Craftsy, CEO John Levisay

Craftsy, CEO John Levisay, was invited to join us today because they are a wonderful sponsor of the Yarn Thing Craftsypodcast with Marly Bird, which also proves how smart they are with their wonderful product (interactive online classes!) but to help us spread the joy of creativity!

John Levisay Headshot
John Levisay, CEO of Craftsy

John declares himself a wanna-be musician, interested in cooking (the cake decorating course has been a big hit with him and his daughter, almost 7 years old!) and being with Craftsy has reminded him of learning to build models with his father as a child. He finds he’s interested in the process of starting with nothing and creating an end project to be proud of.

Craftsy began with the idea that an online class could be a little more that just a power-point learning opportunity, with high quality video and learning content, to be able to interact with instructors. It began with quilting and knitting and has expanded to cooking (including cake decorating!), photography, metal-smithing & woodworking, gardening, beadwork and other fiber arts, like weaving and spinning.

Americans spend more than $29 billion a year on crafting, according to the Craft & Hobby Association. Seizing upon this is Craftsy, a Colorado-based tech company that offers interactive online video classes, now watched by around 3 million viewers. Launched in 2010, the booming online school pulled in revenue of $23 million in 2013, pushing it into the number 19 spot on Forbes America’s Most Promising Companies. The website is:

The company has grown so much in that short time, employing a staff of 30 to now over 200. John says they are very creative people! Class listing when John appeared on Yarn Thing last time was about 200 hundred options, now about 600. The cost to students ranges from FREE to between $20 and $40, which is very affordable, especially when considering the class once purchased is yours forever, so you can retake and perfect your skills. The length of time ranges up to 6 hours, so the ability to come back to it enables you to stop and come back to it with ease.

Now that technology is improving, students are able to watch their courses with any device, including watching on the living room big screen television! Craftsy is constantly improving it’s video for clarity to these devices, intuitive and easy to use. They have also begun to offer supplies to the students, which fulfills a need to the student who may not be in an area where materials used in the class are offered. You can pick up items ala carte, or in a kit! John also feels that when a student takes their new skill to a local craft store it benefits the whole craft community. Offering patterns as another platform helps the designers.

In 2015, John says Craftsy is working to offer classes through Joanns and Michaels. Craftsy was featured recently in an in-flight magazine on Southwest Airlines, and in other places, the word is getting out. You can follow them on Facebook and they have a wonderful blog.

Marly has three classes through Craftsy, you can use these links to purchase them at a great discount. Her most popular is the Mittens & Gloves, which gives a variety of options so you never have to make the same hand-gear twice! The other two are to help create garments that fit, Curvy Knits and Curvy Crochet!

Just for fun, I found the link to the earlier episode with Craftsy, from 2013. If you missed hearing all TODAY’S the fun, it’s still available in the archive where it aired: or iTunes.



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  1. Knitting Daddy Greg says:

    This was another great podcast! I have taken several Craftsy classes for knitting. I’m excited about signing up for some of the sewing classes because I am going to re-learn how to sew this year. I haven’t sewed since I was in middle school, and I’m looking to get back into it so that I can sew clothes for my daughter. I know there are some great classes on Craftsy that will help with that, and I love the way the platform works. Being able to go back over and over for a lesson is awesome, as is the continual interaction with the instructors. Very, very, very cool platform!

  2. Michelle says:

    Yes, this was a great interview. I have been with both Marley and Craftsy since the both began. I love them both……

  3. Audrey says:

    I am a Craftsy aficionado. Can’t even pick one favorite class. I get to learn from the professionals any time I choose.

  4. Christina says:

    My whole family has been enjoying craftsy classes. I found it so I would be able to knit with my daughter. We have several classes and just can’t rave about them enough. We also took a free knife cutting course which was great too. I just got The mittens galore class but I haven’t started it yet

  5. Kathryn PIrkig says:

    Yes! More Craftsy! This was another fun and informative interview. Always a great time! I’ve taken knitting and weaving classes on Craftsy, and enjoyed every one! I don’t think there is any better way to learn a skill than the “at your convenience and speed” way that Craftsy offers.

  6. Maria Beuttenmuller says:

    thank you for bringing John Levisay back for another great Craftsy oriented podcast! I was at Stitches South in 2010 when Craftsy was getting on their feet and had already purchased classes and signed up for this platform. I have been such a Craftsy advocate and recommend them to anyone I meet who needs to learn a craft or art. Thanks to Craftsy I have been able to improve those crafts I love, but more, so much more! What is wonderful, is that they have, as John said, only scratched the surface of what they can address…to this I say….WOW! What other companies can say this and truly mean it? Craftsy is such an amazing model of how ALL business should be run. Not only in customer satisfaction and service, but on employee satisfaction. I am so envious of anyone who is lucky enough to work for John or Scott, because what an absolute joy it must be to get up every morning and know you will be involved in something of great consequence. Thanks again, Marly for your great questions…GO CRAFTSY!!!

  7. Mary Cast says:

    I really enjoyed the interview with Craftsy guy John Levisay. He is interesting. I love Craftsy and even turned my husband onto it. He is taking the knife skills class mentioned and took soups and sauces. I have taken a bunch of crochet classes, including your’s.

  8. Cami says:

    Craftsy is a wonderful resource. I love the idea of online learning from the best instructors available. I love that new crochet classes are coming out and I also learned in a different area with a free class about decorating cake pops. That was really interesting. Thanks, Marly!

  9. Tiffany J. says:

    Great interview! I have purchased a few Craftsy classes and really enjoyed them – including your Curvy Knits class, Marly 🙂 Looking forward to taking more classes in the future.

  10. anne j-z says:

    Great episode, Marly! I have been a loyal member of Craftsy since I bought Linda Perman’s first class through Sympoz. I have made some awesome fingerless mitts through another certain class, by the way 🙂 My husband has gifted me classes for my birthday and Mother’s Day because he knows the joy these classes bring me. I am wishing to someday work for Craftsy.

  11. Heather Brett says:

    OMG – I just LOVE Craftsy so much! Craftsy has quickly become my favorite website, blog, place to by supplies and more! Craftsy is AWESOME! Thank you for creating it and thanks for such a wonderful podcast too. 🙂

  12. 2paw says:

    I concur!!! I have bought so many Craftsy courses and they are fabulous. I love that you have lifetime access and can ask questions of the tutor, or the other people taking the class. The pattern section is great too and the customer service is second to none. I live in Australia and so I am extra impressed with the quick response to any emails!! The only downside of Craftsy being on the other side of the world is the postage: It is quite prohibitive and so I never really buy any kits. I just lust after them from afar!! This is not Craftsy’s fault. I am looking forward to taking some new classes this year. It is such a bonus that there are free mini classes and patterns too. My favourite is Adjust the Bust because I have been able to adjust patterns with a perfect FBA and make myself marvellous dresses!! I accidentally found this podcast. I’m not a podcast listener, but I very much enjoyed this.

  13. Diana M. says:

    What a fantastic interview with John. I am a huge Craftsy fan! I’ve been there since almost the beginning and I’ve been beyond impressed with how well they have dealt with their growth. So much so that I email the customer service team to tell them how much I love them! The teachers are outstanding, the production is great and the platform gets better and better. Sometimes when changes are made on a website it can be incredibly frustrating. Not so with Craftsy. It is very obvious that the learner is the primary focus when it comes to improvement. Keep it up Craftsy! You definitely have a customer for life.

  14. Susan Crosby says:

    I love Craftsy! I first heard about them from a Facebook ad but never paid any attention until I heard Marly talk about it and then interview John. I already have Marly’s mitten class in my cue but wouldn’t mind a bit if I won another free class. The Craftsy folks have already been so generous with numerous free classes, great sales, and even a special free class one time for people who live in Colorado. Yay me!!! Nabbed that sweet deal for sure. Thanks for another great podcast Marly.

  15. Suzanne says:

    I like my Craftsy classes a lot. I have several from knitting but now I am eager to go look at the knife class. Thank you for suggesting it.

  16. CraftyLadyMel says:

    I LOVE Craftsy! I have Curvy Crochet and the Mittens Galore classes among others in knitting, crocheting, and cooking. I also have quite a wishlist going. The only problem I have with Craftsy, is that I don’t have enough time to take all the classes I would like to take. I love the podcast Marly and this was a fun interview. I love listening!

  17. hotknitter says:

    I have a bunch of Craftsy classes and love them all. Great quality. So far they’re all knitting classes. Trying a different category would be interesting and something I may try in the future. It was interesting to learn just how much Craftsy has grown.

  18. Galrnea says:

    I love Craftsy! I have gotten several free & paid patterns and am enrolled in several paid and free classes. I too got so much out of the knife skills classes. I tell people all the time to go to for classes. I talk to them in JoAnn’s, grocery stores or any place people are doing craft things. I tell them craftsy is the best place to learn all kinds of crafting info and skills.

  19. Bethany Brenner says:

    I have purchased several Craftsy classes, in various categories, and have been very happy with them 🙂 As I am from a small town, there are very few opportunities to find good classes like these to go to. Craftsy has been invaluable in being able to access learning content of this caliber and I am so thrilled to be able to take these classes, and to have them for life! Thanks 🙂

  20. Lori Biamonte says:

    I am a Craftsy newbie and am so anxious to try a class. I’ve been knitting consistently for 30 years. If I’m sitting I’m knitting! Great podcast.

  21. Vicki Lynch says:

    Craftsy is better than sliced bread! I may have purchased so many classes that they outnumber life expectancy of leisure hours available, and I still have a number on my wish list.

  22. Theresa says:

    I really loved hearing about how Craftsy came about. I only recently discovered it. Bought one of Marly’s classes during the Cyber Monday sale. Looking forward to checking out more classes.

  23. picknstitch says:

    So fun to listen to John from Craftsy. I’ve followed Craftsy from nearly the beginning (in fact, Marly, I chatted with you at one of the Craftsy social events they hosted in Denver in the early days). A great company, and I’d love to add another of their classes to my collection! Thanks for the podcast!

  24. Kelly says:

    Thanks for another great episode! It was really fun to hear the CRAFTSY story, and to hear that knitting was the driving force to success and expansion. (at least the way I heard it)
    I worked for a cooking retail store for a long time, but have really enjoyed the cutlery skills and cooking classes, and I have also taken a few of the gardening classes. Love all the knitting classes, have quite a few, and many more in my wish list.

    Kelly, floridakelly on Ravelry

  25. camelheights says:

    I’ve been following you Marly for sometime. But I’ve REALLY enjoyed the Craftsy classes that I’ve taken. I would LOVE for them to do more WEAVING classes….if you could pass along the word! Thanks.

  26. Ruthie says:

    Another great interview, Marly! I loved hearing about how Craftsy has grown from just a handful of people into such a large business. I have taken a number of classes in several different categories (knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, cooking, etc.) and plan on taking a lot more. Craftsy has the best teachers, too!

  27. Linda says:

    Craftsy is amazing, and I’m excited to hear that there’s now an Android app and that there are new classes and other exciting new things planned for 2015. I appreciate that Craftsy is a sponsor of the wonderful Yarn Thing podcast. Go, Craftsy! Thank you to all the Craftsy staff for producing such great content for us.

  28. Becky says:

    Thank you for this wonderful interview with Craftsy ceo John Levisay. I Have enjoyed Craftsy classes for years and remember introducing many friends and even strangers to Craftsy classes. I do feel like I know them a little better because of this interview.

  29. Iryna B. says:

    Thank you for bringing John to your podcast again, Marly. I am Craftsy addict myself!
    So glad to learn that the wonderful project is growing and bringing money. It was quite interesting to learn about future taxation. Thank you for bringing it up. John, are you a public company yet, I mean in the investments terms? 😉
    Good luck in collaboration with other craft companies!

  30. calicokitty6 says:

    Marly, thanks for having John on your podcast.

    I love the classes offered by Craftsy, and I encourage everyone to check them out. There are so many topics to choose from. I think my favorite the floor loom weaving one because I had a few “a-ha” moments when it all started to make sense to me.

  31. Sabrina Schleicher says:

    I am loving your last few interviews! I listened to your interview a few years ago about Craftsy and it’s amazing to hear the growth. As a small business coach, I am fascinated by the growth of businesses in this industry!

    I’d be so excited to win a Craftsy class!

  32. Sarah Short says:

    As someone who didn’t have a mom or grandma to teach me how to knit or crochet, Craftsy is a godsend. The classes are awesome, the workshops are great, and the teachers are amazing. I am so happy to be a member of the Craftsy community and to hear about their success.

  33. Cynthia H. says:

    I am enrolled in a Craftsy knitting class now and I love it!. There are plenty more classes that I would like to take also. Your website is beautiful to browse through and the choice of classes is amazing.

  34. joyce says:

    Really interesting blog today about Craftsy’s beginnings. I had no idea they were so young. It was a wonderful concept for the group to come up with and I am glad they are doing so well.

  35. Carol says:

    I love Craftsy!! I have done a few classes already and am currently doing a sock class. They have all been great. Thanks for a great interview with John L.

  36. Stephanie Axman says:

    I have taken a few craftsy classes and they are always so well put together and informative. I had no idea that craftsy was such a young company. Great interview!!

  37. Martha Donley says:

    I love Craftsy. I had know idea how large Craftsy has become. I have purchased several classes and bought yarn and patterns from them.

  38. JA says:

    My great grandmother died before she could teach me to tat and I have tried several time to learn through books but it’s frustrating so my first Craftsy class was tatting. I now can tat! And I’m now hooked.

  39. knitfantasy says:

    I was on a Southwest flight, looked over at what the person next to me was reading and realized that the article was about Craftsy. I immediately asked her what page that was so I could read the article, too.
    Recently my husband got his own account when he found out that there was photography and woodworking.

    Thanks, Jon and Marly

  40. bennycatgirl says:

    Terrific podcast! Craftsy courses are my happy, creative addiction. Knitting, cooking, and now the drawing classes, as well – i have been so pleased with the quality, knowledge transfer, patterns, materials, instructors, customer service…It’s a super organization, and well worth the investment of money and time. I’ll be trying the connection via airplay from my iPad tonight. 🙂 Best of luck for the future!

    • bennycatgirl says:

      Note: Using airplay with the Craftsy iPad app? Game-changer! So cool and handy to be able to view lessons on a larger screen while following along (really handy with the drawing class as a lot of my tabletop is taken up with materials). Applause! Dang, but i love you Craftsy folk.

  41. Nancy from Chickasaw country says:

    Most interesting interview. I did not think the VAT talk was at all boring. It behooves we, the consumers, to understand what goes into the pricing of a product. If we know (and bother to think about) what goes into bringing an idea from the creative mind to the market place, we have a better understanding of the prize. There is more to it than having an idea and knitting up the idea. I feel the same way about yarn. I took Clara Parkes Great Bale Journey and became even more aware of all that goes into bringing that skein of wool to my fingers. In reality, we get one whale of a deal. To borrow from an old time industrial big wig: Craftsy rocks! (and so do you, Marly)

  42. Bonnie Jane says:

    Thank you for this interview. I am a huge fan of Craftsy! I have grown so much from classes I have taken thus far. I love that you have the gift of creating such a wonderful business which means a lot to people like me who like to learn at home.

  43. Lorraine Sutherland says:

    A coworker of mine first told me about Craftsy. Then after hearing Marly say so many great things about Craftsy, I look forward to taking my first class with them.

  44. Susan says:

    I really enjoy the Craftsy classes!! I watch classes in the knitting, quilting and spinning areas. Such a fun platform to learn from and I am always referring back to segments!!

  45. Karen Ducey says:

    I absolutely adore Craftsy! I have sharpened skills that relate to my sewing based business and dappled in other craftsy categories for sheer personal pleasure. I recommend Craftsy to folks often and tell them to start with Peter Reinhart’s Perfect Pizza at Home – it has seriously revolutionized pizza in our house. THANK YOU CRAFTSY for all the awesome skills you’ve provided me and the many more to be learned on the horizon!

  46. Cherita Md says:

    The Craftsy community is so wonderful! I’m so addicted! I have almost 200 classes now ranging from sewing, knitting, crochet, drawing, watercolor painting, cooking, and whatever else looked good to me :-). Being able to interact with the person you see on screen is one of the BEST parts. Customer service is OUTSTANDING in the full sense of that word. The girls that answer emails are just the best! Patty is one of my favorites!! Sorry if there is a fella or 2 but I only seem to remember ladies. I can’t wait to see what the future brings for Craftsy!

  47. Rose says:

    Hi Y’All,

    I am a CRAFTSY junkie and was super delighted that you had John on…what fun! I currently am enrolled in 84 classes! I have no idea how that happened. All I know is that I just love the set-up, the classes, the instructors and all that I gain both educationaly and spiritually/emotionally from the whole experience. I have bought many classes as gifts and recommend them to all.

    Marly, I have yet to start your class I enrolled in, the Mittens and Gloves one but already have a friend in mind for one of the projects from the class! By the way I love the reference to the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books it was very “fitting” hehehe, I couldn’t help myself with pun….

    Congratulations and all the best John! Thanks for enriching all our lives!

  48. Cindy says:

    Crafts has give so many people the option to learn at home. I am sure it is wonderful for those who are unable to attend classes. Thank you

  49. Annette says:

    Craftsy….Craftsy….Craftsy is so crafty. Thanks for the great show and the opportunity to learn so much about this great company.

  50. Debra says:

    I love Craftsy!! Classes on how to dye fiber and/or yarn would be some great classes to branch out into. Great show!

  51. Rose says:

    PS Just wondering if John would ever consider doing a Craftsy version for kids? My 11year old nephew wants to become a chef. It would be awesome if Craftsy had the same type of cooking/baking/skills classes that are geared towards kids. Just a thought

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

Meet Marly


Netflix & Chill

Simple projects for when you want to relax and zone out


Social Butterfly

Frustration-free projects that you can easily work on in public areas


Smooth Jazz

Projects that require a bit more intense focus (but music is nice!)


Shhh Be Quiet!

Advanced projects requiring deep focus (but a big payoff, too!)