I may be the “Jenny-come-lately” here on this topic, but it seems that there’s been a HUGE shake up with the Michaels craft stores.Â According to Craftgrrl, they have basically laid off all of the teaching staff, and have canceled all of their craft classes in beading, scrapbooking, knitting, etc. It seems that even the kid’s parties have been suspended indefinitely.
I also belong to a number of Yahoo Groups, and I’m hearing the same thing everywhere: classes are gone (except for Wilton’s cake decorating classes) and “corporate” has decided to homogenize things by dictating that every store will offer the same projects. And they will be taught by the same folks who run the cash register and unload the boxes.
In short, no more “experts.” You’ll have to buy the pre-packaged kits and follow the directions. And from what I found on the Michaels website, it looks like the only thing they are focusing is kids crafts. There’s is branded “the Knack.”
So isn’t that just like Oriental Trading? Where’s the creativity in that?
And what about what the local market wants? Like folks who want polymer clay classes over, say, crocheting?
This is a sad state of affairs for the crafting/arting community. What to do?
Well, two things. One – and the most important – is patronize your local, independent shops. The bead shops, scrapbooking stores, the yarn shops, etc. It’s hard to run and brick-and-mortar business in a virtual world, and dollars to doughnuts those shop owners are happy to run classes that meet your interests.Â They often struggle and lose a lot of business to online vendors and big box craft stores, so they seek to find an interesting niche. (For example, our local bead shop realized that no one was doing polymer clay classes so she hired me!)
Secondly, ignite your “craftivism!” Time to contact “The Man” and let them know what we think of it…. click here toÂ use their online question form.