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Eat, pray, love — and shop

Product marketing ventures into new territory with hundreds of women-oriented merchandising tie-ins to the movie starring Julia Roberts.

August 15, 2010|By Jeannine Stein | Los Angeles Times

Marcia Maizel-Clarke, founder of Culver City-based Dogeared Jewels & Gifts, is hoping its "Eat Pray Love"-inspired line will outperform the company's jewelry line based on "Sex and the City 2," which featured only 10 pieces. This one has 150-plus items and branches out to other products, such as luggage tags and bookmarks.

But if necklaces and pillows aren't enough to launch an epiphany, maybe a trip to Bali is. And not just any trip, but one that includes visits to places and people Gilbert encounters in her book, such as the town of Ubud, medicine man Ketut Liyer and musician Yude Andiko.

Spirit Quest Tours offers an Eat, Pray & Love Bali trip, presumably for those who don't care to craft their own life-changing expedition. "We did a trip in May and people were having these totally life-changing experiences," says Halle Eavelyn, a screenwriter who co-owns the business with her husband.

A fan of the book, Eavelyn knows what some of her clients (almost all women) want out of the trip: "We definitely work with people to try and facilitate spiritual breakthroughs." The tour includes readings from the book, which she calls "a beautiful, coalescing teaching tool. I feel the book was a huge catalyst in making [those breakthroughs] happen." Two more themed Bali trips are planned, with spots still available.

But with hundreds of "Eat Pray Love" items for sale, the product launches may be missing one thing, according to John Kremer, author of "1001 Ways to Market Your Books."

"Do they have an action figure?" Kremer says facetiously. "That's how you know you've made it."

jeannine.stein@latimes.com

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