Martha Stewart has truly learned the meaning of making lemonade out of life’s lemons. After serving time in federal prison for insider trading, the entertaining guru could have slunk off in shame, never to return to TV again. Instead, the founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia returned to the spotlight and made quite a profit in the meantime.
Stewart has shared tidbits from her five months behind bars before, including a discussion about how she made her own crab apple jelly while she was locked up. But now the 80-year-old cookbook author is taking her talents one step further by selling a replica nativity scene that’s identical to the one she fashioned while incarcerated.
Followers on social media were quick to brand the item, “Martha’s jailhouse nativity scene” while marveling at the quality of the art. Each ceramic set comes with 14 pieces total, including baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the three wise men, and various animals. The set is being sold for $149.
The “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck” host debuted the holiday-themed decorative item on TikTok. She captioned the video, “You’ll never guess where I made this nativity scene…😇 Get ready for a storytime.”
Then Stewart really made her pitch for why fans should want this particular nativity scene. “If you’d like to give a really beautiful and special gift this Christmas with a little street cred, they’re all inspired by, guess what, a set I made when I was … confined,” Stewart says in the video.
“These are exact replicas of a nativity scene that I made in my pottery class when I was away at camp.”
Each set looks just like Stewart’s original except that it’s presented in white glazed ceramic instead of the original brown color. The item is also missing the talk show host’s prison inmate number, which she shows off on TikTok.
The media brand owner served time in Alderson Federal Prison Camp, a minimum security facility in West Virginia, between 2004 and 2005. She was convicted on multiple felony charges including conspiracy and obstruction of justice after an ImClone stock insider trading scandal in 2001.
Stewart originally showed off her nativity set on her show in 2007. During the episode, she explained how she had to get special permission to make the nativity since usually prisoners are only allowed to create one ceramic piece per month, The Daily Mail reported.
While she did make the best of her prison stay by making crab apple jelly and ceramic projects, Stewart has admitted in the past that incarceration was a “horrifying” experience.
“It was horrifying, and no one — no one — should have to go through that kind of indignity, really, except for murderers, and there are a few other categories,” Stewart told Katie Couric in 2017. “But no one should have to go through that. It’s a very, very awful thing.”
Couric wrote in her memoir that prison is what gave Stewart a sense of humor, but the domestic diva clapped back that she’s always had a sense of humor. Selling a prison-designed nativity scene is just one example of that truth.