"Well, at Macy's, we don't have Celebrations, for example, which is an innovative new line for entertaining for all kinds of holidays. We don't have window treatments, and one of the best selling things at jcpenney is the window treatments. So, we're very excited about that. And, we don't have floor coverings at Macy's. So, we're doing a lot of stuff we don't do elsewhere. Food, for example — this is our first big foray into packaged food. I think we have about 130 [items] at jcpenney and more stuff coming for holiday, too."
Speaking of your Celebrations line, it's so fun and filled with color.
"This is all party stuff. This is our line of party ware for jcpenney."
Plastic and paper serving ware can have a stigma to it — how often do you use it?
"Personally? I used some of this line for my granddaughter and grandson's first and second birthdays. We tested it out on them — they loved it!"
You have such great party-hosting experience. But have you ever made any embarrassing or mortifying mistakes that our readers can avoid or learn from?
"Well, I'm a pretty good planner. So, I try not to put my guests in jeopardy by making mortifying mistakes. Things go wrong, like for anybody.... [Her cell phone rings.] Can I just check something?"
Yes, of course.
[She opens her purse to find the phone (there's two) that's buzzing.]
If you don't mind sharing, our readers would love to know what Martha Stewart carries in her bag?
"What's in my bag? My BlackBerry phone, a BlackBerry email, my blush for my cheeks, a lipstick, a pencil, my business cards, and my camera, and that's it."
So, where are your go-to beauty products from?
"I love Bobbi Brown, I love MAC. I love Lancôme. Different things from different lines. I try everything."
Going back to hosting for a minute — much like a perfect date, what does your perfect party experience look like? What are you serving? How many people are there?
"At home, my parties are pretty large. I do a large Easter party with Easter bunnies — full size, like six-feet tall — and I have big buffets and lots of food and an Easter egg hunt. Christmas is open house, with a couple hundred people, and neighbors and friends come. And, actually, people really look forward to it. I open up all the buildings on my property, and the horses are out. [The parties] are nice; they're usually large-scale. But I do like to entertain at small dinner parties — I do that quite often."
What's the music like? We hear you like rap.
"Well, it depends on the party. A lot of different things are played. I have compilations of music that I've put together, that friends have put together for me...some rap."
Any favorite artists?
"I still love Eminem. He hasn't been doing that much, but I really love him. I love Jay Z and his whole gang."
You sound like a pretty fearless woman.
Photo: Courtesy of Larry Busacca/Getty