Jul 26, 2011

Behind the Scenes – Michaels Creative Crew Part II

By: Amy Atlas, in Amy's Latest, Behind The Scenes

I’m back with Part II of the behind the scenes at the Creative Crew Michaels event.  If you missed Part I, definitely check it out here.  You may recall that on our first night we did some fun felting projects and had dinner with the Michaels crew.  The second day was all about learning more about the team behind the Michaels brand.  First up were some informative sessions from their executives.  Some of the topics included how they spot trends, the brands they carry, and quality control. We then headed up to their offices to see a sneak peek of how they work!  Take a peek below, and then come back tomorrow to see Part III for a visit to the Michaels Stores Creative Director’s home.

Outside the Michaels headquarters…

Michaels Stores chief creative guru Jo Pearson was our guide throughout the whole day.  Jo is bustling with energy and we all fell in love with her cheery disposition.

Next up…we learned from the Michaels trends expert about colors and trends.  Three times a year, the Michaels team visits London, Amsterdam, and one off the beaten path place {this year was Marakkech} to look at trends abroad.  Her trend forecast for this year included a Ralph Lauren traditional fall look and a victorian goth vibe for Halloween.  Colors for early fall included orange, gold and creams.  She also noted a comeback in floral/chinoiserie, bright colors showing up in leather, and an African influence in jewelry.  Interesting, right?

We also heard from their Quality Control Manager.  It was SO interesting to learn what goes into the process of making it into Michaels stores from a quality control perspective.  Every product has to have the right design and be safe. Michaels Stores requirements are more stringent than the Federal regulations so there have been times when they have disposed of products because it does not meet their self-imposed requirements, even if it meets Federal guidelines.

The team also told us about their new customized MiDesign program, where you can make customized invites and online scrapbooks.  You can then have the scrapbooks printed.  For those of you who have no time to scrapbook like myself (I feel guilty about it all the time), this tool is amazing!!!

We also learned from the private label director that Michaels has its own line in their stores.  Often, Michaels will ask their own suppliers to create an exclusive line for Michaels so that they can stay competitive in the marketplace.

After getting a lot of info from their team, the Michaels team shared with us new products in each of their lines.   They created a display for each product category they have in their stores.  I loved seeing their Recollections section because I was able to view a sneak peek of their scrapbook paper, which I often use for parties.

They also had lots of goodie baskets for us!  For every session we attended, there was another craft goody package.  It was like the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” of Crafts!

After hearing from the Michaels Executives, we then headed upstairs to see the space they work in.  First we checked out Jo’s team’s office…

It was nice to see that the Michaels crew’s office looks just like mine!  Lots of paint, glitter, yarn, and pom poms everywhere!

Lots of supplies in clear bins.  This looks just like my place!

Here is Jo’s team in their office…

We were so excited to see their space…

The Michaels Crew & the Creative Crew.  Lots of creative people in one room!

Come back tomorrow for a peek of Jo’s house and our crafting session at the Texas store….





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