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Craftsy is a Denver, Colorado-based online platform that delivers crafts education, from quilting and knitting to cake decorating and paper craft, via high-definition interactive video tutorials and downloadable workshops. It also offers community project forums and craft supplies, including independent designer patterns. It was launched by the company Sympoz Inc in July 2011, and within a year Craftsy had attracted over half a million enrollments.
Craftsy parent company Sympoz Inc was founded in April 2010 by former eBay executives John Levisay and Josh Scott, plus Todd Tobin and Bret Hanna. It raised $15 million in an angel round of funding from Access Venture Partners, Foundry Group, Harrison Metal and Tiger Global Management, launching the website just over a year later. By September 2012, the company estimated that an average of 1,600 people a day were signing up for Craftsy courses.
Craftsy produces four to six new classes a month. Courses generally cost between $20–$50. Around half of the courses are filmed in the company's Denver studios, with the remainder being filmed in the instructor's studio or shop. The company typically spends upwards of $15,000 producing each video course and includes 3-D models and magnified graphics to explain key techniques and methods. Videos also include a 30-second repeat feature to enable students to rewind to sections they have missed.
Courses are delivered by experienced craft teachers and video courses are typically 10 lessons long, amounting to five hours of video tuition. Courses paid for never expire, so can be rewatched and searched to find a particular section. Students who are having difficulty with a particular method or technique can also post a question and photo to get help from the instructor or other people taking the class, with the question appearing as a pop-up bubble below that section of the video.
In addition to video lessons, Craftsy has a range of downloadable step-by-step craft workshops, combining photographs and instructions. Workshops typically cover one project, whereas videos cover several projects or techniques.
Customer preferences and demographics
The company says that its most popular classes are in quilting, while cake decorating is showing the fastest growth. Craftsy uses social media, such as Facebook to attract new customers, also posting excerpts of classes on YouTube. Nearly all customers are female and 80% are aged over 40.
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