People who are into crafts may be Craftsy. Sure there is a market for Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence class or MIT’s computer programming classes on the Web. But there is also a sizeable and growing group of folks who want to learn cake decorating, sewing or professional gift-wrapping. Normally this group would head to their nearest community education catalog for a one, two or five session class that fits their budget. Now there’s Craftsy, which like a community education class, except that it is online. Craftsy taps in to the human need to win oohs and aahs with a birthday cake shaped like a coffee cup. Okay, so that’s not really a human need – but it’s a definite human want. Purple seashell cake, beaded cuff bracelet or X’s and O’s beanie, they don’t teach this stuff in college – at least not without some kind of major commitment.
Craftsy founded by a former eBay executive who believes that crafters are a huge underserved demographic, offers classes with actual instructors. Students pay a small to not-so-small sum ($7.99 to $40 and sometimes a lot more) to learn how to make a container garden or a quilt. As it turns out, over a million crafters visit Craftsy monthly. In addition to the classes students can buy patterns and supplies for their projects. Authors of cookbooks, designers of knitting partners and others can also offer their expertise and their patterns directly to customers either in a class or a workshop. Instructors record the classes in Craftsy’s studios and they have an incentive to promote the courses on social media because the instructors receive commission on course revenue. So really Craftsy is the Khan Academy of the crafting world. Craftsy is also destined to become an iPad app. What will they think of next?