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WSJ: Dowdy Craft Business Gets Martha Stewart Makeover

I have seen plenty of chatter (and photos) about Martha Stewart Crafts, but little about this Wall Street journal article, Dowdy Craft Business Gets Martha Stewart Makeover.

What does the domestic-arts maven see in a dowdy industry where merchandise is sold in cluttered stores stacked floor to ceiling with pipe cleaners, Styrofoam balls, glue sticks, beads and fake flowers?

There is a slight difference in presentation between that of a Michaels, Jo-Ann or Hobby Lobby and a scrapbook store because the former have more than just scrapbook supplies. Scrapbook stores tend to look neater because they have a limited line of products that can be neatly organized with like items together, which makes for a nice presentation.

“I’m not sure people want to bring a brand into their scrapbook,” says Shelly Izen, the owner of Scrapbook Fever, a crafts store in Salem, Ore. “Martha’s stuff looks pretty, but crafters are strong-willed and don’t want to be told what to do. Martha’s stuff seems very ‘do it this way or no way.’ “

Ha! I know plenty of people who have long been Martha fans for her inspiration and do her project in their own way or strive for her perfection. Really her statement only makes sense to me from the perspective that she is a the owner of a scrapbook store and probably not want to see customers flocking to a chain that is carrying a big recognizable brand. Luckily for her, Michael’s 40% off coupons cannot be used for Martha Stewart Crafts (which is one reason why I have not purchased any). In any case, products made by designers under Martha Stewart are not going to be that different than products made by other scrapbook supply companies.

“It’s not a very sexy business,” says David Abelman, senior vice president of marketing for Michael’s Stores Inc., a big operator of arts-and-crafts outlets in the U.S. and Canada. “But a lot of people have realized it’s a good one.”

Same could be said about libraries 😉

Have you purchased Martha Stewart Crafts, what did you get?! I’ll live vicariously through your purchases since I am still on the “one-in, one-out” method of reducing my collection of stuff!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • kel May 8, 2007, 12:28 pm

    Hey Udandi!

    Off topic comment here…sorry about that. Do you have any recommendations as to what to see in Lisbon?? I have done zero preparation. Well, I’m prepared for the meetings I’ll be in, but that’s it. Seriously – I leave tomorrow and haven’t yet figured out how to get myself from the airport to the hotel. 😉 I have two free days, and then all my evenings, so any good tourist recommendations are fully appreciated!

    – kel

  • SMB May 8, 2007, 2:55 pm

    I’m sorry; I’m off topic too! Just wanted to say thanks for “checking up” on me. 🙂 My blog is still around, I just don’t do a great job of keeping it up to date! Glad you are well.

  • bethtrue May 9, 2007, 9:57 am

    i’ve checked out the MS stuff at Mike’s – and some of the pricing seems somewhat reasonable – ribbon, glitter, punches. I have bought a few things…. she has a lot of kits and craft projects that I otherwise have not seen elsewhere so I think that is a real attraction for someone who, say, bakes and wants some cute decorative container, or party favors – kind of “do it yourself” but with the ease of having someone else put all the ingredients together for you. I like her stuff and i’ll buy more. I have heard that some Mike’s are accepting the coupon, plus some Mike’s accept the Hobby Lobby and/or Joann coupon for the MS line.

  • udandi May 9, 2007, 2:10 pm

    I love comments on topic or not!

    Welcome, bethtrue! I’ve been checking out the web site and saw the 2-page spread in the mike’s ad, so I might have to try using my coupon on some cupcake liners or some other packaging for Mother’s Day, of course!