[Fortune] How Taylor Swift, ‘The Bachelorette,’ and an Etsy-like website are fueling a turnaround for crafts retailer Michaels

Now that MakerPlace is officially launching out of beta, just found this September 2023 piece where Michaels’ CEO offers a bit more context for the program

How Taylor Swift, ‘The Bachelorette,’ and an Etsy-like website are fueling a turnaround for crafts retailer Michaels (September 2023)

If the Fortune link is walled, try How Taylor Swift, ‘The Bachelorette’ and an Etsy-like web site are fueling a turnaround for crafts retailer Michaels.

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Hmm. Interesting read.

Our vision was, “Could we offer them all the stuff they need to make their products and then sell it, but charge a lower commission?”

If a handmade business is going to succeed, buying quality materials in bulk or at wholesale prices has got to be part of that plan. Michaels doesn’t offer that for the tools and supplies I need.

I’m all for a lower commission fee. But I am happy to give a higher commission for higher sales volume. And so far Michaels has gotten zero commission from me. Hope to see them advertising more when the site is out of beta. So far I have only seen advertising aimed at makers.


Same. Even with sales and coupons, even if they had them, the pricing is for hobbyists, not businesses. At least not in jewelry.

Perhaps their yarn or art papers are good? I do buy their heavy card stock for my earring cards, but I think that’s all.

They are setting up two new stores in old BedBath locations near me. Those are bigger I think than their current stores.

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Interesting, thanks for sharing. I went to our Michaels the other day for stick-on letters for a costume and they’re really spruced the place up. It has a very ‘Target for Crafts’ feel - with a whole row of self-checkouts to boot.

Wish they’d do this here. We use to have one that’s close enough that I do go buy whatever I need, but that one closed and a new one opened up in a shopping hub in next town, I went there for a bid in the beginning, but have not for a while.

Good reminder. With all those email coupons from Michaels, I might want to go check things out and get some card stock too.

I am a hobbyist with a recent example.

I was about to buy a bundle of 15 skeins of my favorite yarn (in gray) for a project from MichaelsPRO - Buy in Bulk with free shipping but just thought to check my local Joann first. Between a doorbuster sale and an extra discount for purchasing online for pick-up, I got the same 15 skeins for half the price of the bundle. The same day.

But if I didn’t have easy access to a local store that offered pick up and had the exact same item and the quantity I needed in stock, then I would have been quite pleased with the MichaelsPRO bundle. And they offer that bundle for brand colors that my local Joann doesn’t even stock.

Meanwhile, Amazon itself sells “bulk” bundles of 3 skeins of the same yarn, in many colors, at regular retail. 5 of those to get 15 skeins would cost 40% more than the MichaelsPRO bundle. :roll_eyes:

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You and my sister are never allowed to be in the same room. Or at least the same yarn store.

We would both whip out our WIPs :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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This is half her living room and most of her basement. The other half is yarn she got for projects she hasn’t started because she has no room… yet.

Well at least it seems like they know what they are planning for. It’s a pretty good article and I did notice that the last time i was in Michael’s it was nicer looking and more organized and better stocked then before. I just wish they had a fabric selection, then I might pop in there more often. I typically only end up in there when my kids need some sort of craft supply.

I’ve heard rumors that Joanns could be having issues in the future, with a possible bankruptcy on the horizon so who knows how that will affect the craft industry.

I really had no idea that hobby lobby had no online component. I also only go there once in a blue moon because my kids like craft kits and things. It’s a far drive but what I hate most is the archaic computer system where they have to look up if an item is on sale and I’m sure hobby lobby’s lack of technology is what is going to be their downfall in future.

I still wish Apollo group would have put Spoonflower under the Michael’s branding instead of Shutterfly branding makes no sense. I’m not a business expert.

Also found out that Spoonflowers famous 50 percent off fat quarter sales are now only going to be 40 percent off. I suppose a sign of the times everything has to go up up up.

Hopefully Makerplace will do well. The biggest thing I worry about is them prioritizing people who spend their money at Michael’s will get more promotion.


Well, the whole thing is basically a marketing tool to promote their main business.

They have a 2% referral fee (plus a 3% payment processing fee, most of which goes to the credit card processor). That does not cover the cost of running the platform. Unless they drastically hike fees at some point they will never make a cent off makerplace, it’s all about bringing additional traffic to the rest of their site.


Ok, are you actually my brother, trolling me? :rofl:

I’ve had to start storing my WIPs up: a wall of hooks and project bags.

I have not been in a Michael’s for maybe 20 years. My wife buys a lot of canvas online, she says at ridiculously low prices with cheap or free shipping that blows away Blick prices.

That’s good. One of their weaknesses has always been a deathly slow checkout process.


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@ModernSwitch - Hobby Lobby has an online component which is their website by the same name. The need for their cashiers to individually look up items on sale is due to the absence of bar codes on most products. But their depth of merchandise is good and shoppers like the items for sale.


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