Instagram Stories: @WaitingonMartha
Mandy Kellog Rye, and her style-setting alter ego, are our favorite Instagram guilty pleasure.
The truth of the name isn't what you'll read on our website," says Mandy Kellogg Rye, founder of the beloved design blog Waiting on Martha. When she started her now multi-platform business four years ago as a creative outlet, she was working full time in a buttoned-up job, so she knew starting a side venture with her real name wasn't advisable. So she didn't. Luckily Martha did. Of the adopted pseudonym—inspired by the great domestic mogul—she says, "I had an epiphany one night while watching the movie Waiting For Guffman, and Waiting On Martha was born. The next day I had the business incorporated." These days, she and a small-but-mighty team run the blog, an e-shop, an interior styling business, and one of our favorite Instagram accounts of the moment.
The art of epic
"It is so difficult for me to answer the question, 'what do you do?' Under the umbrella of Waiting On Martha, Inc. live three distinct businesses: the blog, a daily destination site that covers food, fashion, beauty, interiors, and health; the shop, an online home and gift store; and MKR Design, a design firm catering to interior and event styling as well as individual and corporate design work. I feel very fortunate to have a team of amazing women behind me—they're strong, smart, and most of them have been with me from the very beginning. I urge those around me to surround themselves with the absolute best, because you can't do epic shit with basic people."
ATL on the Rise
"Atlanta is a unique melting pot of people and design styles from all over the world, so it’s only natural that it’s garnering more attention. There is so much talent here it blows my mind. There is still a large part of the design community that embraces what the world calls 'traditional Southern style.' But there are also the up-and-coming talents here who are working to flip the term 'Southern Style' on its head and show that just because something is modern or moody doesn’t mean it’s not Southern! The style has expanded and grown, and it’s no longer just neutrals and antiques."
good vibes only
"I treat Instagram as a living portfolio, where I can showcase what I’m working on at the moment. It has given me tremendous exposure to brands, which has granted me so many more partnerships and opportunities. What bugs me about Instagram are the haters. Those who think that it’s too perfect or fake. Instagram was created to be a highlight reel, and that’s how I treat it. No one wants to see me knee-deep in paperwork or lugging furniture into a space. They want to see the after shots—the shots that breed inspiration. The amount of time I think about what would make a good Instagram shot sometimes blows my mind."
Martha, the conquerer
"At the moment, we’re a tad disjointed: Our offices are at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, our warehouse is on the west side of town, and our styling studio is wherever makes the most sense for that project. My focus for 2016 is to move Waiting On Martha into its own large space where we can warehouse product, create a full styling studio and house offices. On an even larger scale, we have plans to open two to three brick and mortar stores by the end of 2017 and start manufacturing our own designs."