If you read my post yesterday about the Martha Stewart “Blogger’s Night Out,” you know that I left you hanging with a tease about my private tour of the MSLO offices.
Let’s just take a moment to savor those words, shall we? Private. Tour.
It was almost as nerve-wrackingly exciting as going to the actual party. But better. Without the noise and the crowds, it was soooo much easier to take in everything.
So here’s the deal- no photos inside the offices. (BOO!) But it’s not like we don’t totally understand, right? And it’s also not like I couldn’t find some pictures that other bloggers took…so I’ll use theirs!
First off, I have to acknowledge and than my trusty tour guide Andrea DiPasquale. She’s the one who arranged for the tour and gave me an hour and a half of her time on a Friday afternoon. And she’s an absolute doll, too. Just as nice and welcoming as you can get!
So after the previous nights’ noise and crowds, the MSLO offices were so…quiet. Andrea assured me that it’s often more bustling and noisier, but hey- this was Friday afternoon in the city. Even still, the offices are bathed in natural light from the large industrial windows, and all of the interiors are painted white with grey concrete floors. (Which were not so austere and cold as you’d expect.) Rather, with all of that light, it created a warm glow.
OK, the other part of this trip is that I got lost a number of times, so I can’t even TELL you where we started or where we finished up. But chronology doesn’t matter, anyhow.
So I got to see where the magic happens. I was super impressed with the test kitchens- of which there are two, one for Everyday Food and one for MS Living. There were fresh herbs growing in the sun-drenched window, and the aroma of bread and basil that wafted from the opened door….oh, wow. Nummy. Want to live in there!
So then we walked down the hallways to the prop room and wood shop. Lined up in the hallways were racks of flooring and a stack of doors. It literally stopped me in my tracks! I guess I’d never considered how they take the shots for the magazines- maybe I’m just naive enough to think that the photos are taken in various off-site locations. The truth is, they build many of the sets in the MSLO offices….so that means that they may style one set with maple floors and a certain kind of trim…but then for the next shoot, they might want dark flooring. So they just take it up and lay the floor they want. Wow, right?
A food blogger, MattBites, got to take a group tour before the party on Thursday, and he snapped a few shots of the floors and doors:
So then we wandered through the Props room. Um, again, WOW. I scanned the rooms of chairs, tables, chandeliers, glassware, and thought “I’ve seen these! In the magazine!” Everything was so clean and well- organized. I asked Andrea if they ever “lose” things. She assured me that it’s a very tight ship, and every item is carefully categorized and accounted for. To use them, there is a strict sign-out policy. And there’s never been one lost item.Â Again, here’s a picture I lifted from MattBites:
We rambled up to the roof top deck, which is where the party was supposed to be held. (Don’t remember why they ended up abandoning that plan.) The view was breath-taking! You get a marvelous view of the Hudson River and waaaaaay off in the distance you can even see the Statue of Liberty. Just by doing the Hokey Pokey and turn(ing) yourself about, you can see the Empire State building! Andrea said that employees are allowed to eat lunch up there. It was super windy, but I still loved it. AND I could take a few pictures here!
So then we left the glory of the deck and traveled back down to the craft offices. Let me describe the room set-up: there is a big rectangular area with cubicles around the perimeter for individual computer stations/office space. Then, in the middle, are two long rectangular work tables set at counter height. These are about. 3 ft wide and maybe 8 ft long. This is where the designers actually work together on projects. They pull materials from a pantry-style room at one end (where everything is neatly organized and labeled, as you might guess) and then work on the big tables in the middle. While there, I saw sample boards of different types of glitters and some work-in-progress projects. (LOVE me some Martha glitter, y’all!)
I also saw Hannah Millman’s office. She’s the craft genius behind the Crafts Department and is the SVP Exec Editorial Director Holiday & Crafts. I had schmoozed with her a bit the night before, and I’m tickled that I got to see where she works! (She was out by the time I got there. Boo again.) However I saw her current WIP- a huge Christmas tree decorated with glittered birds! Some were the feathered/stuffed variety, but others were paper cut-outs with glittered accents. So chic!
By the way, you can see the photos from the Crafts Department photo stream ofÂ Blogger’s Night Out, too! There’s a great pic of all of the crafty goodness….and you can even spy me in picture 8, off to the right-hand side. I’m chatting with Andrea and sporting my pipe-cleaner ring!)
So, as we wrapped up our tour, Andrea brought me into a conference room to check out the new Halloween line of goodies. And I DID get to photograph it!
And thus ended my time at MSLO. So wonderful- really, a crafter’s dream come true, right! And I’m so grateful to Hannah, Andrea, Tiffany, and all of the Crafts Department for a marvelous experience.