About Joann Fabrics,  Classes

Being An Instructor in Joann Creative Studio – Everything You Need To Know

Did you see this email from Joann? A lot of people are asking what it takes to be an instructor in the Joann Creative Studio so I thought I’d type up a quick post and answer a few questions.

Do you get paid to be an Instructor?

Absolutely! There are two types of Instructors:

Joann Associates – Joann Associates spend part of their time working in the store and also teach classes in the Creative Studio. Whatever you make per hour in the store you also make when you’re teaching.

Outside Contractors – A lot of Instructors don’t work at Joann other than to teach classes. Outside Contractors are paid a percentage based on the number of people attending the class and the price each student paid for the class. Depending on class sizes and interest in your area, this could be a full-time job, and quite lucrative.

Bonus Pay For Larger Classes

Both types of Instructors also earn a bonus if you have more than 4 people attend your class. This bonus is a percentage of the price that each student paid for the class. Keep in mind that not everyone pays full price for the class. A lot of people wait to register on Open House days when classes are 50% off.

Associate Discount

All instructors get to use the regular 20% discount whenever they shop at Joann. That’s 20% off your total purchase, after coupons. Yes, this really adds up!

Joann also periodically boosts this discount to 30% for Associates and we always know ahead of time so we can plan ahead for our purchases.

Instructor Discount Days

Instructors who participate in the Open House days receive a coupon for 30% off their total purchase. This coupon is usually valid for one or two weeks.

You Set Your Own Schedule

Every two months Instructors receive a list of the upcoming new classes and create their own schedules for the next two months. If you’re not available on a certain day you just don’t schedule a class for that day.

This isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Keep in mind that there are dozens of classes offered each month. Most stores only have one classroom and the store isn’t open 24 hours a day, so you have Instructors jockeying for position on the calendar.

However, I always schedule my most popular classes first to get the prime time classroom hours and shuffle in the other classes wherever they’ll fit.

How Many Classes Do You Have To Teach?

That depends on what category you’re in and how many classes are offered in that category. I’m the Foodcrafting Instructor at my store and there are 5 different classes I have to offer this month – 2 for adults and 3 for kids. Joann corporate wants me to schedule each of those classes 2 times, which means I need to schedule 10 classes this month.

How Long Does Each Class Last?

Each class lasts 2 – 4 hours, depending on the difficulty. If necessary, Instructors can clock in 1/2 hour before class to set up materials and they can stay behind 1/2 hour after class to clean up the classroom. Yes, you can take bathroom breaks and bring a bottle of water to class.

Keep that bonus in mind. Longer classes are more expensive so you’ll make more money on these classes if your attendance is up.

What If Something Happens And You Can’t Make It To Class?

Emergencies do happen but keep in mind that the customers who signed up for your class not only paid for the class, they also had to buy the supplies for that class. They’re also just as busy as you are and probably won’t be able to reschedule for quite some time. And most important: You’re probably the only person in your store who is qualified to teach that class.

Skill Requirements

Obviously, it’s important for you to know how to crochet if you sign up to be the Crochet Instructor. But it’s not necessary to be the top crocheter in the world. Remember when I said we get the new classes two months in advance? We also get the instructions for those projects so we have plenty of time to figure it out and learn a new skill if we have to.

No, you do not have to have any special certification from any school or company – including Wilton.

All you have to do is to be able to teach that specific project, from start to finish. If the student has a question that falls outside that parameter it’s OK to admit you don’t know the answer. It’s also OK to say, “I’m sorry but there’s not enough time in this class to teach you how to do that. Let’s focus on this project and how about we create a special class for that?”

What Kinds Of Classes Do They Have?

You can view all of the Joann classes that Joann has to offer at Joann.com/classes . If you sign up to be the Knitting Instructor then you get to teach all of the knitting classes, including the Kids classes. You can also teach in more than one category, so if you’re a sewist who makes apparel and you also like to quilt, you could teach either the quilting or sewing classes, or you could take on both categories if you’re so inclined.

Joann Pays For Your Supplies And Time

For each class you teach you have to make a display sample so customers can see what they’ll learn. Joann pays for all your supplies and they will pay you for the time it takes you to make that sample. No working off the clock, here! And if you need additional supplies when it comes time to teach the class, Joann pays for that, too.

Your Classes May Be Cancelled

This is where it gets tricky. What if nobody signs up for that class? What if there’s a blizzard that day and nobody shows up? What if everybody who signed up for your class comes down with the flu and cancels?

If you’re a Joann Associate who also teaches classes, then management has taken you off of the regular store schedule for those class hours, but you’re probably counting on those teaching hours to make up the pay difference.

If your class is cancelled or nobody shows up, you do not get paid for that class. You can, however, ask if you can have some additional store hours to make up the pay difference but this is the one big risk you take.

Pros and Cons

If you’re a Joann Associate you have the bonus of being able to work in the store if you don’t have classes scheduled or if a class is cancelled. You don’t have to rely solely on classes for income. However, if no store hours are available you don’t earn anything for those lost classroom hours.

If you’re a Private Contractor you aren’t guaranteed an hourly rate to teach each class. Your income relies strictly on the number of students who attend each class and the amount each student paid for the class. However, your percentage earned is greater than that earned by an instructor who is a Joann Associate.

If you’re a Joann Associate who works a good number of hours in the store and your classes are (or become) popular, then you’re going to be working your butt off if you’re not careful! Good communication with your store manager and education manager will be very important if you don’t want to be working ’round the clock.

Here’s The Secret Most People Don’t Understand

Whether you’re an Associate Instructor or a Private Contractor, you can make a shit-ton of money at this if you’re willing to put in the time and effort!

That per-student bonus makes a huge difference in what you can earn. Consider that the average class price is $30. Some of your students will pay full price for that class and some will pay as low as $15. So let’s say the average that the students paid for your class is $20 and you have 3 students. You’ll make your regular hourly rate or regular percentage and walk out of the class with a few extra bucks in your pocket.

But let’s say you have 4 students. That’s just one more student but it means you’ll make $32 (or $12.80/hour) over and above your hourly or base rate. Not too shabby for a 2.5 hour class.

AND … What if you did a little hustling and got your attendance up to 8 people? That means you’d earn an additional $64 (or $25.60/hour) – for the same commitment of time.

There are all kinds of things you can do to increase your attendance: Promote your classes on Facebook, tell your friends, tell people at church, pass out business cards, and a million other things. Word spreads quickly, too, so if your classes are fun and informative your students keep coming back for more.

So don’t listen to those whiners who say, “It’s too much work and it’s not worth it.” Being a Joann Creative Studio Instructor is a great way to earn a little extra income, or you can build it into your own full-blown full-time business if you want to.

How Do You Sign Up?

Contact your nearest store. Be sure to let the know you’re interested in being an Instructor. Your store may not currently be hiring associates to work in the store but almost every Joann store in the country needs Instructors!

Got Questions? Leave ’em in the comments!

I’m sure I haven’t covered every single thing so if you have questions, leave them down below in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer 🙂

Donna Anderson

Donna Anderson 'works' at Joann Fabrics at 4600 W. Broad St. in Columbus, OH. Just look for the crazy old lady behind the cutting counter. As a kid, she ran with scissors and ate paste. She's since found safer, more creative ways to use her Fiskars and Mod Podge. Next time you're at the store, stop by the cutting counter and have a chat!

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