Alexis stewart dating kevin sharkey
If you’ve ever had the sense that she anticipated your needs before you did—a cookbook so pretty you could display it on your coffee table, stylish kitchen utensils whose good looks matched their utility, handmade crafts that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to show to friends—you were probably right.Stewart was born in Jersey City in 1941, the second in a family of six children, to Edward Kostyra, a pharmaceuticals salesman, and his wife, Martha, an elementary school teacher and homemaker.“It was very important to me to be an all-around student,” she says, reminiscing about her days at Nutley High School, when she was Martha Kostyra.“I was pretty centered on being smart and well read and had a lot of hobbies, and I was the art director of ,” she says, referring to the school’s literary magazine.Stewart describes “Big Martha”—as she was known to her family—as “the mother hen of six children and all our friends.She was the cook and she sewed our clothes and did all the laundry.” It’s no small irony that Stewart’s mother, the very model of ’50s domesticity, could not wait to get out of the house.
Nutley in the 1950s was largely white and working or middle class, but within that demographic there were subtle variations, and, says Stewart, “I paid attention to the difference.” She rattles off the names of streets emblematic of the town’s social hierarchy: Satterthwaite Avenue, where the wealthier residents lived; Passaic Avenue, mostly working class in those days; Elm Place, the socioeconomic middle and, as it happens, the street where Stewart grew up. “I made sure I always had friends everywhere.” It was at the homes of those friends, she notes, that she “got to know how everybody lived and got to know what they needed and what they wanted.” Stewart has built her company, and her fortune, on that knowledge.
Stewart is not just the brains behind the brand; in a very real way, she’s the brand incarnate—which is why many financial analysts were convinced the company could not survive her 2004 incarceration for obstruction of justice after an indictment for insider trading.
In fact, the brand not only survived this setback—which she refers to as “my legal dispute”—but is now back to turning a profit, with reported operating income of more than million in the final quarter of 2010.
There are courts on her property in Bedford, New York, where she also raises Friesian horses (and heirloom chickens).
And if she wants to keep her aquatic skills fresh, she can take a swim at her house in East Hampton or at Skylands, her 63-acre estate on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, originally built by Edsel Ford, which Stewart describes as “an American treasure.” Stewart’s millions of fans might well apply the same appellation to Stewart herself; her ambitions, originality, economic trajectory and capacity for reinvention are all quintessentially American.When Stewart was three the family moved into the tidy three-bedroom house at 86 Elm Place in Nutley that would later become a focus of her nostalgic essays in , her first magazine.