Martha Stewart
Credit: MarthaStewart.com

When average people have a garage sale, they typically don’t throw a pre-opening cocktail party for VIPs, hire a staff, put up tents, and charge $250 just to view the used items for sale. But Martha Stewart isn’t a typical person.

For starters, the self-made mogul calls a yard sale a “tag sale” and doesn’t haggle over prices. If Martha marks a piece at $3,500, that’s what the lucky purchaser is going to pay as seen in The Great American Tag Sale with Martha Stewart.

For one hour, small screen viewers can vicariously visit Stewart’s 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York. Or at least the outlying edge of the property where Martha does what everyone should do: get rid of underused possessions. Of course, being the world-famous entrepreneur she is, Stewart turns the chore into a pop-up business, charity event, and ABC TV special which can be streamed on Hulu.

The show follows Martha and her team as they prepare for the sale — which includes kitchenware, live plants, holiday decorations, and furniture — and eventually put it on despite threats of rain and distractions from a flock of peacocks. Although this offering isn’t as enlightening as some of Stewart’s past programs, it’s still engaging to watch celebs such as Blake Lively and a remote Kris Jenner compete for an extensive set of vintage glassware.

Yet not all of the sale merchandise is desirable. As an attendee remarked off camera, “This looks like stuff from HomeGoods, but more expensive.” Nevertheless, patrons had the chance to chat and pose with the famed hostess. And anyone with an appreciation for folding a fitted sheet or making eggs in a cappuccino machine wouldn’t want to pass up that opportunity.

Known for the phrase, “It’s a good thing,” Stewart is a tough cookie who is as American as apple pie. Drawing on her Polish heritage, a youthful Martha learned how to sew and cook from her mother, while her grandparents showed her the art of gardening, canning and preserving. Stewart would later use these skills as a caterer, cookbook author, magazine publisher, television personality, decorator, designer, creator of the Martha Stewart Living brand and founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Ever since taking on a babysitting gig when she was 10 years old, Martha exhibited can-do confidence and a strong work ethic. She used her beauty to model for Chanel (which helped her pay her way through college) and her brains to become a stockbroker. When the latter got her into legal trouble, Stewart served five months in federal prison and resumed building her lifestyle empire after her release.

In addition to empowering millions of fans with homemaking advise and tips on entertaining, the divorced mother of one has repeatedly proved to be an example of self-reliance, female resilience, and philanthropic industriousness. Indeed, her tag sale brought in more than $800,000 for Mt. Sinai’s Martha Stewart Centers for Living, which provide primary care for geriatric patients. And that’s a good thing.

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Janet Arvia

Ms. Arvia is a Rebellious columnist and movie critic; entertainment ghostwriter; award-winning artist; and grant-winning filmmaker.