Darcy Miller, Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings, is by far one of the kindest, most inspiring women we have ever had the chance to interview. She has done so much for the Martha Stewart brand, but she has also done so much for herself from developing a love for scrapbooking to expanding her party planning reach. She has truly developed the dream job for herself, and for all of us here at BFFF, that is truly inspiring! Read more to find out how Darcy got her start in the industry and so much more!
For many aspiring writers and editors, you absolutely have “the dream job.” You started as an Editorial Assistant at Martha Stewart Living, and you have worked your way up from there. What was that journey like for you? Do you have any advice for our readers with similar aspirations?
When I was in college I had a party favor business. I always wanted to gain work experience and then go to either art school or business school. It’s now over 21 years later, and I never made it back to school, but working at MSLO is its own kind of graduate school. I have had seven different job titles. It’s always important to find yourself at a place that you can learn, but also grow and evolve. If you find something you love, then it doesn’t feel like work. I was lucky to find that right job. It’s also important to be patient and work hard; not everything happens overnight. Stay focused and be flexible. When I started as the editorial assistant at MSLO, I did everything from answer phones to order supplies to covering market to style Martha for appearances to dying Easter eggs.
What did you study at the University of Pennsylvania. Did you always know you wanted to be in publishing?
When I graduated from college I knew I wanted to find a creative job, but wasn’t sure exactly what or how. I majored in Art History at Penn and had a party favor/corporate gift business on the side. When I graduated I thought I’d work for a few years and then go to graduate school. I met Martha and saw the first magazine and thought it was the perfect fit—crafts, entertaining, home, everything. There wasn’t an open entry-level job at the time, so I decided to get as much Martha-related experience as possible. I interned at Art & Auction magazine, I assisted in the visual department at Bloomingdales to do window displays, I worked with a chef a few hours a week, I took a computer design class at SVA, I worked for the talented event designer Robert Isabel (often just lighting votive candles), and finally I landed a job at Martha Stewart Living as an editorial assistant.
You’ve been with Martha Stewart Weddings since the beginning. What has it been like to be a part of the growth of such a successful publication?
I had been working at MSL for a few years already when we launched MSW. We published our first issue in the winter of 1995, and it was fun to be exploring new territory. (Although I was single and thought “weddings editor” might not be best job title to tell a blind date). No one on our launch team had been in the wedding business, but we had the passion for design, creativity, innovation, DIY, and beautiful photography. Today, we are always striving to innovate and aim to inspire— from marbling white chocolate to creating chandeliers from vellum. Aside from the creativity it’s rewarding to be able to influence and help personalize a couple’s special day. From a beautiful farm in Idaho to an ornate ballroom in France, I’ve gotten to be part of so many different celebrations.
We know you’re all about party planning. Do you have an absolute favorite party to this date, either one you planned or attended? What specific details did you love about it?
Isn’t every bride’s favorite party they’ve ever planned their own wedding?
I think the best parties are the ones that are personal and have soul. It’s something I’ve always felt makes the difference, not only in the enjoyment of the planning, but really to make the event itself memorable and fun. Our wedding was about us, of course, but also about our family and friends—from giving all the men boutonnieres and all the women handkerchiefs because we wanted all our guests to feel like they were our bridal party—to creating a dessert buffet with my husband’s favorite treats. The wedding cake was inspired by our favorite pastry shop, Ladurée, where we visited when we were dating, and the toasts ranged from songs to poems. I think it’s important that people don’t lose sight of what these occasions are about. Since our wedding, we have celebrated many milestones with fun parties. My favorites are the kids’ birthday parties, because we plan them together and they are always inspired by what they love.
In addition to party planning and handling all-things-wedding for Martha Stewart Weddings, you also love to document all special moments, especially by scrapbooking. Did your daughters have an influence on your desire to document special moments?
I have always loved to scrapbook. For me, it’s a great way to document a special time in your life, like a milestone birthday, memorable trip, a new baby, and so forth.
It’s not only fun to look back on, but it’s also a way to organize and keep special mementos. When we got married, I made a large scrapbook that held everything from print outs of emails of congratulations, to the seating chart, to ephemera from my shower, to our actual wedding day notes that we read our vows and toasts from. My daughters love going through it and seeing the photos of their cousins when they were much younger (by the way, I realize most people are not going to keep every single scrap, which is why I created Our Wedding Scrapbook, an easy and fun book that helps brides document their special day.
Ever since I became a mother, making these books has taken on new meaning. When I’m making our family scrapbooks, I’m always thinking about how fun it will be for my daughters to look back on anything from a drawing they did, to the notes they’ve written to the “Tooth Fairy,” to a trip to Disney.
Rumor has it, Martha Stewart herself fixed you up with your husband, and she even attended your wedding! What’s it like to be so close to one of the most influential women of our time?
Martha is a teacher, mentor, inspiration, boss, friend, and matchmaker—all wrapped up in one.
Graphics created by Meredith Carty for Best Friends For Frosting.
Graphics created exclusively for Best Friends For Frosting by Meredith Carty