The Martha Effect
When the domestic doyenne likes your product, it has a profound impact on sales.
Bill Laurita, Co-owner, Swans Island Blankets
“We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Martha ever since we were featured in her magazine twelve years ago. She authenticated the quality of our products and made us nationally known. We’ve been featured in the magazine several times since, and a couple times a year, we get a call from her people requesting blankets for a photo shoot.
“When she had her legal difficulties, we sent a throw to her house so it would be there when she came home. Martha Stewart has been very good for our company and we wanted to show our appreciation for that when she was going through a difficult time.”
Swans Island Blankets, 231 Rte. 1, Northport, 207-338-9691, swansislandblankets.com
Cynthia and Dan Lief, Islesford Dock Restaurant
“Martha comes here on her boat two or three times each summer. She loves our lobster rolls and our hot fudge sundaes. People know she likes the Dock, and they enjoy seeing her here.
“Both times this summer she brought her camera and took pictures. She posted every piece of food she ordered with a description on her blog.
“She was here for lunch on her seventieth birthday. She brought twenty people on two boats. They had lobsters, lobster rolls, and a variety of things. Martha ordered our hot dog — we serve Pearl hot dogs from Boston. That’s another of her favorites. It shows that she knows the food and she goes for good things.”
The Islesford Dock Restaurant, Islesford, 207-244-7494, islesforddock.com
Jill McGowan, Jill McGowan
Photograph by Peter Browne Macomber
“Martha and three of her friends were doing a road trip to Maine, and they decided to stop at our studio for a tour. She was interested in our process for making shirts — she watched us cutting and she looked at our patterns. She was very excited about the quality of the fabric. Her TV producer suggested we go on the show. We had thousands of hits at our online store right away, and soon after that, sales went up, too.
“I have a great deal of respect for Martha Stewart. She’s brought attention to artisans in Maine, and she doesn’t often get credit for that. She doesn’t have to do it, but she does it because she wants to keep it alive.”
Jill McGowan, Portland, 207-772-2199, jillmcgowan.com
Karen Raye, Raye’s Mustard
“Martha did a three- or four-page spread in her magazine on Raye’s Mustard in 2007. Since that time, she’s featured our products on her TV program twice.
“We used the story as a selling point when we talked to stores around the country about carrying our mustard. The following year we were at the New York Fancy Food Show and we had the article on display. An editor from O, the Oprah magazine, walked by and did a double take. Lo and behold, not long after that, we were in Oprah’s magazine, too.
“We appreciate everything she’s done for us. It certainly helped our business. And it continues to do so — we offer a tour of our mill and people are always impressed with the Martha Stewart Living article in our display.”
Raye’s Mustard, Eastport, 800-853-1903, rayesmustard.com