Barry Tatelman, CEO of Jordan's Furniture

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This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, September 12, 2003, that was edited for clarity.

Watch Your World w/Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: When it comes to Martha Stewart (search), forget guilty or innocent. My next guest is just thinking profits.

Barry Tatelman wanted to boost sales of the Martha Stewart furniture collection at his New England stores. So get this. He’s tapped the domestic diva herself to star in his TV spots!

Take a look.


BARRY TATELMAN, CEO, JORDAN’S FURNITURE: Today, we’re going to show you a way to iron your sheets, so your new Martha Stewart sleigh bed will smell like roses, and we’ll create the perfect swan napkin to impress your guest on this Martha Stewart espresso dining table.

MARTHA STEWART, MARTHA STEWART OMNIMEDIA: If you’re hosting a dinner and you realize you don’t...

TATELMAN: Excuse me, Martha.

STEWART: Oh, hi, guys.

TATELMAN: How is this?

STEWART: Well, that is not a recognized napkin-fold.

TATELMAN: It’s a swan.

STEWART: That bird will never fly. And not on my table.

TATELMAN: The Martha Stewart Signature Collection by Bernhardt now at Jordan’s Furniture.


Barry Tatelman joins me now from Watertown, Massachusetts. He’s the CEO of Jordan’s Furniture Company just outside Boston.

Barry, you’re either brilliant or crazy or maybe both. Why Martha?

TATELMAN: Well, it’s really not about Martha. It’s about the furniture, and she brought out a collection of furniture. It is absolutely gorgeous furniture. It’s made by Bernhardt, and it is not so much about her as it is about the furniture.

But she is the guru of taste. I mean she has built an empire, and she’s very actively involved in this styling of the furniture. She’s done a fabulous job on this collection.

CAVUTO: Did you or any of your folks advise you that, look, I mean, this woman has all these legal problems, you know, God knows where she’ll be ending up, maybe in prison, it’s risky?

TATELMAN: Well, you know, this is not a statement about her legal problems. This is really a way to showcase furniture. She still has a lot of fans. I can tell you she was a pleasure to deal with. You know, we filmed the commercial. She was a lot of fun.

CAVUTO: I mean how did you call her, Barry? I mean how did you let her know, hey, I’d like to do you in these spots, I think you’d be perfect?

TATELMAN: Well, you know, we are the largest furniture retailer in New England, and we carry her line of furniture. Our commercials are sort of self-deprecating, so we thought we could spoof her a little and she would spoof us, and it would just be a fun interaction.

CAVUTO: How did she react when you first told her, look, we want you in these spots?

TATELMAN: She thinks we’re a little crazy, which we’re used to, but she was great about it.

CAVUTO: So she told you, look, you know what’s going on, right?

TATELMAN: No, she wasn’t talking about herself. She just thinks we’re a little crazy. You haven’t seen some of our other commercials. But we sort of do a little off-the-wall things.

CAVUTO: Do any of those off-the-wall things include, you know, a nod and a wink to her legal troubles?

TATELMAN: No, no. This has nothing do with her legal issues. It really has to do with the furniture, and we really believe in the furniture, the collection, and it is selling, and it’s really terrific furniture.

CAVUTO: There is a distinction, is there not, Barry -- I mean she does have her loyal fan base, people who love everything she’s connected to, and really disassociate the other stuff. I assume you’re in that camp.

TATELMAN: Absolutely. She is a brilliant woman. She has built an empire. She’s got a lot of wonderful people working with her, and she got together with a wonderful furniture company, Bernhardt, and they have -- she is actively involved in every piece of that furniture. She’s got a lot of the pieces in her own home.

CAVUTO: Real quick on just her legal troubles. I know you don’t really want to get into it, but you think she’s getting a rough ride there and that people are out to get her?

TATELMAN: You’re right. I don’t want to get into it. I honestly don’t know. I’m not a judge or a jury, and I don’t know.

CAVUTO: All right. Barry Tatelman, I want to thank you very much. Jordan’s Furniture.

TATELMAN: Thank you.

CAVUTO: The ads are running right now with no less than Martha Stewart, the decorating diva herself.

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