees baseball players.

When she was 15, she was in a commercial for Unilever. This first modeling gig got Martha interested in future commercial and magazine jobs.

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Because of her good high school grades and extensive extracurricular activities, Martha was admitted to Barnard College in New York City.

To help pay for her tuition, Martha turned to modeling — and she quickly started getting some high-fashion jobs, even modeling for Chanel.


martha model

Although Martha worked and lived in New York City, she was always a country girl at heart.

During her years in college, Martha studied architectural history, embracing her interest in art and home design.

martha gold

In 1961, Martha married Andrew Stewart, taking his last name.

The two purchased a farmhouse in Westport, Connecticut, which they restored. This home became the model for the studio they used in Martha’s first show, Martha Stewart Living.

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Martha’s first big break as a domestic icon came in the form of a cookbook deal. She released a variety of other cookbooks after that, and began writing newspaper columns and magazine articles on the subject of homemaking.

During this time, she also appeared on television shows, like The Oprah Winfrey Show — the two are photographed together above.

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Today, Martha looks back fondly on her modeling days, posting throwback photos on her Instagram.

The image above shows an old picture of Martha after it was enhanced with modern tattoos. Not entirely Martha’s taste, but definitely an interesting look!

martha stewart

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