In years past, Martha Stewart’s schedule was overloaded with business meetings, TV appearances, book signings and more — but now she can spend a weekday afternoon making pasta with her grandchildren or taking them to visit her expansive vegetable garden. Martha “seems happier with her two grandkids than in any boardroom these days,” her daughter, Alexis, 49, told a friend.
After years as a business tycoon, Martha’s priorities have changed. The domestic doyenne, who turned a simple catering business into a billion-dollar lifestyle empire, recently sold Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which includes her magazines, cooking show and branded lifestyle products, to Sequential Brands Group for $353 million.
Martha on the Today show in 2013. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Though Martha will stay on as chief creative officer, she’s putting more emphasis on her personal life now. “She just isn’t the same person,” says the friend. “She’s less cutthroat, more forgiving of people, less business-driven.”
On a typical summer day, Martha, 73, can be found at her 153-acre horse farm in Bedford, NY, which she calls Cantitoe Corners. “There was a time that Martha had wanderlust and would travel the world, but there’s something comforting about finally putting down roots and knowing where she’s waking up in the morning,” says the friend. “She wants to focus more on the personal — tending to her estate, doting on her grandkids.”
Martha holding granddaughter Jude in 2014. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
“They’re the best,” Martha tells Closer about granddaughter Jude, 4, and grandson Truman, 3. “They’ve really added a great amount of joy and happiness.”
Even as she counseled a generation on gracious living, Martha suffered her share of troubles. Her divorce from Andrew Stewart in 1990 after 29 years of marriage left her devastated, and a relationship with tech billionaire Charles Simonyi that lasted nearly 15 years ended in 2008. “She hasn’t closed the door on finding another love,” says the friend. “But I think more and more, she sees her life without a man in it.”
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