Martha Stewart is a successful entrepreneur, author and television host who founded the media company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in 1997.
Under her multimedia brand, she has launched several business entities including Martha Stewart Living and Wedding magazines, Martha Stewart cooking shows on PBS and a variety of branded home and lifestyle products. Though she's seen a lot of success in her career, Stewart says she faced early doubts about whether she could thrive as a female entrepreneur.
On the latest episode of CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage," Stewart tells Leno that when her company was going public even her lawyer didn't believe in her.
She says because of her gender, "he didn't believe that I could take a company that's based on lifestyle to the public markets."
Proving him wrong, Stewart went public with her company in 1999, just two years after it launched. At the time, her business was worth $2 billion, reports The Washington Post.
"I did it extremely successfully and he sent me an orchid and said 'I am now a believer,'" she tells Leno.
Similar to many entrepreneurs, Stewart faced a lot of ups and downs in business. In 2015, she sold her multimedia brand to Sequential Brand Groups, a retail licensing company, for a reported $353 million.
As an entrepreneur who continues to push past gender stereotypes, the 78-year-old tells Leno that she doesn't credit all of her success to hard work. In fact, she says, she credits most of her success to her curiosity to "try new things."
"That's where I get my entrepreneurial vision from," she says. "And if you're an entrepreneur you work hard because you are always trying to build something out of just an idea."
Stewart emphasizes that though she isn't "a rabid feminist," she is aware that "there is still a prejudice against women" today. That's why, she says, she takes it upon herself "to encourage other women to feel good about what they're doing."
CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage″ airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
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