JOANN’s holiday spot with Office’s Phyllis Smith

(Office’s Phyllis Smith in new campaign for JOANN)

JOANN, the nation’s leading fabric and craft retailer, is launching a new docu-style holiday campaign starring actress Phyllis Smith (The Office, Pixar’s Inside Out). Titled “Working from Home with Phyllis,” the scripted three-part webisode series follows Phyllis as she humorously attempts to balance working remotely with her love of crafting. 

Each episode features a notable influencer in the world of crafting – Vincent Green-Hite, Britney Brown-Chamberlain and Charlotte Martin Smith – cast as neighbors who lend a helping hand when Phyllis’ creations go awry. (While passionate about crafting, Phyllis’ creations are always a little…off.)  

In the first episode, “Two Turtlenecks and a Cat in a Pear Tree,” the viewer is introduced to Phyllis’ craft room and home office. Her temptation to craft is so strong that she has a life-size cutout of herself in front of her laptop to help her cope with long-winded zoom calls.

After “borrowing” her neighbor’s cat for a sweater she’s knitting for a Secret Santa at work, crochet expert Green-Hite teaches Phyllis the importance of properly proportioning turtleneck sweaters and mittens. Watch below:

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“As a knitter myself, I can say quarantine has brought even more joy and purpose to my craft. I hope this campaign encourages America – even those who may be creative disasters waiting to happen – to swallow their fears and find their creative Happy Place,” said actress Smith

Created in partnership with creative agency Where Eagles Dare, the first episode goes live on November 9 with new episodes launching every two weeks.

Each episode will live on and YouTube, with corresponding video tutorials that provide step-by-step instructions for each craft. 

“When developing this concept, we wanted to tap into the zeitgeist of working from home that everyone can relate to, while bringing humor and joy to inspire creative DIY gifting this holiday,” stated Where Eagles Dare Founder/ECD Brian Franks. “Each episode is really about coming together, helping each other and making gifts that are from the heart and hand.” 

The series will be promoted on JOANN’s social channels, along with :15 and :30 teasers broadcast on select national television channels and streaming services including Hallmark Channel, Food Network, Discovery and Hulu. 

Future episodes include “Bake My Day,” with Phyllis participating in a highly competitive holiday cookie exchange; and “Wreathing Havoc,” which unites two neighborhood rivals in a holiday wreath tradition. 

Additionally, on December 8, JOANN will host a sweepstakes giveaway featuring some of the crocheted items Phyllis loved on set, including a wine box koozie, a clock, an office chair slipcover and more. Six winners will also receive a $250 JOANN gift card. To enter, fans can post photos showing us how they’re creating to give this holiday season and tag them #createtogivewithjoann.

“With so many looking for ways to manage through a very tough year, we wanted to bring some levity as well as encouragement for people to try something new,” said JOANN Chief Creative Officer Richard Vollmer. “There are so many benefits to creative endeavors, around the holidays and year-round, and we hope to inspire individuals of all backgrounds and skill levels to explore their creativity.”

The new campaign comes on the heels of JOANN’s creative response to a critical need in the chaos that has been 2020. JOANN’s “Make to Give” DIY mask campaign provided an estimated 300 million masks to Americans by way of store and corporate donations, and customer mask-making purchases.

This effort attracted millions of new customers to the iconic craft retailer, which is now focused on helping new and returning customers find creative outlets that will extend beyond the pandemic. 

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AGENCY: Where Eagles Dare

  • Founder/Executive Creative Director: Brian Franks
  • Creative Director: Zam Cadden
  • Agency Designers: Sarah Karwoski, Christian Laliberte
  • Agency Brand Manager: Jamie Simoni
  • JOANN CCO: Richard Vollmer
  • JOANN Editorial Director: Valerie Ott
  • JOANN Manager, Crafted Content: Anna Olsen
  • Director: Ricky Mabe
  • Executive Producer: Barry Sonders, PF100


  • Writers Jared Kozel, Ricky Mabe
  • Starring: Phyllis Smith
  • Featuring: Britney Brown-Chamberlain, Charlotte Martin Smith, Vincent Green-Hite