Ina Garten's hands-on approach

Ina GartenYou may think of Ina Garten as a television personality, but the reality is that she is a cookbook author who uses TV to promote her books. The show, Barefoot Contessa, takes up small bits of her life, maybe six weeks a year total in two chunks. "My business is cookbooks, and TV is really good for supporting that," Ina told Eater last fall as part of an in-depth piece that chronicles her rise to fame.

Ina's trademark look hasn't changed much over the years, and her aesthetic has likewise remained relatively constant. The article sums it up this way: "It's about loving being at home, particularly if your home has a couple acres of garden, and yet it's accessible. It's never about perfection, as it is with Martha [Stewart], but it is about personal triumph." Not only has Ina's look remained steady, so has the hands-on way she approaches her brand. Unlike many other stars, she doesn't pawn off tasks like social media postings. "I think people get it," Ina said. "That it's not like some office over there that's, you know, in L.A., doing my Facebook account, but it's actually me doing it, writing it, photographing it."

When discussing her cookbooks, Ina notes that each of her nine books has sold more than the previous one, and she explains her theory about their success: "I mean, I couldn't have imagined this starting out," Ina told Eater, "but I think the reason people use cookbooks is it gives them the tools to do something, to put something on the table and have everybody say, 'You made that yourself?'" Her favorite cookbook is her second effort, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, which sold over 800,000 copies. The most recent books, 2014's Make it Ahead, had a print run of 1.4 million. When added together, the number of Ina's cookbooks in print exceeds 10 million.   

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