Utah Company Reports Continued High Demand for Martha Stewart Products

Utah Company Reports Continued High Demand for Martha Stewart Products

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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- A jury may not have bought Martha Stewart's story about insider stock trading, but it's not stopping people from buying up her products.

A local company, Majestic Mountain Sage, says business is as brisk as ever. The company produces kits frequently advertised in Stewart's magazine.

Workers last week were busy putting together a make-it-yourself lip balm kit. MMS also has compiled other kits for Stewart, from lotions to sugar scrubs.

"She (Martha) has a huge following," said MMS owner Tina Howard, who started the company out of her home in 1996. It has grown into a large warehouse with 17 employees, more during the peak shopping season.

Stewart's company makes up around 10 percent of MMS's overall business, Howard said.

On March 5, a federal jury convicted Stewart and broker Peter Bacanovic of obstructing justice and lying to the government about Stewart's sale of 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems stock on Dec. 27, 2001.

Stewart has since resigned from the board of her media company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, assuming the new title of founding editorial director. She resigned as CEO after she was indicted last year.

Howard wasn't concerned about her business slumping because of the loyalty of Stewart's customers.

"It gives them a sense of self," Howard said. "They (homemakers) can cook, have beautiful homes and even make lip balm."

That sense of loyalty is so fierce that MMS's phones rang continuously through the scandal with customers calling in their support for Stewart. MMS's labels are kept on Stewart's products, leading some to believe that MMS is a Stewart-owned company.

"People call and tell us how wonderful they think she is," said MMS Senior Director of Product Development Stephanie Mascaro.

"Some customers have made it very clear that they don't like what happened," Howard explained. "They say, 'I am supporting Martha, and I am buying kits, and I am going to Kmart."'

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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