Tag Archives | Michaels Stores

Update | Bella Crafts, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Jobs, & More

In this edition of the Update column we’ve got lots of big news from some of the industry’s biggest players: Michaels Stores, Hobby Lobby, Messe Frankfurt, Craft & Hobby Association, and more!

[Dislaimer: Messe Frankfurt is a sponsor of this website, but information included in this article was solely at my own discretion.]

Publishing. Bella Crafts has launched a second digital magazine, called Craft Techniques. The new title, which joins the company’s line-up alongside the original Bella Crafts Quarterly, will be published six times per year with a single issue price of $4.97. Annual subscriptions are currently available at an introductory rate of $17.97.

Craft Techniques coverCelebrating. Stamp manufacturer My Favorite Things is celebrating its tenth anniversary in the whole month of July with a series of special giveaways and features on its blog. Founder Kim van der Sanden wrote a special blog post detailing the history of the company’s early days.

Honoring. The Craft & Hobby Association is accepting nominations for the following awards to be presented during the CHA Conference & Trade Show in Phoenix in January 2017:

Meritorious Award of Honor – Service to CHA
The highest award of recognition bestowed upon an individual member, past or present, who has made a significant contribution to the Craft & Hobby Association.
Industry Achievement Award – Contribution to Craft and Hobby Industry
Recognizing a CHA member (individual, group and/or company) who has made a significant contribution to the growth and vitality of the craft and hobby industry as a whole.
Special Recognition Award(s) – Good Deeds
Presented to a person, group and/or company for an extraordinary contribution in an activity that showcases the craft and hobby industry in a positive way. Award recipient(s) need not be a member(s) of the Association.
Nominations are due by July 30th. Click here to fill out the nomination form.

Clearing Out. After six months of virtual silence, October Afternoon has resurfaced to hold a warehouse box sale on their blog. They’ve held several rounds of boxes already in the past couple of weeks, selling merchandise for twenty cents on the dollar retail ($100 value boxes for $20 retail). The most recent round is sold out already, but owner Jonathan Denton has replied to comments from disappointed would-be buyers, promising more boxes will be offered soon.

Selling. Speaking of boxes, Me & My Big Ideas has been testing a Happy Planner Kit in select Costco stores at a price point of $24.99. The planner alone normally retails for $29.99, so this is a heavily discounted bundle.

Happy Planner Kit

Michaels has also just put out mid-aisle displays of similar kits, in several sizes and themes. There are teacher and student kits, as well as a fitness and a seasonal (holiday) planner. They range in price from $29.99 to $39.99, depending on the size and number of months included.

MAMBI Planner Kit

Prepping. Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes when industry professionals are getting ready for a trade show? Jen Gallacher, who is the marketing manager at Echo Park Paper, made a great video talking about what goes into the lead-up to a trade show. Watch it on YouTube.

Expanding. Messe Frankfurt has announced a new addition to the Christmasworld show that occurs in January every year simultaneously with Creativeworld and Paperworld. The “Floradecora” product area will feature live floral and plant product offerings, which are becoming increasingly popular for seasonal displays, and will be located in Hall 11.1 in the Christmasworld show area.

Damaging. The Hobby Lobby store in Muskogee, Oklahoma sustained damage in a severe storm that hit the city on Thursday, July 14th. The store was closed at the time and there were no injuries in the incident. Hobby Lobby’s communications coordinator told the Muskogee Phoenix that the damage appears to be limited to the external and the company hoped to reopen the store quickly. The Hobby Lobby store is next to a recently closed Hancock Fabrics store. Hobby Lobby will be renovating and expanding their existing location into the newly vacant space, with the makeover slated for completion in November.

Falling. Michaels Companies Inc (MIK) stock took a hit last Wednesday when the company announced two pieces of news. The first was that the company now expects 2nd quarter profits to hit the low range of their previous estimate, which was already a disappointment to analysts. The company also announced that Bain Capital and Blackstone Group, the private equity companies that were the companies previous private owners, are cashing out 11 million shares of the 80% equity they continued to hold in the company after it went public. The twin disclosures sent the company’s stock tumbling 6% by the end of trading on Wednesday, to $27.13. As of the market close today (Monday), the stock had recovered only slightly, to $27.56.

Changing. The Washington Post has a thought-provoking article up about the Millenial generation’s relationship to stuff. Their tendency to lead more simple lifestyles in smaller homes is leading them to reject memorabilia as clutter. Not only do they not want their parents’ sentimental legacies, but they aren’t creating and collecting their own. It’s food for thought for an industry that is built largely on the creation of that “clutter”.

Jobs. The following industry positions are currently listed as open and available:


Update | Michaels, Scrapbook Expo, Jobs, and more!

In this issue of the Update column, I’ve got some big news from some of the industry’s biggest names – and some great opportunities if you are job hunting! Let’s dive in…

Michaels store

Earnings. Michaels Stores held its quarterly earnings call for investors today. The company surprised market watchers by reporting that it missed its quarterly earnings target for the first fiscal quarter of 2016 that ended April 30th. Michaels stock (traded under MIK on the NASDAQ) fell over 8% after the announcement, to close at $27.69 for the day.

In the announcement, Michaels executives blamed weak April sales for the missed earnings estimate. Michaels is far from alone in struggling to meet its April sales goals in 2016. A whole host of U.S. retailers have announced weaker than expected April sales figures, including Costco, Gap, L Brands, Target, Macy’s and Nordstrom – to name just a few.

Moving forward, Michaels says it plans to continue to focus on the adult coloring trend, extending its selection of coloring books and coloring materials. The company has also begun expanding the trend off-paper, recently unveiling store displays that feature items such as kids’ t-shirts with coloring designs on them along with fabric markers. The company also plans to launch nationwide in July a loyalty program that it has been testing locally in Texas near its headquarters.

For more information on Michaels Stores financial numbers in the first quarter, read the official announcement.

Industry Jobs. The following industry positions are currently posted as available:

New Positions. Bella Blvd has announced that Amy Heller is filling the newly created position of Marketing Director at the company. Heller is known to many in the industry for her time as a Garden Girl at Two Peas in a Bucket, and for her work designing product for the now-defunct Lily Bee Design. But she also has nearly two decades of professional experience in marketing and graphic design, including for Fortune 500 brands. Initial plans for Heller’s role at Bella Blvd include development of a new blog and email interaction with customers.

Amy Heller

Amy Heller

Honors. Congratulations to Georganne Bender and Rich Kizer on their Retail Adventures blog being named one of the “7  Retail Publications You Should Be Reading” by retail analytics platform Celect. Retail Adventures has been basking in the spotlight in 2016, with UK retail analysts Retail Vision also naming the blog to its “Top 50 Retail Blogs” list in January.

Events. I had a chance to attend Scrapbook Expo for the first time in 2016 when it came to Orlando this past weekend for an event at the Gaylord Palms resort in Kissimmee.

Scrapbook Expo Orlando 2016

The shows are now officially known as “Stamp & Scrapbook Expo,” reflecting the growing presence of stamping products on the show floor. Compared to 2015, there was much more current product on the show floor – I saw a variety of current product from Echo Park, Carta Bella, Simple Stories, Quick Quotes, Graphic 45, Photo Play Paper, Sizzix, Hero Arts, Tim Holtz, and many others. Several booths were carrying a good selection of planner supplies as well.

Several well-known industry names were attracting good crowds in their booth. Stayce DeWid of Art Anthology had a make-n-take running in her booth, with the help of an instructor.

Stayce Dewid

Stayce Dewid

As it was throughout 2015 at the shows, the make-n-take being run by Richard Garay at the Fun Stamper’s Journey booth continued to be popular in 2016 in Orlando. The booth was thronged every time that I passed by on Friday.

Fun Stamper's Journey booth

June is a busy month for Orlando area papercrafters, with Stampfest also scheduled to take place in Lakeland at the end of the month.


SNAP Conference 2016: My First Blogging Conference

Somehow, with all of the travel that I have done for my work running my websites in the past few years, the one thing that I hadn’t done was attend one of the major national blog conferences. I had attended local events like WordCamp here in Florida, but hadn’t traveled further afield for one.

I finally crossed “attend blog conference” off of my list last week when I attended the 2016 SNAP Conference  for creative bloggers in Salt Lake City. For those unfamiliar with it, SNAP Conference is a three day annual event based in Salt Lake City that serves home, craft, and DIY bloggers. The event provides networking, education, and opportunities to connect with sponsors.

Delta Flight Information

My journey to SNAP started with a 4am drive to Daytona Beach International airport to catch a 6am flight to Atlanta. I love Daytona Beach airport – it’s only a half hour away from my house and easy to use because it is tiny. It’s so tiny, in fact, that when I checked in for my trip to SNAP, the check-in agent handed me my boarding pass and said, “Your flight is at gate 2.” I told him, “You could have just said go to the gate with the plane at it.” He laughed and told me I was right. Once, I arrived a bit too early for my flight and spent quite awhile as the lone passenger in the secure area of the terminal, with only the airport’s police officer and the gift store clerk for company. Continue Reading →


Michaels Buying Darice Parent Lamrite West

The Michaels Companies, Inc. announced on February 2nd that it had purchased Lamrite West, Inc. for $150 million dollars.

Lamrite West was founded in 1954 by the Catanzarite family, and remained privately held until the acquisition by Michaels Companies. The current CEO, Michael Catanzarite, was the son of company founder Pat Catanzarite. According to the announcement, Michael Catanzarite will continue as CEO of Lamrite West post-acquisition and will serve on the Michaels executive committee. Lamrite West will continue to operate out of its Ohio headquarters as “a distinct business within Michael’s” according to Michaels Companies’ press statement on the acquisition.

Youngsville, Ohio-based Lamrite West operates a 34 store craft chain in the Midwest named Pat Catan’s. There are Pat Catan’s stores in four states: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Continue Reading →


Update | Michaels Stores, Lia Griffith, May Flaum, Bella Crafts and more!

Wow, the news has been coming like crazy, and we are overdue for an Update column! Here’s what you might have missed!

In case you missed it last month, Stampin’ Up! has discontinued their Blendabilities line of pens. The alcohol markers suffered from quality issues with the attaching of the tip during manufacturing that could lead to the marker drying out. For information on receiving a refund if your markers are defective, visit the Blendabilities FAQ.

Bella Crafts Publishing, publisher of Bella Crafts Quarterly, has made several big announcements in recent months. They have rebranded, announced a new publication (Craft Techniques) and also a new event!

The event, called Bella Crafts Connections, will take place September 24th-27th at the Mall of America. This is a similar time frame as was previously occupied by the Archiver’s Scrapfest at the Mall of America, before the Archiver’s bankruptcy and store closures. The Bella Crafts event is planned to be huge, and not just for scrapbooking. The company is promising 60-70 craft workshops in areas like mixed media, jewelry making, ice resin, needle arts, as well as more. Over 20 teachers, including Lisa Pavelka, Seth Apter, Gina K, and Eileen Hull, are planned for the event. Continue Reading →


Update | 7.11.2014 – Amy Tangerine, Sneak Peeks, and more!

Looking for work in the Los Angeles area? Amy Tan of the brand Amy Tangerine is looking for a “Creative Assistant” to work in her studio with her 10-15 hours per week. According to the job posting on Amy’s blog “Knowledge in graphic design, photography and wordpress is a must. A design aesthetic that goes along with the Amy Tangerine brand is a plus.” Also, the job requirements include having your own car, camera, and laptop.

To learn more about the position or to apply, visit the Amy Tangerine blog.

If you are interested in keeping up with the latest releases, don’t miss the Scrapbook Update Summer Sneak Peeks page! We’ve done several major updates to it this week! It’s full of all sorts of exciting upcoming new products for the second half of the year. Continue Reading →