NEW YORK — Martha Stewart single-handedly changed the game for home decorating and cooking in the late 1990s, becoming the “it” designer for all things domestic.

But the announcement Monday of an acquisition of her media and merchandising empire in a deal that values the company at far less than in it was worth in its glory days shows how much her brand has eroded over the years.

Martha Stewart’s is being sold to Sequential Brands Group, which owns and licenses brands such as Ellen Tracy and Jessica Simpson, in a deal valued at $353 million. That’s a fraction of the $1.8 billion valuation when the company went public in 1999.

“The days when people looked to one person to tell them how to entertain, live tastefully are gone,” said Allen Adamson, chairman of Landor Associates, a brand research firm. “Today, there are many voices. She can’t go back to retaking that mantle because that mantle is gone.”

It’s a shift from when Stewart built her business, from books to TV shows, based on her penchant for decorating and cooking. Stewart cultivated legions of loyal fans, all eager to know the best way to decorate a cake, set the Thanksgiving table or plan a cocktail party. Business was booming, and Stewart consolidated her businesses into one company in 1997 and then took that company public in 1999.

But in recent years, the company has been hit with heavy competition. No longer were people looking to get their information from a single source, but rather they were getting decorating and cooking advice from other domestic divas like Rachael Ray and everyday bloggers who write about home decorating, cake baking and the like. That was compounded by the fact that Stewart’s recipes and decorating rules didn’t quite resonate with younger customers searching for quick solutions on their iPhone.

Adding to these challenges were legal woes of both the personality and the company bearing her name. Stewart was convicted in 2004 on federal criminal charges of lying to prosecutors about selling ImClone shares a day before the Food and Drug Administration announced it declined to review the company’s application for a cancer drug. Stewart rejoined the board of Martha Stewart Living in September 2011 after a five-year ban that was part of a settlement with federal regulators related to her conviction

Then, Stewart brokered a merchandising deal with J.C. Penney in late 2011 that competed with a prior exclusive deal with Macy’s Inc. As a result, Martha Stewart got into a three-year court battle with J.C. Penney and Macy’s, ending with Penney terminating its deal that covered certain products like cookware and towels with the company.