Craftsy, CEO John Levisay, was invited to join us today because they are a wonderful sponsor of the Yarn Thing podcast 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 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: http://www.craftsy.com/
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: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2015/01/15/craftsy-inc-ceo-john-levisay or iTunes.