With the arts and crafts industry continuing to grow in popularity, Michaels is clearly looking to solidify its place as the supplier of “makers” while also taking a piece of Etsy’s pie. In addition to offering artisans an alternative venue to sell their wares, MakerPlace aims to create a forum and community space for craftspeople with the inclusion of artist-led classes and how-to guides, as well as easy access to Michaels’ assortment of supplies, all through one platform.
“The launch of MakerPlace by Michaels deepens our ability to support customers in all of their creative pursuits, whether that be learning new skills, discovering handmade goods or growing their own handmade business,” said Ashley Buchanan, CEO of Michaels in a statement. “MakerPlace provides a new way to buy and sell unique handmade art, gifts, goods and classes while empowering our customers to directly support or become handmade sellers themselves.”
At launch, MakerPlace features hundreds of thousands of SKUs. U.S.-based customers can now browse dozens of categories of handmade goods — including jewelry, home décor, art, accessories, crafting arts, bath and beauty and clothing — as well as learn or refine the skills needed to bring their own creative ideas to life.
With free product listings and low referral fees, the company said “MakerPlace aims to lower the barrier to entry and help artists and makers earn more on every sale” (a direct jab at Etsy where sellers have recently called out the platform for its payment practices and fees). MakerPlace sellers also have the opportunity to earn extra money by hosting virtual classes and posting how-to guides, with supplies lists on which they can earn commissions if materials are purchased on Michaels.com.
MakerPlace offers sellers the option of Basic and Professional membership tiers as well as multiple shipping options. Additionally, sellers qualify for discounts on Michaels products and support from the Michaels marketing team to reach the company’s customer base.
“Our research found that nearly three in four makers believe there’s a void in the online marketplace landscape today, and that existing platforms come with pain points like high upfront costs, increasing fees for product listings and competition with an overflow of mass-produced goods,” said Heather Bennett, EVP of Marketing and Ecommerce at Michaels in a statement. “MakerPlace by Michaels was designed in direct response to these challenges, with the goal of helping handmade artists and makers succeed.”
Michaels has celebrated its 50th anniversary this year with a number of big business moves, including a brand refresh and the addition of a third-party marketplace in a bid to expand its product assortment from 250,000 SKUs to more than 1 million.