September 20, 2008

What do you think about Martha?

Yesterday I found Martha Stuart Living magazine on the shelf, so there two possible strategies: either - Martha starts to fight for new markets - this is first time published in Polish. Her TV programs are on occasion broadcasted, but only on cable TV or stations available via satellite, so her style and message is not known to broad audience here.

- or - it is published as sales booster of the magazine it was added to. Martha Stuart Living is published by Edipresse (Swiss publisher operating also in Poland) as supplement to interior design magazine "Dom i Wnętrze", which is selling abt 20.000 copies monthly (pulishing 40.000 - what a waste, huh?). This way MSL will reach much broader audience, thank just limited TV reach.

I read many negative comments on blogs about what she's doing. And I am trying to understand why? I know many of you don't like it, maybe some like... - please enlighten your friend living in Poland...


Anonymous said...

Hi Ewa, I will weigh in here with only my take on the whole Martha thing. She is an astute business woman, there is no denying that. I adored her old tv show, the one with her telling how to do stuff or taking trips that had lots of gardening segments out in her own garden. The newer shows, with an audience and guests doing crafts doesn't appeal to me at all. Her magazine has not changed much except I think they have *dumbed it down* to have a broader appeal. She brings out feelings of extreme hatred in some people though, but I have always been a fan and always will be. She is of polish descent, maybe that is why she wanted to publish in polish. What do you think of her magazine?


Anonymous said...

I agree with Frances. I much preferred the old Martha Stewart show.

Always Growing

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Ewa, Frances has said it well. People either love MSL or hate it for what ever reasons. I rarely watch her show. I read her magazine at the library.

Claude said...

My take on her is basic indifference. Her gardening tips may work in Conneticut where she lives but they have absolutely no value in Texas. I know people who love her, and I know people who hate her... People who like her say that her designs are perfectly tasteful and approachable. People who hate her say that her designs are utterly without any originality. The few times I've looked at the magazine, I've found it to be pretty bland, and I remember reading an article that seemed to be written for readers who were about 12 years old and on the dim side, but many magazines seem to be writing like that now.

Her popularity was once almost cult status, but her legal problems a few years ago have tarnished her a little.

She is proud of her Polish heritage, and her recipes are very good, but a little on the complex side, and ususally demanding only the best and most expensive ingredients.

Country French Antiques said...

Admire the woman! She has always been one of my idols. She came from very modest beginnings, worked hard and built an empire. If you could get a copy of her biography, I think you would enjoy it.
Anyone who achieves the level of success Martha has, will always bring out the trolls.
I am and will always be one of her many supporters.

Gail said...

Hi Ewa, Very good question. I neither watch her shows or read her magazine. She is too formal for my style...too controlled! We are into vivid colors and textures. Metropolitan Home is what's on my shelf! What do you think of her magazine?


garden girl said...

Hi Ewa, my feelings about Martha Stewart are mixed, but mostly neutral. I admire her business acumen and success. Although I find her a bit 'stuffy' at times, I do admire her artistic flair.

I choose not to judge her for her very public mistakes, and admire her tenacity in the face of adversity.

To me she seems to take herself a bit too seriously, and I find myself laughing along with those who parody her. I hope she has a good sense of humor and is able to laugh at herself. If not, she makes plenty enough money to hire a good therapist if she hasn't already.

I don't like mean-spiritedness by or towards anyone, and she sure does get a lot of that sent in her direction. It seems to me meanness says much more about the person spouting it than it does about their target. On the other hand she profits from some of the controversy and the attention that comes along with it, and I don't feel too sorry for her. It seems that's part of the package that comes with the kind of high-profile life she's made for herself.

Visual Vamp said...

We are very spoliled in the USA, and things are "In" or "Out" quickly.
Also people are jealous of uber succes sometimes, the kind that Martha has had. Also she is personally a strong woman, sometimes percieved as being a bitch.
I worked with her and she is a professional, and if you're a professional too, whether it's sweeping the floor, or designing something for her, then she is easy to work for.
She is also very driven, an insominac, a woman who made her work her life (and lost a husband on the way up to a younger employee).
I think Martha in Poland will be, well, a good thing :-)
It will be a fresh point of view and very exciting, like it was for all of us in the USA when Martha first appeared here nearly 15 years ago.
I still pick up the magazine (and watch her TV show once in awhile) here once in awhile. The thing is that Martha, Inc. is such a huge corportaion, that you don't get the feeling of the personal Martha touch in her magazine today. She hires the very best editors, but they are not Martha :-)
I love you blog, and am adding you to my blog roll.
xo xo xo
PS My mother was Polish :-)

Kylee Baumle said...

I like her. I used to watch her show faithfully (the present version), but don't anymore. I think she's a very good business woman, just making the most of her talents.

By the way, my dad's side of the family came from Germany, but that area is now part of Poland. Does that make me part Polish now? :-)

Ewa said...


I will soon make review of the first edition :)

Have a nice weekend!

Anonymous said...

You gotta love Martha Stewart. But in America (very pop culture oriented) there are a lot of people who love to hate her. She just had the most adorable little donkies on her show. She has TONS of animals in her various homes. I'm sure she has others take care of them. But bottom line is she is educating people to love cooking, gardening, animal husbandry, crafts, their homes. What's not to love? She's very New England. Maybe people object to that. It's a bit old fashioned snobby. I like her. I even can relate... :)Bravo for reaching out to the Polish community. Enjoy!

Victoria Cummings said...

You've had some very interesting answers to your question. I will weigh in by saying that although I think that Martha is talented and successful, she also embodies a moral stance that I find troublesome. I too know people who have worked for her. Rigidity, control, bullying and a relentless drive to get ahead, even if it means stepping on someone else are all part of the package that Martha Stewart and Donald Trump have been selling in this country over the past few years. I think it's a frightening role model for young people. What happened to kindness, generosity and being humble? All the truly great people I've met in my life are also very humble and grateful.

Barbara said...

Ups, I have to confess that I don't know Martha Stewart's magazine and/or TV shows. I've heard of her but didn't see any magazines (though you mentioned they are published by a Swiss editor) here in my country. Must have a look next time when I am in town (at the English bookshop where we can find some English/American/Australian magazines). Your post made me curious!
Have a good week, Ewa!

krystyna said...

Witaj Ewo,
będę pisać w rodzimym jezyku, bo mój angielski jest kiepski.
Zaraz po przyjeżdzie do USA pierwszym programem TV, który wzbudził moja większą/nawet największą/ uwagę był program poranny Marty Stuart. Długo nie wiedziałam, że jest polskiego pochodzenia. Polubiłam jej programy za profesjonalnosć i za wspaniałe przepisy kulinarne. Marta pokazywała, uczyła dokładnie i wolno, jak należy przygotowywać nie tylko smaczne i piękne posiłki, ale równiez jak dbać o dom, rodzinę i wiele ciekawych, codziennych spraw zwiazanych z domem.

krystyna said...

Pewnego dnia odwiedziła mnie moja angielska koleżanka i zapytała mnie, który TV program lubię oglądać. Bez namysłu powiedziałam, że dziecięcy "Mr. Roger" i kobiecy "Marta Stuart".
Pochwaliła mnie za dziecięcy, natomiast powiedziała, że Marta ogolnie nie jest lubiana.?????
Byłam bardzo zaskoczona. Dlaczego?
Moja koleżanka jako najważniejszy argument podała, że jest zarozumiała i mało się usmiecha.

Jak wiesz, my Polacy jestesmy bardziej naturalni/tak myslę/, usmiechamy się często, ale może nie aż tak ciągle. Nie chodzimy z przylepionym usmiechem, ale to nie znaczy, że jestesmy gorsi.

Dalej uwielbiam, podziwiam i szanuję Martę.
Marta jest genialna kobietą.
Nic jej w życiu łatwo nie przyszło.
Podziwiam ją też, że mimo wielkiej krytyki, nigdy się nie poddała.

Brawo Marta!

krystyna said...

Dopiero po około roku oglądania TV, własnie od tej koleżanki dowiedziałam się, że Marta jest Polskiego pochodzenia.
Dlatego to nadmieniam, że, chcę podkreslić, że moja sympatia do Marty nie jest wynikiem mojego narodowego sentymentu, lecz jest
zupełnie obiektywna.

Diękuje Ewo, za ten post
i serdecznie Cię pozdrawiam.

Millie said...

Wow Ewa, what an interesting post & what fascinating comments! We don't get Martha on our media outlets here in Australia, but the MSL magazine is available.

As I travel to the US often for work, I have seen her TV shows, but like some others, I'm ambivalent about her. I have read a book she wrote on her business & thought it was excellent. She really came up through the ranks the hard way & seems very focussed.

She also seems willing to mentor & promote people who do the right thing by her in business.
Millie ^_^

Anonymous said...

Martha who? (I'm just kidding!)

When she first came out I liked her magazines and tv show because of the slick, glossy look. I spent a lot of money on those magazines and Martha products, then the thought occurred to me, "Why do I feel that whatever Martha says or does is the utmost best?" The answer to that is because through media, the gullible public audience is brainwashed into believing so. We are too styleless and clueless ourselves to believe otherwise. That's when I stopped watching and buying her stuff. No more Martha clone!

The bottom line is that there is nothing wrong with Martha's's just that I don't want my 'style' to be a cookie cutter look like everyone else. If you work with the natural elements that you're already surrounded with, with a bit of thinking and experimenting, anyone can come up with their own unique stamp on decorating and gardening. And it's a good thing! ;-)