University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Interior Design 420

Interior Design Internship

  • anchor

    Erin McLevey • Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. • New York, NY • Week 8

    Erin McLevey
    Jul 23, '15 6:39 PM EST


    This week was my 8th week, and it was mostly spent on tasks I have already started. I continued to do archiving for the Martha Stewart Living and Wedding library. I continued to contact people regarding old missing issues, and went around collecting those issues from people in the office. For the remaining issues missing from the database I have been in contact with a storage facility in Florida that houses some old MSLO items. In the coming weeks I will be coordinating with them as far as shipping, pricing and dates go.

    In addition to archiving I was able to get out of the office a bit and go to a flower shop in the flower district for a photo shoot. Here I picked up bouquets of dark yellow and red daisies that were imported from Peru, light blue hydrangeas, and white roses. After picking the flowers up, I attended an American Made meeting regarding new nominees, as well as how to reach out to small business owners and makers in the USA. We brainstormed many ideas such as contacting design schools and business departments at universities, contact cities that have farmers markets, get bloggers to promote the awards, et cetera. We want people to research and reach out to people across the country as well as have people nominate themselves for the various categories.  

    Finally this week I continued work with the social media projects. I had meetings regarding this, to talk about topics and brands.

    Also, this week they had a pop-bar for the interns. HR bought a ton of boutique popsicles for us and we ate them at the park. It was a nice break in the middle of the week.


    Here at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., the designers and content creators use a specific formula as far as creating the monthly magazine, however this layout is always subject to change and improvements so it is hard to notice a lot of repetition between months. As far as programs designers use, there is a lot of Photoshop used for everything (advertisements, layouts, photo shoots). Also to create new products such as fabrics they use specific design software to create the patterns. Also, there is a lot of hand drawing going on. There are a lot of light boxes around the office that are used for tracing and drawing. Images such as photographs, page layouts, hand drawings, and so much more are what decorate the halls.

    The office really showcases what the coming months of the magazine will look like because everything for future issues is hung up. This helps to ensure that everything around the office is cohesive and tells a story. When I first got here the primary things hung up were related to Thanksgiving and October and November issues, however in the past few weeks the walls have transitioned to December, showcasing a lot of Christmas inspiration such as ornaments, trees and so on.


    This week I’ll talk about Janet Stein & Patsy Pollack, both work in the merchandising area of the company. Patsy is the Senior Executive Vice President of merchandising, and Janet is the Senior Vice President of merchandising. Both women are from Boston, and they met at a job prior to working at Martha Stewart. They talk about how Martha Stewart’s merchandising mission is to bring things to life, such as things they are teaching to create a beautiful life. The merchandising department wants to create tools and products to help people create the things they see in the magazine and in digital spaces. For example, if someone is showing how to make a banner, all the tools used in the tutorial are available for purchase.

    They explain that every home is a canvas, and that it reflects dreams and aspirations of the people living in it. They explain that media leads and merchandising follows. Consumers see things that inspire them, and Martha Stewart’s brand provides those items. People can buy Martha products at Staples, Macy’s, Home Depot, PetSmart, and various craft stores. These companies are all partners with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. The platforms in which Martha Stewart’s consumers are reached are through:

    • Social Media (9 million followers)
    • Publication (Living, Weddings, Books)
    • Broadcast (TV, Applications, Websites)
    • Digital (Websites, Applications, Video)

    The media arm of the company is really good for the merchandising department because they promote products. What Martha Stewart’s brand is all about is style and quality for the masses. Everyone should have access to super high-end materials and Martha delivers that. The merchandising department has to value engineer a product to be high end, but accessible to the masses and be available at the right price. They also said that your budget shouldn’t have anything to do with your taste and style.

    They don’t make their own products, how does that process work?

    • Retail producers outsource, then they buy the inventory and own the products; so they are responsible for selling it. The whole process of going to the store and finding the right product is all about the experience so it’s hard to give up control of presenting ‘the dream’ to the consumer. It is important to market the right product, at the right time and at the right price.

    What is the timeline for a product to get on shelves?

    • It usually takes 6 months for home products. The home market has historically had a slower turnaround time compared to fashion (which has multiple lines and seasons produced throughout the year). Generally homes have a spring and fall line, so the 6 months in between are for developing and creating. Recently homes have picked up the pace and now they are producing products, which are released to the public almost as soon as they are ready. Certain items/tools that require a mold to make take longer because of the process these have to go through, so it can take up to a year for more complicated items.

    What’s challenging?

    • Martha is a staple for homes, and it is hard to recreate the basics without them becoming gimmicky. For example, how can you reinvent the ice cream scoop?? They always have to put themselves in the consumer’s shoes and understand what needs improving, in order to solve a problem and be innovative. Merchandising is a convergence of function and innovation while making something beautiful.

    Favorite products?

    • Patsy: the one that sells the most. But she likes the cast iron pot, since she likes to cook
    • Janet: a crafting hole punch that is for making garland and banners. Its simple but still genius.  

    • No Comments

    • Block this user

      Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

    • Back to Entry List...
  • ×Search in:

About this Blog

This will be the community Blog for IDS 420 Summer 2016. Students will post their responses to weekly Journal Assignments here as well as view posts/comments from other participants.

Affiliated with:

Authored by:

  • Tim Dolan
  • hstarnes
  • pterry3
  • rmingle1

Other blogs affiliated with The University of Tennessee - Knoxville:

Recent Entries