Never Shop At Hobby Lobby Again: A List Of Alternative Craft Stores Both Chain and Indie

We know by now that one positive way to promote change is by making conscious purchases. We did it with a certain chicken fast food chain and now we can do it with arts and crafts. I know it seems surprising, but there are arts and crafts stores out there that value their employees! Surprising, right?!


The thing about Hobby Lobby is that they sell literally nothing you can’t buy in every craft store ever. The Hobby Lobby in Fort Collins is legitimately across the street from a Michaels, two blocks from Jo-Ann and down the road from a handful of local indie craft spots. You don’t need Hobby Lobby. Even if you live in a town where there is only a Hobby Lobby (I don’t completely believe such a place exists because local craft spots are everywhere), most places sell online, even the indies.

This resource list to buying craft supplies from places that value their employees isn’t as comprehensive as it could be, but it’s a start. You can help us fill in the amazing local indie places from your town by letting me know in the comments! Together, we can ensure that no feminist need ever set foot inside those prejudiced, orange doors Monday through Saturday ever again.

via flickr

via flickr

Large Chain Stores

These chain stores offer a valuable alternative to Hobby Lobby, and have never taken anti-women or anti-queer stances as far as I can tell. This isn’t to say they are perfect corporations, but they are widely-accessible alternatives if you are having trouble finding independently-owned craft stores in your area. I’ve also included some employee treatment knowledge so that you can make informed buying choices. If you’ve ever worked at any of these stores and can offer insight, let me know!

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store

Jo-Ann is a big box craft chain with over 800 stores nationwide. They are in a ton of states throughout America, so they’re typically as accessible as any other chain craft stores. They sell fabric, yarn and beads, as well as sewing, jewelry-making and baking supplies. You can purchase online, and they always have coupons you can use on your phone or print to help you save a few bucks. I can also say with random confidence that they throw awesome children’s birthday parties.

How Employees Are Treated:

  • Jo-Ann employee salaries are around minimum wage, averaging about $7-$10/hr for a team member.
  • Jo-Ann offers benefits and a healthcare package for part-time team members, including some paid holidays.
  • Employee reviews on of Jo-Ann stores gave the company about an average rating, with some specifically saying it was the best or worst job they ever had. Employees reviewed said that the management and supervisors were well organized or terrible — locations varied widely, maybe signaling that retail store managers also vary widely. Positive reviews all said the work environment was the best part of the job, with one stating, “My co-workers are great. I like to believe that it is the workers that make my store such a great place to work.”


Michaels is another giant arts and craft chain store. Among a million other things, they sell yarn, artist supplies, floral supplies, jewelry-making supplies, bakeware, scrapbooking supplies and random $1 packs of blank notecards I can’t stop buying. They’re nationwide and even have some stores throughout Canada. Michaels also offers online purchases and has coupons you should be using.

How Employees Are Treated:

  • Michaels’ salaries are about average (higher than Jo-Ann), and most cashiers make minimum wage.
  • Michaels offers benefits and a healthcare package for part-time employees.
  • Most employee reviews on of Michaels are very complimentary. Most employee reviews say things like “the most enjoyable part of the job is speaking with customers about their projects, weddings, and getting their artistic advice. Its a fun environment (sic)” and “Being a retail store it’s a great place for people to start their first job. Management is great and will work with you if you have a crazy schedule because of school.” The most common cons were that there weren’t enough hours for temporary employees.

Artist and Craftsman Supply

Artist and Craftsman Supply is filled with really nice people that can help you out in extremely random locations throughout America, and Riese recommends them highly. They specialize in art supplies, so you can find all the typical canvas, drawing, paints in addition to a small offering of sculpture supplies and craft supplies like yarn. Their All Things Considered area is the best for finding random things you totally need, like this sweet giraffe mask. You can purchase online through their website.

How Employees Are Treated:

  • Retail clerk pay rates are an average of $9/hr.
  • It is unclear whether or not all employees are offered a health care package, though full-time employee job offerings do come with a benefits package.
  • To be honest, Artist and Craftsman Supply received some pretty low employee satisfaction ratings from One positive employee review said, “The majority of the individual store managers and employees are incredible people that genuinely want to help the customers have an amazing experience.” Many employees don’t like the higher management. Three people reviewed did not approve of the CEO, Larry Alderstein.

A.C. Moore

East Coasters, I am so jealous you get A.C. Moore. A.C. Moore sells bakeware, yarn and needle crafts, scrapbooking supplies, and floral among many other things. You can purchase their goods and wares online.

How Employees Are Treated:

  • A.C. Moore employees salaries are around $7-$9/hr for sales associates.
  • A.C. Moore offers benefits to part-time employees.
  • 54 employee reviews on gave the company 3.5 stars out of 5. Positive reviews say, “The management was easy to talk with and problems were handled quickly and effectively.” One neutral-ish review says, “Great place for job seekers looking for less than 30 hours a week at around minimum wage” which kind of says it all.

Pat Catan’s

Pat Catan’s is a family-owned crafting hot spot for Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania. They sell baking, floral, beading, scrapbooking and needle craft supplies among others.

How Employees Are Treated:

  • Pat Catan’s employee pay rates average minimum wage, from $7-$8/hr.
  • Pat Catan’s offers full-time employees benefits, though it is unclear if this extends to part-time employees.
  • Out of a total of one employee review on, we can surmise that Pat Catan’s is a “Great place to work. Excellent Management. Team work is great. Co-workers are terrific. This is the best place by far to work.” However, from the five employee reviews on Glassdoor, Pat Catan’s only earns two out of five stars. Negative reviews include, “It was like pulling teeth at times in order to get more hours. Barely covers living expenses” and “Advancement is about impossible, the same managers have been there for 30 years, the store managers choose friends to promote before hard workers that deserve it.”

Buy random grab bags of craft supplies for cheap on ebay! via this weird ebay listing

Buy random grab bags of craft supplies for cheap on ebay! via this weird ebay listing

Online Retailers

Amazon and eBay and Etsy have a surprising amount of craft supplies at low prices. If you’re having trouble finding beads or a the most specific shade of Hunter Green felt, these are the three places I’d recommend, as you can find exactly what you want, always.

Factory Direct Craft, Oriental Trading and Save-On-Crafts are three gigantic online retailers that are wholly overwhelming if you are just browsing. You can find nearly any kind of craft supply in these three places. If you can’t, I’m doubting it exists. To tackle these giants and get the most out of it, I recommend having something specific in mind, whether that be a finished product or a party theme, and going from there.

Purl Soho yarn wall via Uppercase Magazine

Purl Soho yarn wall via Uppercase Magazine

Awesome Local Indie Places by City

Support your local indie craft shop!

Independent art and craft shops are sanctuaries of making all the things. Supporting local businesses means you’re paying directly back into your community and giving small businesses a boost. Many indie shops sell online and are not limited to region, but the experience and beauty of a local craft shop is something we should all revel in. Check out the ones we love below:


Burlington, VT




Kansas City

Laguna Beach, CA

Lancaster, PA

Las Cruces, NM

Los Angeles


New York City




San Antonio

San Francisco

Stevens Point, WI

Washington D.C.

West Lafayette, IN

Please note, these are just the ones we know about so far! Let us know your favorites in the comments so we can add it to the list!

Hansen is the former DIY & Food Editor of and likes to spend most days making and cooking and writing. She teaches creative writing at Colorado State University and is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in her free time.

Hansen has written 190 articles for us.


  1. I must be missing something here because while I did not read this entire ranting article word for word I did scan through it, thoroughly…several times…TRYING to find what this person’s beef is about against this company. Not in one single place did I ever read what Hobby Lobby was suppose to have done to this person to warrant such a tirade against them. All I know from shopping at the store near me a few times they are 1 – closed on Sunday which personally I believe should happen with almost all stores again. Sundays SHOULD be a day of rest whether it be for religious reasons which is why it existed in the first place or just because humans NEED this down time. When I began my working life here in Maryland we DID have what were known as Blue Laws. I made a choice as a teen to work retail so I KNEW I would have EVERY Sunday off of work. That was great when the rest of my friends were schlepping around in greasy kitchens working fast food ALL weekend long.

    Next, at least in the category I usually buy in, cake decorating, I didn’t think their selection was very good so I had very little reason to visit their site all that often. However, I will say their fabric department was pretty darn good. Finally, I felt their prices were rather high. Now they may be about what other places are selling some of the things for but no matter who was selling the item, I didn’t feel it was worth the price.

    Let’s face it, ALL of these types of stores whether they be Michael’s, AC Moore, JoAnn Fabrics, any of them…are all keeping the Chinese worker employed rather than the American citizen. I’m not overly crazy about shopping at ANY of them when it comes to the quality of the product. None of it is anything to brag about. And NO, I don’t support Walmart either. I avoid Walmart like the plague unless forced by no other alternative to shop there. I learned FAR too much about Walmart when studying their corporation AND worst of all, Sam Walton years ago while working on my Master’s degree. If you want to talk about a corporation that not only treats their employees like a disposable commodity, there is one for you. Remember, their employees had to file a class action suit against them to get health insurance. You don’t even want to hear how they treat their employees in their sweatshops overseas. The secretly taped videos reminded me of the Nazi concentration camps, no joking here. I won’t even get into how they treat other corporations and fellow business people.

    So anyway, next time you decide to have a hissy fit about a business and try to get people to stop shopping at their locations….at least make an effort to say WHY it is you believe this should happen. But after reading what was written about ALL of the craft stores, no one seems to have all that happy of staffs. Bottom line, if you don’t like the conditions at a place, move on…these sorts of jobs are a dime a dozen and if you can, go get some additional education or training. I hate to tell people, but if all you have is a high school diploma or not even that….THIS is what you will be stuck doing for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. Basic minimum wage employees at large box stores are not treated like valued resources because they’re not. If you leave, there are 50 people standing at the door waiting to take your job. There also is NO excuse for people not to better themselves in the job world by training or education. If someone REALLY wants to go, regardless of resources, there are lots of ways to do so today. FAR FAR more than when I had to pay for every dime of college myself. Now, there’s grants, aid, online, and half a dozen other ways to do so. Good luck to the author of this posting….they sound like a VERY unhappy person.

    • Hi, I’m Hansen, the author of this post.

      I apologize if you’re confused. Maybe if you had read the whole article word for word instead of scanning it thoroughly several times you’d have saved yourself some time writing this long and derailing comment about your confusion and many strong opinions.

      This was written nearly a year and a half ago at a time when Hobby Lobby was in the news quite often for its archaic and discriminatory birth control lawsuit. I should have been more clear about how Hobby Lobby is an anti-queer, anti-choice, anti-women company, but if you’re interested, a simple Google news search will enlighten you.

      I noticed you said you don’t like Hobby Lobby’s selection of cake decorating supplies. Feel free to have a look through the list of other local stores near you. If not, that’s great. I support your freedom of choice. Unlike Hobby Lobby.

      Have a nice day. :)

      • “I noticed you said you don’t like Hobby Lobby’s selection of cake decorating supplies. Feel free to have a look through the list of other local stores near you. If not, that’s great. I support your freedom of choice. Unlike Hobby Lobby.”

        I love you hansen

  2. Michaels doesn’t have any lgbt friendly policies even if they don’t actively oppose them, Jo Ann’s fabric stores have one, they don’t discriminate from sexual orientation, although they don’t have that policy for gender identity. So just go to Jo Ann’s If there is a choice between the two

    • “Hateful sewage from a simple mind.”

      Hmmm… “When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself.” -Earl Nightingale

  3. Hey! It’s obvious that you care about how employees are treated! And that’s wonderful, and a great thing to promote! I have an amazing job, and know that it’s something to be thankful for since they don’t always come easy. I love the people I work with, the management has been great to me. I’m paid well above minimum wage, even though I just work part time, and have mostly worked as a cashier. I work at Hobby Lobby.

  4. Just because Hobby Lobby does not offer an affiliate program so you can get a commission is not a reason to knock the store. If you think about it (yes – actually put some thought into it ) the other stores have to mark up the prices so they can afford to pay people that want to make money simply by telling others where to shop. I have compared Michael’s and Hobby Lobby often. They are also very closely situated where I live, but I prefer Hobby Lobby. Michael’s doesn’t have the same variety or quality products and many have stopped carrying fabric and patterns. JoAnn’s is a great store, but it’s further away. I prefer it over Hobby Lobby for fabrics and some specialty crafts, but not the home decor items that Hobby Lobby has. So, before you try to ban a store just because of a commission, give a true appraisal of the store and if you want to make some cash from them – fill out an application. There are enough other affiliate companies out there.

  5. I will continue to support Hobby Lobby because they are a Faith-based company. We need more companies to stand up for our Christian beliefs.

  6. This is ridiculous! Why don’t you guys put your efforts into stop buying things from China especially from Walmart so we can help stop outsourcing? There are more important things than race and gender/ sexuality issues. If you stopped buying things from China our country would have more money and have a higher minimum wage and companies would treat their employees a lot better. Ever think abt fixing the source of the issues instead of the superficial layer? There are ppl still dying all over the world just bc they have different beliefs than their country/rulers and over here all ppl are so worried abt is race and gender/sexuality issues! Grow up and see what’s really important!!!

    • It’s a good thing no one is dying anywhere in the world because of their race or gender/sexuality!

      Oh wait…

      Comments like these just make me so curious about how the Lolas of the internet end up here in the first place.

  7. I admire a store that will stand up for their Christian beliefs not many out there do. Chick Filet and some baker that lost his store and is expected to pay back a huge fine leaving him his wife and 6 kids with no income. You have a right as an atheist to shop where you please if you OWN your business you have a right to sell to whom you please if you want to make money you sell to everyone. However if something offends your religious belief you have the freedom to stand for what you believe in and should not have to be a provider of abortion, or make gay wedding cakes. As an atheist I’m sure if you had a business you wouldn’t be selling anything religious that offended you or went against what you believed. We are losing our freedoms one by one thanks to our liberal government and people like you. I love Hobby Lobby and I hope they are not forced out of business because they value human life. I intend to keep shopping there it is a great store and the stores you listed don’t compare to Hobby Lobby.

  8. This is a ridiculous article. I’m so sick of seeing people being all “anti-hobby lobby” for really no good reason. I’m a non-religious college student who has been working for the company for 4 years, and it’s a GREAT company to work for. Full time employees get paid over $15 an hour, medical benefits, two days off every week, paid holidays off, and a paid week of vacation. I started working at HL in high school, and as a part-timer I got paid $10 an hour. If I needed time off from work for school or to visit family, the company was always understanding and allowed me to do so. My job is easy- cashiering, ordering, taking care of merchandise and the appearance of the store.. I’m so thankful to get paid for what I do along with those benefits for the type of stuff that I do. And the higher up managers are always great. They always have good attitudes and want to hear what you have to say when they visit the store.

    And all these people apparently “fighting” for the store… I remember when the whole law suit was going on and people were talking about protesting in front of the stores… We had people calling our store and yelling at and insulting the EMPLOYEES about the case, the same employees that they were “fighting for” in the first place.

    Bloody ignorant people.

    • Maybe you didn’t notice, but this is a website for queer women. As well as they may treat you, Hobby Lobby supports discrimination against the LGBT community. Good enough reason for anyone on this site to be anti-Hobby Lobby.

      How do people keep finding this article 2 years later? Do you just google Hobby Lobby and read all the results?

  9. I love H L. It is there RIGHT AS AMERICANS to close whenever they want. You have 6 ( count them ) days to shop.

  10. Your campaign against the fast food chain Chick-fil-A did not work. They are thriving. Every chance I get I go there. Same as hobby lobby. They represent what I believe in. I am not opposed to other view points. But to boycott because you don’t agree is silly. They will do alot of business. You will help with your opposition.

  11. I was looking for silk flowers and stopped into two craft stores in Easton Md and could not fine what I wanted. They both had a very small selection. And the flowers were not anything to brag about. I also stopped into Michael’s and their flowers were very nice but again did not have what I wanted and all though they had a decent amount they could not compare to the selection that I finally saw when I went to Holly Lobby. It was the first time I was ever in one of their stores which in this case it was in Salisbury Maryland. I was so impressed. They had a huge selection much more then Michael’s and much nicer. I enjoy making silk floral arrangements and I saw flowers there that I have never seen anywhere else. Absolutely beautiful. And the flowers were more reasonable then any of the other stores I have tried. And quite frankly much nicer. My only regret is that I am not from the area and most of their stores are in the southern states. Although I had a nice conversation with the manager that said they will be opening more stores up north. I intend to shop there again when ever I am in the area and load up until they build stores in my area. They must be doing something right since their opening more stores. I grew up in South Jersey when all stores including the Malls were closed on Sundays. Then I would say around the eighties I was at the Cherry Hill Mall and was told the store I was in would be open New Years Day. I was surprised since that was never the case. Stores were closed not only on Sundays but on Holidays as well. Only a few stores were opened that year in the Mall but after that began the opening of all the Malls and stores opened on Sundays and Holidays. It’s called greed. None of us ever suffered from having stores closed on Sundays. People made sure they got to the stores before then. My parents shopped at the A&P on Friday night after my father got home from work or on Saturday. People that worked on weekends shopped during the week. People that worked never did without because the store was closed on Sunday. It’s all what you get used to. My husband was in business and he told me that you never make up the day when the store is closed. So if Hobby Lobby wants to close on Sunday so be it. Shop elsewhere, it doesn’t seem to be hurting them.

    • Thank you for this long and detailed story about the controversy of whether “holly lobby” is open on Sundays, Arlene Duffy. It’s totally relevant and not at all spam.

  12. There is something touchingly pitiful about these people coming here to argue on a two-year-old article who can’t even get the name of the store they’re defending right.

  13. Why would I ostracize a company for having an opinion? It is the right to have that opinion which allows you to be what you consider yourself; I try to lead by example, by not doing as has been done to me.

    An eye for an eye leaves the world blind.

  14. Well I was defiantly not agreeing with your narrow minded bent on things. However, you won’t listen. You are not in charge of anyone, THANK GOD. Go feed the poor, clothe the needy, comfort the your life so small that you need to look for reasons to rob others of their convictions.

  15. Okay, so then we should not shop at B&H electronics because they, being Orthodox Jews, are closed on Saturday. I support Hobby Lobby for operating their family business according to their convictions and with families in mind, giving them a day off. And besides, if I ever need anything desperately on a Sunday, then I know I can go somewhere else and not because the business chooses to close on a day that I don’t agree with!

    • Welcome to Autostraddle, a website for queer women. Really glad you joined us here on this three-year-old article to explain to us how to be.

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