Founded in 1943, Jo-Ann Stores is one of the largest specialty retailers of fabrics and crafts in the United States. Its retail stores feature a variety of merchandise used in sewing, crafting and home decorating projects, including notions, frames, paper crafting materials, artificial floral and home accents. The company operates more than 760 small- and large-format stores in over 45 U.S. states. Jo-Ann Stores provides fashion and sportswear fabrics and juvenile designs for the manufacturing of garments, blankets and d cor accessories. Its stores sell threads, zippers, trims, tapes, pins, elastics, buttons and ribbons, as well as patterns necessary for sewing projects. Jo-Ann Stores operates several distribution centers in Ohio, California and Alabama. The company has a staff of more than 20,000 employees. In addition, it operates Jo-Ann Creative University, which conducts classes in sewing and other related activities.