Meeting Martha Stewart … Halfway Around the World

I just returned from Ambiente 2012, Europe's largest consumer goods tradeshow, which is held in Frankfurt, Germany. While the show itself was an absolute wonder, with 4,500 exhibitors covering the equivalent of 44 soccer fields worth of space, the highlight of my trip was meeting a fellow American. But this wasn't just any American ... it was Ms. Martha Stewart!

Martha Stewart's appearance at Ambiente was a delightful surprise. She had been in Brussels and decided to detour to Frankfurt to browse Ambiente in search of sources for her own line. The line of Martha Stewart branded products continues to grow — in addition to the recent launch of her home office products in conjunction with Avery now available at Staples, we will soon see Martha Stewart stores within 700 JC Penney stores across the country — so it's no surprise she would drop in to this huge consumer goods show while she was in the area.

Rumor has it that Martha had actually slid into Ambiente unnoticed last year but this year she was snagged by the show's press office — which is how I ended up sitting at a small table with Martha and six other people asking questions! The Martha Stewart name isn't quite as well known in Europe as it is in the US, so most of the questions were about her plans to move into that market. Knowing that I was one of two Americans in the room, Martha seemed to focus a good deal of her attention talking about her web plans, as well. We shared a little laugh over the fact that a recent post on Martha's site got hundreds of positive comments and not a single negative one. That's right, I shared a moment of blogging humor with Martha Stewart!

The meeting lasted about 20 minutes and then she was whisked out of the press center to finish walking the show before hopping on a flight. It was the first morning of the show and, for me, a wonderful kick it off!

Over the next couple of weeks I'll share some of the amazing housewares I saw at the Ambiente. Meanwhile, you can take a look at our past coverage of the show:

Product Designers and Trends to Watch | Ambiente 2011
First Look: 10 Great International Designs | Ambiente 2010
Design Direction: Gold for the Tabletop | Ambiente 2010

Images: Jason Loper

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