Martha Stewart To Take Another White Trash Hobby Upscale

It's sort of a top-secret fact about America that between the coasts, pasting family mementos into books and then surrounding them with decorative ribbon borders is a huge deal—ergo, books like Motif for Murder: A Scrapbooking Mystery. But the "problem" with the $2.6 billion/year scrapbooking industry is, as the SVP of marketing for Michael's craft stores tells the Wall Street Journal today, "It's not a very sexy business." Enter sexy, sexy Martha Stewart!

The domestic guru has a plan to make American's time-frittering ladies more productive, or at least to get them to spend more money. She's rolling out a line of scrapbooking products that make those cutesy little Mrs. Grossman's stickers look like such lame cheese! But not everyone is buying her upscale-crafting schtick.

In January, the company dispatched Ms. Stewart and a dozen executives to Anaheim, Calif., to give a group of "elite" private craft dealers a sneak preview of the line ...The dealers, who had started lining up for Ms. Stewart's demonstration two hours in advance, reacted positively to most of the products. But some references to Ms. Stewart's deluxe lifestyle didn't play as well. When Ms. Stewart described how she converted an entire floor of her "winter house," located on her Bedford, N.Y., compound, into a craft-making studio, several dealers rolled their eyes.
If only she'd played it safe and stuck to just mentioning the decoupage shed! —Emily

Dowdy Craft Business Gets Martha Stewart Makeover [WSJ]