Marjorie Stern, a native New Yorker, attended Carnegie Tech Theater School and ultimately received her BA from NYU School of Drama. She has had a multifaceted business career starting with her own mail order company. As an outgrowth of that business, she opened three fashion and accessory stores in New York City—on Bleecker Street, Lexington Avenue, and Madison Avenue—which were highly successful. After operating three stores for several years, she became a fashion editor for Seventeen magazine. She left to become the catalog coordinator at Bergdorf Goodman.
From 1985 to 1994 she opened a showroom in the D&D building specializing in English and French antiques from the 18th and 19th century.
In 1994, she and her husband, Michael, became the exclusive distributor for Gucci perfume in the United States. Under the umbrella of Stern Fragrances, they created the fragrance for Ellen Tracy and Russell Simmons.
In 1990, Marjorie and Michael Stern started the Bigwood Foundation and became sponsors in Gene Lang’s I Have a Dream program. Through that program, both of the Sterns became involved with The Valley, a community-based organization which operates from the basement of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
With her husband, she founded the Youth Employment Summer program in 1992 and the Graduate Achievement Program. These programs provide employment and educational support to high school students in the Harlem community.
From 2007 to the present time, Marjorie founded an upscale children’s store on the Upper West Side called A Time for Children. 100 percent of the profits are donated to the Children’s Aid Society of New York. A select number of their young people are enrolled in year-round training programs teaching retail sales, merchandising, and buying. After a short workshop period, the young people work in the store as sales associates under the guidance of a manager and assistant manager.
Marjorie Stern is currently a board member of Beth Israel Continuum Center for Health and Healing and the Irish Repertory Theatre.
Both her children are involved in the arts. Her daughter, Ricki, is a documentary film maker whose works have appeared in various film festivals and on PBS stations around the country. Her latest film, Joan Rivers, A Piece of Work, won several awards and was up for an Academy Award nomination.
Her son, Mark, is Programming President for the Syfy channel.