MakerPlace: Invite to sell in-store at local Michaels event

I just got an invite to sell in-store at my local Michael’s at an event coming up. NO THANK YOU. LOL

Anyone else?


Yeah, I got one a couple weeks ago and then I follow up survey why I did not want to participate. Might work for some. Not me.

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Just got one as well.

Honestly, I would be all for it. But I sell Christmas ornaments. Its a bit past season…

Still, I like the idea


No. But then, a few years ago, The only Michaels store in our city closed and moved to a new location next city about 30 minutes drive away, so we don’t have a local Michaels anymore.


I got the email about selling in store but I don’t work on Saturdays as I observe Shabbat so I told them if they had any events on Sundays to let me know and I would love to!

Though I still don’t know if I would do it on a Sunday. It’s not my target demographic. People going to Michael’s will want to make their own stuff if anything I’m sure I’ll just get asked a bunch of questions on if I’m actually making money on makerplace. Which if I was probably wouldn’t be an issue if I was lol. I got another sale this week bringing me up to a total of 6 sales.

I’d have to figure out a way to accept payments or just do cash only. There isn’t a way to have people buy thru my makerplace unless they want me to ship it.

I think it’s a cool option and I have extra inventory on hand and I’ll try anything once if they offer it on a Sunday.


I would try it once, if it’s no-cost or a low-cost vendor fee. It’s a great chance to let customers get hands on with the right items and build some word-of-mouth, local momentum, in a protected space with guaranteed traffic. No site fee on sales(?), no shipping costs–low-effort opportunity for building local customer relationships.

Personally, I would feature the extremes of highest sales/velocity items with slowest movers.

And I would definitely have a business card QR code displayed, for links to all social and selling sites.


All of my things are made to order. And I hate people. So there’s that. :rofl: :rofl:


While I also hate people, I hate making to-order goods even more, which certainly would NOT be a good fit for a vendor event!

I’m more of a “you’ll take what I’m in the mood to make and you’ll LOVE it” creator. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Which is why I am only a hobbyist and do NOT operate an actual handmaker business! But I will sporadically do low-effort vendor events with OOAK pieces, priced for profit. This event would seem to meet my criteria, enough to try it once.

Honestly, a great angle on an in-person event like this would be “kits” or patterns or how-tos, offered in hard copy with a (Michaels) shopping list, OR pre-assembled kits with instructions. :thinking: The people shopping Michaels are makers, too.


@Image you :thinking: this. It could be a good fit with some other ideas/conversations you’ve shared privately. DTC, no shipping, target shopping audience. Your table could even be a tutorial space. :thinking::thinking::thinking:

And you LIKE people :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Yes, I am and have been thinking about this with the team. We just can not clear our plate to make it happen. Though sales on Amazon are slowing so that may give us more time.

The oddity is “MakerPlace” is about handmade items, and it should be. However, we have the capital to have on hand items that no one could afford in the quantities that we do.

One example would be slate. We need to buy a minimum of one skid. That weighs in at 6,000 to 7,000 pounds. We often buy two or three of them at a time. This takes a 27,000 pound truck to transport to our farm.

Our markers have to be ordered by the thousands, in order to achieve a landed cost that is reasonable.

So combine these with other items like templates, patterns, (yellow) tracing paper. You have a “kit” for MarkerPlace. Yet again MarkerPlace is for handmade people.

MakerPlace is for manufactures. We are stuck in the middle between the two. At least with what you are suggesting. And what we both have in mind.

ETA; I do like people, I spent much of my life speaking, worldwide before starting this path 34 years ago. Just looked at our books, we have had over 60 paid interns working for us over the years. We have two at this time. I would much rather teach than manufacture items.

So now we (I) need to figure out how to blend this together to create something that is palatable to consume.


Vendor fees and mileage to/from the event should be a tax-deductible business expense.

I’m not much of a people-person either but I’ve learned to adapt when necessary. In-store events, conventions, etc. give you the opportunity to talk with buyers and learn what kinds of products they are interested in.


A great point, this is why we LOVE Etsy, we get 80% of our product ideas from Etsy customers. This is priceless to us. Even our direct customers do not share what Etsy customers do with us.


Such deductions long have been deductible, but IRS documentation - like the Tax Code itself - has long presented obstacles for figuring out where & when to apply the supporting evidence.

I was on the craft fair circuit for 35 years, working 60-80 hours every single week. I absolutely loved the energy — and I’m absolutely not doing it again, even on a small scale.


I too did craft shows (for 20 years) while working a full time job in Seattle. The hour I spent on the ferry each way allowed me to do the hand stitching part of my products. Those 20 years were while I was raising my 2 children. They each brought a friend to the shows and all of the kids set up, tore down and worked in the booth learning how to interact with people, make change, run the charge card machine, inventory program, etc.

Will I start doing it again? Absolutely not. :upside_down_face:


We did a similar thing. I am a pilot, I think I have mentioned that a few times here on the SAS forum.

For a few years, I thought, heck we could make thousands if we just took some equipment to balloon shows in New England. I don’t fly a balloon, but I appreciate them and would go to the shows and photograph them.

Off we went in the SUV. After constructing a booth we could install at the event. We wanted to make T-Shirts, but they had a vendor for that. We proposed “Balloon Bags” you know the old lady bags (I am going to get in trouble for saying that) made out of Canvas. They ones used in the grocery stores.

I packed up the babies, grabbed the old ladies, (wait, that was about brother loves traveling salvation show.) Ok, so I was a single dad and put the kids to work to go to the balloon shows. We printed on transfer paper the images we created and then used a heat press on demand at the show.

It worked ok however, the best thing was I learned a LOT. How to work with the public, how to work with the show staff, how to work with the other vendors. The guy next to us was the T-Shirt guy, he was so impressed with our artwork, he had us adding it to his shirts by the end of the show in one state.

In another state, we met the “Tax-Man” never met one before. In our state we have no sales tax. Simple easy-peazey not in RI, the revenue agent visits the booth when you set up, and at the end of the day. They want (and they get) a cut of your profits on the spot.

Agree, Absolutely not.


Copying what the see displayed at this special event.

I know many Etsy sellers who use Etsy as a reminder they still exist, showing old designs - reserving their latest designs for in person sale at craft shows and through galleries. Because they do not want their designs knocked off.

I had a business plan for an online crafts marketplace, well before Etsy launched. We were targeting as sellers craftspeople who sold at the ACC shows.

We approached many of them offering to buy the pieces outright, and were turned down by a majority of them because they did not want their designs on the Internet.

Amazon intended for Handmade by Amazon sellers to be higher grade than the bulk of the Etsy buyers. Initially they were jurying sellers. In order to get enough sellers to launch, they reduced the requirement to soley be handmade.

They thought they could do it because the Fine Arts category was limited to highly qualified sellers - they were galleries, not artists. Gallery owners are not as protective of artist’s designs as artists.


Massachusetts used to do that at all sorts of shows, but when they had a revenue crisis, they eliminated overtime on weekends for tax collectors. (Irony alert).

Got hit with that in New York too. The killer was once you register, you were expected to file quarterly reports forever. Many an out of state seller who did not sell in NY again got hit with penalties for not filing reports with zero sales.


We never did shows in MA though I did write about it here in the SAS or OSFE, I can not recall, it did come up today in a business conversation.

We had a lot of equipment we had paid taxes on, sales tax or a tax on our leases.

The town did a “inspection” though they did not disclose that. I showed them, we were very proud of our operation. $1.5 Million in equipment. They quickly sent us a bill for an Excise Tax. We broke our lease, we left the town, we no longer bought items at local stores or restaurants. We moved to New Hampshire in 3 weeks.

No tax.

We got a call a week after we moved, You have to pay us, where did you go?" I responded that we went to New Hampshire and will no longer be spending any money in Massachusetts. The sad thing is we hired interns from the local high school within walking distance to our company.


Grew up selling at markets with my mom. Craft shows, flea markets, festivals, farmers markets we did it all and I loved it as a kid. I think it helped me really grow in my love of marketing and I gained valuable skills for sure.

But I just don’t have it in me now. Navigating child care issues (I am so not taking 5 kids with me anywhere :joy:) and the shows are so few and far between especially after Covid. When I only had a one or two kids I did do several shows but I’ve always found my light switch covers difficult to sell in person. People often can’t remember what kind of light switch they have at home. I also don’t like people so yeah I’m over it.

If the Michael’s thing was on a Sunday I’d do it just to bring a kid or two with me and have fun as an experience. I’ll try anything once or twice. But it’s not something I would depend on for income.