July 30, 2021

The “Makers Among Us” at Michaels

These 5 Team Members Share What They Love to Make – Including Everything from Painting to Needlework and Woodworking

Making is a part of our DNA at Michaels, so it’s no surprise that many of our Team Members are talented Makers themselves! We’re excited to feature five of our Team Members in the first installment of our “Makers Among Us” series.

These Team Members are not only passionate about their role here at Michaels, but they’re also creative and passionate about Making:

Jen Harness @jenharnessart

Jen is a Michaels Team Member, Maker, and Mother. She’s loves to craft and enjoys everything from painting to woodworking. At Michaels, she is a Marketing Director and leader of the Michaels LGBTQA+ resource group.

Jen Harness

During the pandemic lockdowns, Jen said her goal was to be there for our customers and Maker community – especially those who were home with kids craving activities. She led the charge on creating and promoting online classes. Jen enlisted her daughter, Zoey, to work with her on the Michaels Kid’s Club online classes as a co-host. There, Zoey teaches others and shares her love for drawing (she loves to draw tigers), crating, and teaching.

Josh Talbot @joshtalbotart

Josh is a Father, Maker and Michaels Team Member with a love for creativity and his family. He is also an extremely talented illustrator and cartoonist.

At Michaels, he is a Trend Designer and has designed artwork featured on Michaels products, packaging and more. He draws a lot of his inspiration from time he spends crafting and Making with his kids.

Josh Talbot

Josh and his kids love to create Found Object Collages – assembling beads, rocks, pom poms, or discarded household items to create something new. Another favorite Talbot family project is painting with tempura paint on an easel. Josh says sitting around their kiddie craft table creating fun memories – like making unicorn t-shirts – is a great way to spend quality time as a family.

Val Studer @valstuderart

Val is a Maker, Mother, and has been a Michaels Team Member for over 11 years. She is a Senior Project Designer at Michaels and one of three Team Members responsible for crafting most of the projects you see on our website, in-store signage and more.

She is a professional crafter with a passion for mixed media and teaches a number of classes both in-store and online.

Val Studer

Val is a nature and animal lover. She has a room in the back of her home that is dedicated as her arts & crafts space looking out over her backyard and into the woods. She loves to draw inspiration from this space to create animal and garden themed mixed media pieces.

Nina Owens @artgalz

Nina Owens is a Maker, Mother, and has been a Michaels Team Member for 21 years. She is a Social Media Specialist with a passion for needle arts, sculpting, creating mixed media art, and jewelry making – including bead weaving and embroidery.

Nina Owens

She has been Making her entire life and learned needle arts – knitting, crochet, embroidery – from her mother. She says nature, bright and vivid colors, and works from other artists inspire her to create unique pieces of art and jewelry.

Kalaivani (Vani) Shanmugan

Vani is a Michaels Team Member and Maker. At Michaels, she is the Technology Security Lead and focuses on data privacy.

Vani was born on a holy festival celebrating the goddess of arts and education, Ayudha pooja day. It seems arts and crafts are truly part of Vani’s DNA!

Kalaivani (Vani) Shanmugan

She’s passionate about making custom cakes and painting. Vani enjoys expressing herself by painting with bright colors and says it’s the most soothing form of art. In fact, she painted quite a few pieces for friends during the pandemic to help bring light and brighten their walls.